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Tuesday, March 5, 2024
The Observer

Lou Holtz discusses importance of faith, purpose

Former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz is a man of many talents. He led the Irish to the 1988 National Championship, was a commentator on ESPN for many years and has given speaking engagements around the world.

Kathryne Robinson | The Observer
Lou Holtz delivers a speech to graduating seniors and other Notre Dame community members about the value of embracing a winning mindset.

One of his lesser-known talents is that he is a magician. Before a crowd gathered in the Dahnke Ballroom in the Duncan Student Center on Sunday, Holtz performed a trick — ripping up a newspaper, folding it together and magically making it reappear to the applause of the crowd.

But Holtz was not on campus just to perform magic. Instead, he returned to Notre Dame to address seniors as part of “Life Beyond the ND Bubble,” an event hosted by the Notre Dame Alumni Association which consisted of speakers and events aimed at preparing seniors for their lives post-graduation.

Holtz’s speech focused mainly on the faith, attitude and decision-making skills needed to succeed.

“You need four things in your life: … something to do, someone to love, something to believe in and something to hope for — I’m talking about dreams and ambitions,” Holtz said.

For Holtz, having faith was crucial in ensuring a meaningful future.

“Don’t lose your faith. I don’t know how people get along without faith,” he said. “I can’t begin to tell you how many times I prayed when Michigan was on our 2-yard line.”

Continuing in the vein of tools for success, Holtz spoke extensively on making the right choices.

“The most important word in [your] whole vocabulary is choice,” he said. “God gave you a lot of powers. You have the power to love, to think, to imagine, to play, but the greatest power you have as an individual is the power to choose.”

Holtz said he was especially blessed to be instilled with good decision-making skills by his parents while growing up in depression-era West Virginia.

Despite the poverty of his upbringing, Holtz said he was, in a way, raised with great privilege.

“I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth because I was born in this country and I was taught by parents that if I got an education, I stopped blaming other people, I made good choices and had faith in God that great things can happen in your life,” he said. “I had a silver spoon put in my mouth not because of what I had but because of what I was taught.”

Being instilled with these values and having faith, Holtz said, allowed him to gain the self-confidence necessary to succeed.

“There are two types of people in this world,” he said. “Those that lift people up and those that pull people down, and the only people who lift up are those who who have good self-esteem — and I never used to have it.”

Throughout his talk, Holtz continued to come back to purpose and how faith could help instill purpose.

“Have faith in God, because God won’t make your life easier but he will always be there with you,” he said. “ … We are born basically to serve our Lord and help other people.”