SOUTH BEND, Ind. — He is the only man to lead six universities to bowl games. Still, Lou Holtz never considered coaching his primary calling. He had a lot more to teach than X's and O's.
"I coached life. The same thing that would enable you to be a good player would enable you to be a good student, a good father, a good business person, et cetera," he said.
Holtz, who led Notre Dame to its last national championship in 1988 and also coached N.C. State, William & Mary, Arkansas, Minnesota and South Carolina during his 33-season career, was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
He was joined by fellow coaches John Cooper, the only coach to win a Rose Bowl with both a Pac-10 school (Arizona State) and Big Ten school (Ohio State), and former N.C. State quarterback Jim Donnan, who coached at Marshall and Georgia.
Former UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman, 1959 Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon of LSU and former Oklahoma State tailback Thurman Thomas head the class of 17 players.
Former Notre Dame split end Derrick Mayes said the key to Holtz's success was his ability to inspire.
"Let's face it, it wasn't the X's and O's," Mayes said. "There were many times he'd throw the playbook out the window and say, 'We're going to hit them in the mouth, knock them in the dirt.' "