Former Notre Dame head coach Lou Holtz was inducted into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame on Thursday in Arlington, Texas.

Lou Holtz Inducted Into AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall Of Fame

April 20, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas – Former University of Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz joined four other individuals who helped shape the tradition of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic and college football history as they were inducted Thursday into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame during enshrinement ceremonies at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

The honorees in the ninth Hall of Fame Class included Holtz, Texas linebacker/defensive halfback Tom Campbell, BYU linebacker Shay Muirbrook, Texas A&M quarterback Kevin Murray and Arkansas defensive tackle Jim Williams.

Each member of the Hall of Fame received a personalized bronze statue in the likeness of a 1930s football player, the era in which the Classic was founded.

Brad Sham, “The Voice of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic,” and “The Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” served as Master of Ceremonies.

“Hall of Fame Day is truly a special day,” said Tommy Bain, the Chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association. “This is an event that gives us a chance to reflect upon our game’s history and to honor those who have played such a vital role in the success of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic through the years.

“We have so much to be thankful for in our game’s 76-year history,” Bain noted. “Our record book reads like a Who’s Who in college football. The Hall of Fame celebrates the amazing performances of four legendary players and an outstanding head coach who played a huge role in expanding the reach and legacy of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic.”

A judging committee comprised of media representatives and athletic administrators voted from a list of 58 nominees that included players, coaches, bowl administrators and others who have made special contributions to the Classic.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2012 Selection criteria for the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame include the following:

  • Voting is based solely upon an individual’s performance in, or contribution to the Classic rather than on the person’s overall college or professional career.
  • An individual is eligible five years after their final Classic appearance.

The Class of 2012 features a diverse group of players and coaches.

Among them is Holtz, who led the Fighting Irish to three appearances in the Cotton Bowl Classic. A master of preparation and motivation, Holtz posted back-to-back victories over Texas A&M in the early 1990s. The Irish ranaway with a decisive 28-3 decision in 1993, and a year later pulled off a dramatic 24-21 victory that went down to the final minutes of the game.

With the induction of The Class of 2012, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame expands to 59 men and women who have enriched the legacy of the Classic. The first class was enshrined in the spring of 1998 and since then has become a spring-time tradition every other year at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

The AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame is one of several events developed by AT&T and the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association to extend the Classic to the community and to future generations. Among these activities is the AT&T Cotton Bowl Art Contest involving more than 3,000 elementary children throughout North Texas during the fall.

Since its first game in 1937, the Classic has hosted 20 Pro Football Hall of Famers, 13 Outland Trophy winners, 12 Lombardi Award winners, 11 Heisman Trophy winners, 10 Maxwell Award winners and Walter Camp Award winners.

1988 Classic:
Texas A&M 35, Notre Dame 10
1993 Classic: Notre Dame 28, Texas A&M 3
1994 Classic: Notre Dame 24, Texas A&M 21
Classic Coaching Record: 2-1-0

Holtz is perhaps best known for being a quick wit, as well as offering memorable motivational speeches, being a stern taskmaster, and his success as a best-selling author and television analyst. Above all else, Holtz was a highly-successful football coach. Holtz led Notre Dame to three Cotton Bowl appearances, winning twice. In 1993, the Fighting Irish manhandled Texas A&M, 28-3, although it didn’t start out that way. A defensive stalemate ensued until Holtz pulled the middle screen out of his bag of tricks with 45 seconds before the half. The pass went to receiver Lake Dawson who sailed 40 yards for the first Fighting Irish score. It was a brilliant decision by Holtz and cracked the game wide open. A master of preparation, Holtz taught his players to never leave anything to chance, always come ready to play and prepare to win.

— ND —