Lou Holtz Research Paper

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Synthesis Essay – Lou Holtz MSgt James C. Baird Air Force Senior Noncommissioned Officer Academy September 4, 2014 Instructor: MSgt Jennifer R. Johnson Lou Holtz Start here Visionary Leader Lou Holtz was a visionary leader that instilled a vision of teamwork in his players. Lou Holtz was a master of motivating people towards his vision with both his actions and words. In 1986, Coach Holtz inherited a group of individuals at the University of Notre Dame. A group of players that were more interested in individual statistics and personal records than the needs of the team. One of Lou’s first actions was to remove the names from the back of the player’s jerseys. His actions changed the status quo, and forced the players to realize…show more content…
Lou would tell his new recruits, “We did not recruit you to change the University of Notre Dame, but to conform to the morals and values of this great institution. You won’t change Notre Dame, but Notre Dame will change you.” Coach Holtz also said, “If you want to fail, you have a right to fail. But you don’t have the right to cause other people to fail.” Lou’s motivational words challenged his players to trust in the system and to want to be a part of it. This motivation led to higher individual efforts, stronger team bonds and created a sense of organizational pride. When Lou took over the team in 1986 they had a 5-6 record. The following year in 1987, they again had a 5-6 record, but the combined difference in 5 of those losses totaled 14 points. In 1988, Lou led his team to an undefeated 12-0 season and were crowned as National…show more content…
According to his autobiography, Lou defined the word “WIN” to mean, “What’s Important Now.” Additionally, he instilled the “Do Right Rule” in his players, “Do what’s right, avoid what’s wrong.” Holtz decided to hold the players to the standards which he had set and suspended them for the upcoming game. He did not publicly admonish the players and simply told the press that the players had violated his ethics. Due to his refusal to tell the story, the public assumed that the suspension was racially motivated. A formal injunction was filed with the courts charging that Lou Holtz had violated the player’s civil rights. Despite the potential loss of his career, he was willing to take that risk rather than compromise his own morals. In the end, the Arkansas Attorney General and future United States President, William Clinton, cleared Coach Holtz of all charges. By holding his moral ground, Lou saved something greater than his career, his

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