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Feature Story

7 May 2011

126th Commencement Speaker: Lou Holtz

Lou Holtz

Photo Courtesy of ESPN

Hall of Fame football coach Lou Holtz might share some previous words of wisdom, "Don′t be a spectator, don′t let life pass you by," with graduates at Trine University′s 126th annual commencement ceremony May 7 in Hershey Hall on the school′s main campus in Angola.

After a successful coaching career, Holtz now serves as a commentator on ESPN and a motivational speaker. He also has written three New York Times bestselling books.

In addition to encouraging and advising graduates, Holtz will tell stories from his college football glory days at Notre Dame. In his 11 years at the school, from 1985 to 1996, the Fighting Irish captured a national championship and chalked up a 23–game winning streak that ranks as the longest in the school′s history.

After his departure from Notre Dame following the 1996 season, he took to the sidelines and joined CBS Sports′ College Football Today for two seasons as a sports analyst. In 1999, with coaching in his blood, Holtz returned to the gridiron at the University of South Carolina. He led the Gamecocks to back–to–back bowl games for the first time in the history of the school and defeated Ohio State in consecutive bowl appearances.

Holtz′s head coaching career started in 1969 at William and Mary. By his second season, the team won the Southern Conference title. Following success at the school, Holtz went on to coach at North Carolina State from 1972–1975, Arkansas from 1977–1983 and Minnesota from 1984–1985. For less than a season, Holtz also coached the NFL′s New York Jets in 1976.

Off the field, Holtz has written multiple books – from his autobiography "Wins, Losses, and Lessons: An Autobiography" to "Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success." His books aren′t about football strategy; they′re about heartfelt life plans for anyone, from graduate to businessman.

"Your talent determines what you can do. Your motivation determines how much you are willing to do. Your attitude determines how well you can do it," Holtz writes in the first pages of "Winning Every Day."

Holtz′s common–sense approach to life is seen throughout his books and on television. He currently serves as a college football studio analyst for the fall and makes frequent appearances on ESPN programs.

"Coach Holtz′s gift of coaching is present on and off the field. He is a motivator and a teacher," said Trine University president Earl D. Brooks II, Ph.D. "His sharing of experiences leading to his successful career will speak to our outstanding graduates who will soon be entering a world where work ethic, attitude and perseverance are everything. We hope they will take his motivational message to heart and apply it to their education for success in their future endeavors."

Ticket information about commencement will be available on trine.edu at a later date.

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