SIDNEY – Legendary college football coach Lou Holtz offers a simple life plan for success – 1) Do right; avoid what’s wrong; 2) Do everything to the best of your ability; and 3) Show people you care.
Holtz was the keynote speaker Thursday evening during a fundraiser benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke Counties, the 2017 Game Plan for Financial Success.
The event, sponsored by Eikenberry Retirement Planning in Sidney, was held at Sidney High School.
Holtz’s coaching career included a brief stint as assistant coach for The Ohio State Buckeyes and he retired in 2004 after coaching the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. A notable milestone in his career came in 1988, when he coached an undefeated Notre Dame team to the national championship. He coached the Fighting Irish from 1986-96.
He went on to work as a football commentator and also has written three New York Times best sellers. He was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
“You’re looking at the only guy who has written more books than he’s read,” Holtz joked with the crowd.
Throughout the evening, Holtz used humor to illustrate his points, much to the delight of the audience.
Holtz gave advice on setting goals, succeeding in both personal and career life and being a positive role model.
“I’m here to tell you about the things I believe in to have success in life,” he said.
He told several stories using experiences as a coach, husband and father.
Holtz said his goal as a coach was to expect his players to live by the three rules mentioned above, as well as to “graduate and win,” pointing out he wasn’t there to coach them on to becoming professional football players.
His greatest accomplishment, Holtz said, was his family, “not coaching. Not TV.”
At one point during his 56-year marriage, in-between coaching jobs, Holtz said he was a stay-at-home dad while his wife worked. One day while the kids napped, he read a motivational paperback his wife left out on the table. The author encouraged readers to sit down and come up with a list of goals they’d like to work on in their family life, career life, religious life and so on. By the time his wife came home from work, Holtz had outlined 107 goals – a wish list – he would like to complete.
After perusing the list, his wife looked at him and said “what about getting a job?”
After the laughter died down, Holtz gave examples of how he took his list and met nearly all his goals – including eventually becoming a head football coach, meeting the Pope and being asked to visit the White House following a championship year at Notre Dame.
“Everything starts with a dream,” he said. “We live complicated lives and we don’t have to. There’s only seven colors in the rainbow. Look at what Michelangelo did with those seven colors. There’s only seven musical notes. There’s only 10 numbers.”
Other motivational points Holtz made included “embrace change,” “don’t let what other people say ruin your attitude” and “make sure people will miss you. The only people we miss are the people who add value to other people’s lives.”
Prior to Holtz’s comments, a guest panel of five gave financial planning advice to those in attendance. The panelists included Dean Zayed of Brookstone Capital Management, Jim Pritchard of W.E. Donoghue & Co., Tom Hardin of Canterbury Investment Group, Michael Scarborough of Retirement Management Systems, and Phil Graham of Financial Independence Group.
At the end of Holtz’s presentation, John Eikenberry of Eikenberry Retirement Planning, along with Holtz, presented a $10,000 check to Jenny Bruns, executive director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby and Darke Counties.
All proceeds from Thursday’s financial summit will go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
PHOTO CAPTION: Keith and Peggy Foutz, owners of The Early Bird and board members for Big Brothers Big Sisters, had the opportunity to meet legendary coach Lou Holtz.