Dec. 12, 2011
Living Legend Lou Holtz Speaks to New Mexico Lobos
By Richard Stevens - Senior Writer/GoLobos.com
The many hats won by living legend Lou Holtz were increased by one Monday as he popped a symbolic New Mexico Lobos' hat atop his Notre-Dame-gold -colored hair and told Bob Davie's Lobos a few things about what to except from their new leader.
Things like winning, commitment, dedication, discipline, preparation --- well, things that Holtz and Davie hold to be true and fundamental to building teams and programs and futures.
You have to hope that the young Lobos know enough about college football history to appreciate the gift that Davie handed to them Monday afternoon. This was a treat.
Holtz, born in 1937, is the only coach to have coached and led six different college programs into bowl games. He is the only coach to have led four programs in the final Top 20 rankings. He makes a mean TV commercial, too.
Holtz, an ESPN football analyst, radiates tradition, success and excellence. He is passionate about the core values that he attempts to carry through life and pass on to those teams and players wise enough to listen.
On Monday, the Lobos got to listen. Afterwards, Holtz met with a few members of the Albuquerque media to talk about what he told the Lobos - and talk about what he thinks of New Mexico's new football coach.
"I think you have a winner here as a football coach," said Holtz, who, when at Notre Dame, hired Bob Davie away from Texas A&M. "There is no reason you can't have a great program here and obviously this state has a lot of pride.
"(Davie) wants back in coaching and it's great that you (New Mexico) gave him the opportunity. I think you are going to be delighted that you gave him the opportunity. He knows football. He can communicate with people. And he's smarter than a whip
"He is a winner and a leader."
Holtz knows something about winning and leading. He coached at Williams & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina. He won 249 games, but is probably best known for his work at Notre Dame. In 1988, the Irish went 12-0 and were the consensus national champions.
He also understands the task and the challenge ahead of Davie, who inherits a struggling New Mexico team which has won three games in three seasons. Holtz took over a 1-10 South Carolina program, suffered through a 0-11 season in 1999 as he worked to change some culture. His Gamecocks won the Outback Bowl in his second season over a heavily-favored Ohio State team.
Holtz is known for his disciplined teams, but also known for his wit and natural charm. For sure, Holtz used those attributes as he drove his message into the hearts of Davie's Lobos.
Holtz said the core of his message to the Lobos centered on attitude, fundamentals, discipline and trust - trust in teammates, team values and team visions.
"I think you need to get up every day with the burning desire to find a way to get something done," said Holtz. "Life is all about challenges. It's all about challenges and everything starts with a goal or a dream. You need a vision and then you need a plan to make the vision work."
"You can win anywhere players want to win. You hold people accountable and you make sure everybody on your team shares the same core values. Core values are anything you will not compromise on."
The core values Davie inherits at UNM obviously need some fine tuning. There are standards of discipline, standards of accomplishment, and standards of commitment that need to be pushed to a higher level.
Holtz sees that happening.
"This guy (Davie) understands more about winning than I do and he'll do a tremendous job," said Holtz. "He'll build it the right way."