Former Notre Dame head football coach Lou Holtz is once again taking a leadership role at the University – this time in an arena outside of athletics. He and his wife, Beth, have graciously agreed to serve as Notre Dame’s first “ambassadors for research” by taking a prominent role in increasing awareness of the University’s mission to pursue research that aims to heal, unify and enlighten a world deeply in need.
“Beth and I have always believed that Notre Dame is different,” Lou Holtz said. “Not only by educating young people who go out and do remarkable things in the world, but also through its commitment to research with potential to alleviate pain and suffering, the University is taking on global challenges and bringing about real change.”
Research to help people with cancer is a deeply personal cause for the Holtz family. Beth Holtz was diagnosed in 1997 with a rare form of cancer and was given a five-percent chance of survival. Today she credits her recovery to her strong faith and the support of her family and others around her during her illness.
“Lou and Beth Holtz are a testament to the human spirit and we are so thankful and proud to have them as part of the Notre Dame family,” said John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “Through their generous financial contributions to the University – and the precious gift of their time as ambassadors for research – they are adding to the many blessings they and their family already have bestowed upon us. We are deeply appreciative.”
The Holtzes also have given $1 million to the University. The gift was a component of the recently completed “Spirit of Notre Dame” campaign, which raised $2.014 billion during a seven-year span that ended June 30. In addition to their most recent gift, the Holtzes also established a scholarship endowment at the University during Lou Holtz’ coaching tenure.
During his 10 years as head football coach, Lou Holtz amassed a record of 100-30-2 and led the Fighting Irish to a national championship during its undefeated 1988 season. The couple has four children – Luanne; Louis Jr., a 1987 Notre Dame graduate; Kevin, a 1989 Notre Dame graduate; and Elizabeth, a 1991 Notre Dame graduate.