IRISH STEW

Former Irish coach Lou Holtz reportedly out at ESPN

IRISH STEW

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

Almost a year ago, former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz announced that his 10th year at ESPN would be his last.

This time the college football analyst made good on that promise, something he had trouble doing in the past.

According to a report by Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch,the two sides recently agreed to part ways. ESPN released the following statement on its website:

"Lou brought a champion's perspective and a legacy of accomplishment to our coverage along with his distinctive style and humor. We appreciate his contributions and wish him all the best in the future."

In deciding to walk away, Holtz offered his reasoning last May to a group of media, including the South Bend Tribune.

“I’d like to leave when people say, ‘Why you leaving?’ rather than ‘When you leaving?’ ’’ Holtz, now 78, offered at the time.

He added that he tried to walk away from the job four other times, but that ESPN was always able to persuade him to come back. Not this time, he vowed 11 months ago.

“ESPN is a great organization to work for, and I work with great people,” Holtz said. “They’re like my family, I love ’em. We have fun. We enjoy it, but there comes a time when you need to step aside and let the younger people do it. That’s my feeling

“I wanted to do it (work in 2014), because of the playoffs. That will be fun, but I’d like to practice my golf a little bit more. I’ve been everywhere except to bed and spoken to everyone except my wife. I owe it to her just to spend a little more time with her.”

On ESPN, Holtz was best known for his "battles" with fellow analyst Mark May on "Saturday College Football Final."

In 33 years of college coaching that included stops at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina, Holtz had a 249-132-7 record and led the Irish to the national title in 1988.

His record at Notre Dame was 100-30-2, including 8-3 in his final season in 1996. He resumed his coaching career at South Carolina in 1999, going 33-37-0, retiring there after the 2004 season.

Holtz was in South Bend in March to attend the funeral of the Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, the former Notre Dame president.

South Bend Tribune/JAMES BROSHER Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz speaks to the crowd during the Notre Dame pep rally on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at South Beach in Miami. Holtz coached the Irish to their last national title in 1988.