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50 Lou Holtz Quotes On Football and Life

These Lou Holtz quotes will inspire you to live life with purpose.

Lou Holtz is best known for his illustrious career coaching college football. He played college ball at Kent State University while earning a degree in History.  He then became an assistant coach as he pursued his Master’s degree.

By his own words, he wasn’t the best at playing football, something that led him on his life’s path: “Had I been a great athlete, I’m not sure I would have even gone into coaching. I may have turned out feeling that my life ended when my athletic career ended, as happens so many times with various athletes.”

Lou had lots to say about football, life, and general advice. Keep reading these Lou Holtz quotes to learn more. 

Lou Holtz quotes about coaching and football

1. “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired.” ― Lou Holtz

2. “In football, it’s the job of the player to play, the coach to coach, the official to officiate. Each guy is charged with upholding his end, nothing more. In golf, the player, coach, and official are rolled into one, and they overlap completely. Golf really is the best microcosm of life – or at least the way life should be.” ― Lou Holtz

3. “On this team, we’re all united in a common goal: to keep my job.” ― Lou Holtz

4. “I won’t accept anything less than the best a player’s capable of doing… and he has the right to expect the best that I can do for him and the team!” ― Lou Holtz

5. “Football coaches don’t have real problems.” ― Lou Holtz

6. “A lifetime contract for a coach means if you’re ahead in the third quarter and moving the ball, they can’t fire you.” ― Lou Holtz

7. “If Tiger Woods had played football, he would have been a quarterback.” ― Lou Holtz

8. “No matter what happens on the field, getting an education makes you a winner.” ― Lou Holtz

9. “The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.” ― Lou Holtz

10. “To win a national championship, you’ve got to be a little lucky.” ― Lou Holtz

Lou Holtz quotes about life

11. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” ― Lou Holtz

12. “I never learn anything talking. I only learn things when I ask questions.” ― Lou Holtz

13. “If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” ― Lou Holtz

14. “I think that everybody needs four things in life. Everybody needs something to do regardless of age. Everybody needs someone to love. Everybody needs something to hope for, and, of course, everybody needs someone to believe in.” ― Lou Holtz

15. “I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.” ― Lou Holtz

16. “My philosophy in life is, decide what you want to do. You have to have something to hope for.” ― Lou Holtz

17. “I just have an enthusiasm for life.” ― Lou Holtz

18. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” ― Lou Holtz

19. “You’re never as good as everyone tells you when you win, and you’re never as bad as they say when you lose.” ― Lou Holtz

20. “We can all be successful and make money, but when we die, that ends. But when you are significant is when you help other people be successful. That lasts many a lifetime.” ― Lou Holtz 

Lou Holtz quotes that speak to struggle

21. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” ― Lou Holtz

22. “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” ― Lou Holtz

23. “Don’t tell your problems to people: eighty percent don’t care, and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.” ― Lou Holtz

24. “If what you did yesterday seems big, you haven’t done anything today.” ― Lou Holtz

25. “You aren’t going to find anybody that’s going to be successful without making a sacrifice and without perseverance.” ― Lou Holtz

26. “Everyone goes through adversity in life, but what matters is how you learn from it.” ― Lou Holtz

27. “Nothing on this earth is standing still. It’s either growing or it’s dying. No matter if it’s a tree or a human being.” ― Lou Holtz

28. “I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.” ― Lou Holtz

29. “No one has ever drowned in sweat.” ― Lou Holtz

30. “If you try to fight the course, it will beat you.” ― Lou Holtz

Lou Holtz quotes on life advice

31. “I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.” ― Lou Holtz

32. “Winners embrace hard work. They love the discipline of it, the trade-off they’re making to win. Losers, on the other hand, see it as punishment. And that’s the difference.” ― Lou Holtz

33. “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.” ― Lou Holtz

34. “Successful people will always tell you you can do something. It’s the people who have never accomplished anything who will always discourage you from trying to achieve excellent things.” ― Lou Holtz

35. “When people need love and understanding and support the most is when they deserve it the least.” ― Lou Holtz

36. “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” ― Lou Holtz

37. “I think that we have opportunities all around us – sometimes we just don’t recognize them.” ― Lou Holtz

38. “I believe that having a spiritual life is so important in everybody’s life.” ― Lou Holtz

39. “My wife told me if there are any rumors about me, it better be about politics and not about my social life.” ― Lou Holtz

40. “Whenever you give up something, you must replace it with something.” ― Lou Holtz

Witty one-liners from Lou Holtz

41. “When all is said and done, more is said than done.” ― Lou Holtz

42. “If you burn your neighbor’s house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better.” ― Lou Holtz

43. “Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by.” ― Lou Holtz

44. “It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.” ― Lou Holtz

45. “I think that we have opportunities all around us – sometimes we just don’t recognize them.” ― Lou Holtz

46. “I’m so old, I don’t buy green bananas anymore.” ― Lou Holtz

47.  “You’ll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him.” ― Lou Holtz

48. “The problem with having a sense of humor is often that people you use it on aren’t in a very good mood.” ― Lou Holtz

49. “How do you know what it’s like to be stupid if you’ve never been smart?” ― Lou Holtz

50. “One thing about me is I try to be honest.” ― Lou Holtz

Which of these Lou Holtz quotes resonated with you best?

Lou Holtz has been married to his wife since 1961, which is another accomplishment that has nothing to do with football. Although his titles and championship record is impressive! He coached at several schools, including Minnesota and Arkansas.

However, Lou is best known for two things: his eleven-year coaching stint at Notre Dame and being an ESPN analyst for college games. He retired from ESPN in 2015.

Lou Holtz had a tremendous impact on the world of college football, and his words can help us all live life with purpose. He may not be coaching or analyzing football games anymore, but it sure sounds like he is one of those people who got to live life doing what they love.

Did you enjoy these Lou Holtz quotes and sayings? Do you have any other favorite quotes to add? Let us know in the comment section below.

Danielle Dahl, Lead Contributor
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