Nov. 24, 2015
By Sean Tenaglia ’16
Note: It will be a homecoming of sorts this weekend for Chad Holtz as Notre Dame heads to Orlando, Florida for the AdvoCare Invitational. Holtz graduated from Tampa Jesuit in Tampa.
Standing six-foot-five, Chad Holtz certainly wears a large pair of shoes. However, he will be the first to admit that he will never be able to fill the shoes of the family members who have gone before him at Notre Dame.
Holtz’s father Skip played football for the Irish and later served as an assistant coach. Some Irish fans also may have heard of Holtz’s grandfather Lou, who guided the 1988 Notre Dame football team to a national championship and posted a 100-30-2 record as the Irish head coach from 1986 to 1996.
A lifelong Notre Dame fan, Chad Holtz does not take his opportunity to play for the Irish basketball team lightly.
“I’ve kind of been around the university my whole life,” says Holtz, who is in his first year as a walk-on with the men’s basketball program. “I’ve always dreamed of coming here since I was a little kid. Just having the opportunity to be here is unbelievable and I’ve loved every second of it.
“I definitely have some big shoes to fill. It’s cool to be here and share in all of my family’s traditions. I can’t live up to my grandfather’s accomplishments, but I will do my best.”
Despite his appreciation for his family history, Holtz is ready to make a name for himself in South Bend this winter. He has particularly enjoyed becoming part of a new family- the Irish basketball family.
“It’s unbelievable,” the Ruston, La. native says. “All of the guys are great. We’re like a family and everyone is very close-knit. It’s a really loving environment in the locker room and it’s been a ton of fun.”
As an incoming freshman, Holtz has looked to the Irish upperclassmen to ease his transition to collegiate hoops and life at Notre Dame.
“They’ve all just been great leaders,” Holtz says of his veteran teammates. “They are very vocal in the locker room and in the huddles. They’re just really good communicators and great at pushing everyone to do their best.”
Holtz also notes that Irish head coach Mike Brey and his assistant coaching staff have been instrumental in his development through preseason practices.
“I’ve known Coach Brey for a while and have been coming to camps here since I was a little kid,” the freshman forward says. “My dad has known Coach Brey for a while as well. Honestly, all of the coaches have been pushing me to work hard to improve every day.
“I’m just excited to be a part of it. It’s been a blast so far. I’m going to enjoy every second of it and I just can’t wait to do whatever I can to help out.”
With his commitment and determination to aid the Irish in any way possible, Chad Holtz will walk confidently in the footsteps of his family.