A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Lou Holtz is a record-breaking college football coach. Learn more about his take on coaching, football, life, and more in the Lou Holtz quotes below.
Are you a fan of Lou Holtz?
Lou Holtz’s college football coaching career lasted for over 40 years. He’s most known for his 11-year long stint as the head coach for Notre Dame’s football team.
Holtz led the team to win the national championship in 1988. The coach received many awards during his career, including the SEC (Southeastern Conference) Coach of the Year in 2000.
Let’s check out these collection of quotes from award-winning coach Lou Holtz!
Don’t forget to also check out these Pat Summitt quotes on teamwork, competition, and more.
Powerful Lou Holtz quotes
1. “I can’t believe that God put us on this earth to be ordinary.” – Lou Holtz
2. “Show me someone who has done something worthwhile, and I’ll show you someone who has overcome adversity.” – Lou Holtz
3. “You’ll never get ahead of anyone as long as you try to get even with him.” – Lou Holtz
4. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” – Lou Holtz
5. “If you burn your neighbor’s house down, it doesn’t make your house look any better.” – Lou Holtz
6. “Don’t be a spectator, don’t let life pass you by.” – Lou Holtz
7. “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.” – Lou Holtz
8. “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz
9. “Do right. Do your best. Treat others as you want to be treated.” – Lou Holtz
10. “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
11. “No one has ever drowned in sweat.” – Lou Holtz
12. “Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” – Lou Holtz
13. “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
14. “I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.” – Lou Holtz
Lou Holtz quotes about coaching
15. “Coaching is nothing more than eliminating mistakes before you get fired.” – Lou Holtz
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of coaching quotes to motivate your team to the next level.
16. “Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.” – Lou Holtz
17. “I give opinions, not advice.” – Lou Holtz
18. “As a coach, one thing that used to frustrate me was one player would make a bad decision, and that’s all you would read about in the papers all over the country. We have so many athletes do so many wonderful things for other people, and you never read about it.” – Lou Holtz
19. “I do think coaches need to get away from the game more, though. It’s good for them.” – Lou Holtz
20. “When I work a game as an analyst, all I do is look at the game like a coach.” – Lou Holtz
21. “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 Holtz
22. “I feel that God wants me to coach; otherwise, he wouldn’t have put the desire in me.” – Lou Holtz
23. “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
24. “My first assistant-coaching job in football was at William & Mary in 1961.” – Lou Holtz
25. “Football coaches don’t have real problems.” – Lou Holtz
26. “It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.” – Lou Holtz
27. “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
Lou Holtz quotes about life and upbringing
28. “For victory in life, we’ve got to keep focused on the goal, and the goal is Heaven.” – Lou Holtz
29. “Don’t tell your problems to people: eighty percent don’t care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.” – Lou Holtz
30. “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
31. “I was born January 6, 1937, eight years after Wall Street crashed and two years before John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the plight of a family during the Great Depression.” – Lou Holtz
32. “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
33. “All my life, I’ve been trying to make a hole-in-one. The closest I’ve come is a bogey.” – Lou Holtz
34. “My philosophy in life is, Decide what you want to do. You have to have something to hope for.” – Lou Holtz
35. “I think life is a matter of choices and that wherever we are, good or bad, is because of choices we make.” – Lou Holtz
36. “When I die, and people realize that I will not be resurrected in three days, they will forget me. That is the way it should be.” – Lou Holtz
37. “Our cellar home had a kitchen and a combination bedroom and half bath, which meant we had a sink next to the bed. We had no refrigerator, no shower or tub, and no privacy. My parents shared the bedroom with my sister and me.” – Lou Holtz
Lou Holtz quotes about sports
38. “How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.” – Lou Holtz
39. “I look at athletes in all sports and try to picture what kind of football player they’d be, what position they’d play and so on.” – Lou Holtz
40. “I think everyone should experience defeat at least once during their career. You learn a lot from it.” – Lou Holtz
41. “All an agent is going to do is buy things for a player, damage his eligibility, and make the player dependent on them.” – Lou Holtz
42. “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
43. “To win a national championship, you’ve got to be a little lucky.” – Lou Holtz
44. “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
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of golf quotes that will give you the motivation to keep playing and practice.
45. “In the successful organization, no detail is too small to escape close attention.” – Lou Holtz
46. “I used to pray that God would make me a great athlete, and He never did.” – Lou Holtz
47. “The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.” – Lou Holtz
48. “No matter what happens on the field, getting an education makes you a winner.” – Lou Holtz
49. “I don’t think there’s been anything in the game of football in my lifetime that has changed college football more than redshirting.” – Lou Holtz
50. “After winning, most teams become individuals; most teams become complacent.” – Lou Holtz
You might also like these Nick Saban quotes that aren’t just for athletes.
How has failing shown you new opportunities in life?
Lou Holtz began his sports career as a football player. He played for Kent State as a linebacker from 1956 to 1957. Although he was passionate about the sport, his desires didn’t line up with his abilities. After stepping away from playing he came across his true calling: coaching.
Failure can open doors to new opportunities. When you’re able to let go of the past, you open yourself to the possibility of a bright future. That new experience may even be the pivot that sets your entire life on the right track, like when Lou Holtz found coaching.
How’d you like today’s collection of quotes? Which of these Lou Holtz quotes and sayings meant the most to you? Let us know below!