Mark Batke / Lantern reporter
Hall of Fame coach and current ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz told a room full of coaches something Friday night that many long to hear about their job.
“Coaching is by far the best profession you could ever be in … you have the chance to be significant,” he said.
Holtz visited the Woody Hayes Athletic Center Friday evening to address more than 300 coaches and players at the 82nd annual Ohio State Football Coaches Clinic.
But the job, he said, does not come without the proper amount of sacrifice. ”I can’t tell you how many times I got down on my knees and prayed for courage and strength before going into a staff meeting,” he said. “Your passion to win depends on the amount of sacrifice you’re willing to make.”
OSU football coach Urban Meyer, who called Holtz a “mentor” and a “close personal friend,” is proof of Holtz philosophy. Holtz hired Meyer, who introduced him Friday, as an assistant coach at Notre Dame early in his career.
Holtz said that he was “so proud” of Meyer’s coaching successes.
Holtz filled the nearly 90-minute slot providing insight to the audience, comprised of primarily Ohio high school football coaches, about his wide range of expertise playing, coaching and analyzing the game. Holtz also spoke about the importance football coaches can have on their players.
Holtz, a graduate of Kent State University, coached on Woody Hayes’ staff during OSU’s 1968 national championship campaign. In 1988, Notre Dame won a national championship under Holtz. He finished his coaching career with a 249-132-7 record before joining ESPN as a college football analyst in 2005.
Holtz said having freedom from the pressures of “maintaining (wins)” that comes with coaching is one of his favorite parts of working on set at ESPN. ”When the red light goes on, I just have fun,” he said.
After passing along several football strategies from his playbook to coaches in the audience taking notes, he concluded with several words of advice about instilling players with the ability to dream. ”Dreams changed my life … (every player needs) something to do, someone to love, something to believe and something to hope for,” he said.