Notre Dame Great Lou Holtz Maintaining Coaching Philosophy in Tragedy


Once a head coach, always a head coach

There are some things that are just ingrained into your character. For former Notre Dame great Lou Holtz, it’s the ability to overcome adversity–in this case tragedy–with the lessons that he instituted as a coach. The fire that started because of a lightning strike ravaged their $1.6 million home, taking with it memorabilia and belongings from his long career. But for Holtz, the safety of himself and his wife Beth is the only thing that matters. 

After arriving home around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday, Holtz went up to his office and felt a burst of hot air. Assuming the A/C wasn’t functioning properly, he headed back downstairs and planned to call a repairman on Monday.

At 2:30 a.m., the smoke alarms went off.

Holtz made an attempt to go upstairs and get his wallet and phone, but the smoke was too heavy and he turned back. The aftermath of the fire was devastating. Flames destroyed the roof of the 11,000 square-foot home, and the second floor collapsed. The house is being deemed “a total loss”, but Holtz sees it differently.

"“Someone told me a long time ago that if what you lost can be replaced, then it’s not really a loss,” he said in an interview Tuesday with the Orlando Sentinel. “You can’t replace a parent, a spouse, a child.” h/t David Harris, Orlando Sentinel"

Many of the items were football related, but others included a trophy from an Augusta National Golf Club member tournament, the torch he carried for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, as well as photos with U.S. presidents, two popes and more. So how does he deal with this? The same way he dealt with the struggles in football.

"“In athletics you are going to have ups and downs. Whenever we had a down, we did two things,” Holtz told the Orlando Sentinel. “We gave ourselves ‘X’ amount of time to feel bad for ourselves, and then we moved forward. With the fire, by Monday morning it was no more feeling bad for ourselves. We were looking forward.”More from Slap the SignPointsBet Promo: Bet $50, Win an Official Jersey at Fanatics!Notre Dame vs NC State: How to watch, odds, injuries, series history and moreCaesars Indiana Sign-Up Promo: Win $250 GUARANTEED Bonus Betting on Notre Dame This Week!FanDuel + DraftKings Indiana Promos: Bet $10 on Notre Dame, Win $400 Bonus GUARANTEED!New Caesars + DraftKings Indiana Promos: $450 GUARANTEED Bonus Backing Notre Dame vs. Navy!"

Holtz and his wife Beth are very aware they are lucky they have the resources to recover from such a tragedy and are “counting their blessings” they can do so.

"“We think of the people who have catastrophes that happen in their lives and how difficult it is for them to recover if they don’t have the resources we are fortunate enough to have,” Holtz said."

If you’ve ever thought the lessons you learned in sports along the way weren’t lasting, I think that coach Holtz would disagree with you. Once a coach, always a coach.

Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it. – Lou Holtz

He’s responded like we would expect him to. We wish our best to him and his family as they rebuild.

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