Former national championship winning college football coach Lou Holtz has been diagnosed with COVID-19, he told a local ABC affiliate in South Carolina on Thursday. Holtz, 83, told the station, "I don't have a lot of energy right now."
Holtz, who worked as a TV analyst for many years after retiring from coaching in 2004, is expected to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom before Donald Trump leaves office in January. Holtz's 1977 team at Arkansas won a co-national title, and his 1988 team at Notre Dame went 12-0 and finished at No. 1 in both major polls.
A former linebacker at Kent State originally from West Virginia, Holtz also served as head coach at Minnesota and South Carolina during a coaching career that began in 1960 as an assistant at Iowa. His final coaching job was at South Carolina, where he inherited a team that had finished 1-10 in 1998.
The Gamecocks struggled to an 0-11 record in Holtz's first season before completing one of the best turnarounds in college football history. Under Holtz's direction, South Carolina won eight games in 2000 for the first time since 1988 and won nine games the following year. It was the first time South Carolina finished with a winning record in consecutive seasons since joining the SEC in 1992.
But Holtz is best known for his time at Notre Dame, as he led the Fighting Irish to a 100-30-2 record between 1986 and 1996. The school later dedicated a statue in his honor.