Sunday, January 6, 2013

Wall Street Journal Weekend Interview: Lou Holtz, 'Why Notre Dame Is Back on Top'

Well, it seems like old times, that's for sure.

From the interview:
The first time I met Lou Holtz was three years ago at a Republican policy retreat—he's a friend of House Speaker John Boehner. At the time, Notre Dame was a mediocre football team following a string of disappointing seasons. Yet here was a former coach of the team—when it had last been a national power, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s—predicting a return to the glory days from a newly hired coach.

Brian Kelly "will have Notre Dame back in the national championship game," Mr. Holtz said. "The man is a winner."

I laughed back then when he said it. After Mr. Holtz resigned in 1996, having spent a decade in the demanding job, he was followed by Bob Davie (1997-2001), Tyrone Willingham (2002-04) and Charlie Weis (2005-09), who all arrived amid high hopes and left with no titles and few bowl victories. Why would Brian Kelly be any different? Well, now Mr. Holtz is the one laughing. The Fighting Irish face another storied college team, Alabama's Crimson Tide, on Tuesday in a dream matchup for the NCAA, television executives and, not least, college football fans. The game could be the most avidly anticipated since . . . the last time these two teams met in the Sugar Bowl for the national championship, on New Year's Eve, 1973—a game won by Notre Dame...
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