Friday, May 2, 2008
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NEW YORK - Lou Holtz's first big break in his Hall of Fame career came when he got dumped by his girlfriend.
With no good reason to stay in Ohio, he left a job coaching high school football and became a graduate assistant at the University of Iowa in 1960.
In the end, the scrappy, little coach with the lisp got the gig and the girl. Beth soon had a change of heart and she and Holtz have been married for 47 years.
'Had it not been for my wife, I'd still been in high school,' Holtz said Thursday after a news conference to announce that he was one of 15 newly elected College Football Hall of Famers.
Joining the 71-year-old Holtz, who won 249 games with six schools and a national title at Notre Dame in 1988, at a news conference in Manhattan were former Northwestern linebacker and current Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald and former Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson.
The other 11 players chosen by the National Football Foundation's selection committee were: UCLA quarterback Troy Aikman; LSU tailback Billy Cannon; Virginia offensive tackle Jim Dombrowski; Florida linebacker Wilber Marshall; Washington State running back Ruben Mayes; Arizona State guard Randall McDaniel; Wyoming tight end Jay Novacek; Texas Tech split end Dave Parks; Florida State nose guard Ron Simmons; Oklahoma State running back Thurman Thomas; and Army quarterback Arnold Tucker.
John Cooper, who went 192-84-6 with Tulsa, Arizona State and Ohio State, was the other coach elected.
The class will be inducted at the NFF banquet in New York in December and enshrined in the summer of 2009 at the Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.