Holtz delivers commencement speech at Notre Dame

Lou Holtz visited his old stomping grounds on Saturday as the former national title-winning Fighting Irish football coach spoke at the commencement program for the Alliance for Catholic Education Teaching Fellows program at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.

The 78-year old Holtz spoke for roughly 17-minutes and touched on several topics. Here are a few highlights reported by ND Insider.

Privilege: “My wife would say that we’re very fortunate. We have a beautiful home, lovely furnishes, all kinds of memorabilia. My wife would say, ‘Everything we have belongs to God.’ Twelve days ago our house burned to the ground. I looked up and said, ‘God, you don’t take good care of your property.’”

Faith: “I can’t tell you how many times I prayed when Michigan had the ball on our 3-yard line.”

Education: “You’re looking at the only guy in the world who has written more books than he has read.”

Perseverance: “My wife is a very special person. We’ve been married 54 years. We’re as different as night and day. When we first started dating, we had a loving relationship. I loved her. She hated me. But we overcame that, and we have four wonderful children.”

Priorities: “My wife is also a Stage 4 cancer survivor. She left me a note a few months ago that said, ‘Lou, I can’t please everybody in the world, so I’m going to stop trying. I’m going to focus on pleasing one person a day. Today’s not your day, and tomorrow doesn’t look real promising.’”

Leadership: “When you’re in education, you have to be a leader. Fr. Ted Hesburgh said when he hired me here at Notre Dame, ‘I can name you the head football coach at Notre Dame. I’m going to announce it to the world that you’re the head coach, but what I can’t announce to the world is you’re the leader.’”

Expectations: “We finished second in the country, and everybody called me an idiot. ‘That idiot finished second.’ When somebody finishes last in medical school, they call them, ‘Doctor.’”

And pride: “We didn’t have great facilities when I was here. Notre Dame didn’t want ‘em. But I’m going to tell you, if you walked into our locker room, you could tell, every helmet had a special place, every shoulder pad. You could tell there was pride in that locker room.”

(h/t ND Insider