Oct. 15, 1996
Off The Practice Field….Head Coach Lou Holtz
“This is Sports Information Director John Heisler here at Notre Dame. A couple reminders, kickoff this weekend is at 1:30. We normallyhave Sunday wrap-up at 10:30 on Sunday morning, that will not behappening; nor will our press conference next Tuesday during the OpenDate because between the Open Date and fall break, our coaches andplayers are really not going to be here for three or four days.
“We won’t be starting practice again untilThursday, I believe. Our next scheduled press conference won’t be untilTuesday the 30th of October, I guess, basically two weeks from today. Tobegin this afternoon, Coach Holtz will make some open something remarks;then he will take some questions.”
COACH HOLTZ: “First of all, wrappingup the University of Washington game, looking at the film, we probablyplayed as well on offense and defense for about 56 minutes of that gameas we have in a long time. Many people played awfully, awfully well. Ispecifically wish to point out Peter Chryplewicz and Mike Doughty andMike Rosenthal. Those three, the other ones all played well, but thosethree were exceptional.”
(On the receivers) “I don’t think I have ever seen a positionimprove as much from the time they reported in the fall to where we areright now today as our receiving core has. Just watching them practiceyesterday, they just don’t look like the same group as they did three,four weeks ago and they are really, really playing well – blocking awfulwell, running better routes now; catching the ball. Cikai Champion isreally playing well without the football.”
(On the defense) “Defensively I was surprisedthat we could play as well against Washington as we did. I wassurprised we stopped the run as consistently as we did not because Idon’t think we have a very fine defense, but because Washington has avery, very explosive offense. I mean, they moved the ball againsteverybody. Renaldo Wynn and Bert Berry really had an exceptional game,but all of our football team did. Our secondary showed great improvementthere and we move on.”
(On injuries) “We came out of Washington, once again, without anyserious injuries which I am happy to report, but we have a lot of bumpsand bruises that are starting to add up. Ivory Covington will not beable to practice today, nor will Jarvis Edwards. Renaldo Wynn still hasa bad ankle, and, you know, they may or may not be able to play onSaturday. I would think they probably can, if they keep making progress at the present time, but what we need is we need the practicetime against the Air Force Academy.”
(On the wishbone) “I think our players buried theWashington game and realize the challenge we have ahead of them thisweek. You go from a one-back offense to all of a sudden a team that runsa wishbone as well as they do, and their quarterback Beau Morgan is justan exceptionally fine, fine player. And you know, Fisher DeBerry hasbeen there so long and does such a tremendous job with them that theypresent an awful lot of problems to you in a lot of different ways.
“Buttrying to get ready for the wishbone in a short period of time is aproblem in itself. I think Beau Morgan, as I said, is one of the betteroption quarterbacks I have ever seen and you would have to go back topossibly Thomas Lott, or Dee Dowis, I think those three would — ifpeople asked me who are the three wishbone quarterbacks you remember themost would be Lott, Dee Dowis and Beau Morgan, but he is an excitingoffensive player. They run the offense so well. The only way you have achance against wishbone and it could not be defended on paper. You putit on the board; you cannot take a chalk and say he does this; he doesthat. You can’t defend it on the paper. The thing that makes Air Forceso difficult is that they have been running this offense for years, andthey make great adjustments during the course of the game and we playedthem last year and had some degree of success against them last year.
“Ithas been my experience when you go against an offense of this nature, ifyou have some degree of success one year, you can bet your bottom dollaryou may not have as much success the next year because they have studiedyou for the past year. So it does present some problems to us.”
(On the offense) “Offensively, we ran the ball very, very well last week and probably ranit better than I thought. It was ironic that Notre Dame would have fourrushers that rushed for 100 yards on Sunday in the pros – Jerome Bettis,Ray Zellars, Ricky Waters and Anthony Johnson all rushed for 100 yards. So we are little bit more comfortable when we are run-oriented stylefootball team and I am that way, but that doesn’t mean you don’t throwthe football.
“We were more productive throwing the football, bythrowing it fewer times than we have in the past. Air Force Academy willdo a lot of twisting and stuntin and slanting and you don’t know exactlywhat they are going to do; once again we had a lot of success runningthe football against them last year, but you never get a lot of bigplays against Air Force Academy. You go back and look at last year’sgame, we played awful well and ran the ball well, but there weren’t anyreally big plays that did it.
“The area that I am greatly concerned aboutis the kicking game. Air Force is very, very solid and I am worriedabout their kickoff return; our kickoff coverage, which is something Ihaven’t worried about in the past. The thing I told the football teamyesterday, we are playing too good a defense to give up 20 points and weare giving up — we gave up 20 points, not because of our defense, butour failure to field punts; failure to cover kickoffs adequately and ourfailure to hang on the ball to consistent times, put our defense in poorfield position.”
(On defense, again) “I think our defense was put in poor field position waytoo many times last week and have been this entire year. When you playthe Academy the one thing you better do, you better be well disciplinedand you better play with great execution. This is the only way that youare going to be able to beat the Air Force Academy. I don’t rememberwhat the score was exactly, but I remember watching it in the Bowl Gamelast year, Air Force, I think, lost the Bowl Game and they scored 45points in that Bowl Game. So, you know, you don’t want to play afootball team that is used to winning after a loss. You don’t like toplay a football team that is used to losing after a win.”
(On focus) “But we are inthe last week of mid-term exams. I have been pleased with the players’sconcentration; been pleased with the players’s focus. But we have tohave two good days of practice. We could not simulate the way BeauMorgan runs the option. I mean, there is just no way you can. Now, wecan’t afford the luxury of having Jarious Jackson going down and run thescout squad such as we did last year because we still had Ron Powlus andTom Krug. This year we only have three quarterbacks on scholarship andJarious Jackson is a backup quarterback and has to receive ample amountof work in practice to be adequately prepared for the football game. Sothe kicking game concerns me, but, you know, once again, we will go outto practice today and we will see; looked at practice yesterday and hadsome concerns after practice, but we will just have to see how today’slooks.”
Q. “Lou, in defensing (sic) the wishbone, is the philosophy to gang upand stop the run and force them to passers or is that oversimplifyingthings?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I think that oversimplifies a little bit.First of all, they run it more like Hawaii and the Naval Academy now. They run more different formations. They will put three wideouts to oneside. They will have a tightened. They’ll be unbalanced. They presenta lot of different formations, but they run very, very few plays andmost of the plays they run feature their fullback or Dee Dallas.
“Theyalso will throw good play action passing. I think that they were a lotlike we were last week. And the fact that they tried to establish therun and you know, you can jam 11 people up on the run, the one thingabout it, 11 people on the line of scrimmage is not going to stop theoption not if they execute it flawlessly. You can say, well, we aregoing to have this guy on the dime; this guy on the quarterback and thisguy on the pitch and this guy on the pass. Well, that takes four guysto one side. The other side, we better have a guy on the quarterback;guy on the fullback; guy on the pitch; guy on the past, that is 8.
“Well, if they run the trap up inside we better have a guy here – that isprovided that — Air Force has 11 guys too that are assigned to blockyour guys. And the option, there is just no way in this world you couldpossibly defend it, unless you execute very, very well. And you aren’tgoing to stop it. You try to give them a bad play. You try to throwthem off rhythm. You try to get them where they are forced into beingbehind the chain (sic), so to speak, in other words, it is second and 9or third and 6; then you are ahead, and you have a chance that way.”
Q. “Coach, after the Ohio State game some of the players, specifically,Ron Powlus, was quoted as saying the season was basically over. Afterthe dominating performance last week against the nationally ranked Huskydefense, your thoughts now on the remainder of the season with onlysix, seven teams in front of you?”
COACH HOLTZ: “You know, the seasonis not over for us. I didn’t think it was. It felt like the world wasover; not the season. You know, you wake up Sunday morning, you feellike you are going to die and afraid you won’t. You just have thatfeeling, but you just have to bounce back from it. Strange thingshappen. Let’s win as many games as we possibly can; this next one up onthe scene and let us go from there. The fact that it does present manychallenges keeps it interesting, but I have never talked to the footballteam about a National Championship since the loss to Ohio State. As faras I know, let us just go play Air Force and see what happens.”
Q. “I can’t remember the particular year, but one year we had BryantYoung and Eric Jones both went down at Air Force because of the blockingtechniques of Air Force. Does that concern you and do you talk to CoachMoore and the linemen about that?”
COACH HOLTZ: “We discussed that. Wediscussed the fact we went out there and lost Bryant Young and we lostEric Jones that same game. We also had Frank Jacobs break his leg andthen went to professional baseball after that. Air Force does not blockas low as they did before.
“I must say this that what Air Force did wasperfectly legal, within the rules. You are allowed to clip a guy ifit’s in within X amount of yards and Air Force — and Fisher DeBerry inparticular would never tolerate or coach anything that was not withinthe rules. But when you play this style offense, you are more apt tolose defensive linemen than you are when you are rushing the passer orthings along that nature. The other thing that causes more injuries withthis, it is a different fit.
“In other words, the action happens alittle bit quicker and you don’t — we haven’t seen the wishbone. Onetime when I first came here and Air Force had beaten us four straightyears, we had a little bit of an advantage because with Tony Rice andsome of them, we ran a little bit of the wishbone. You put Tony Rice atquarterback; you put rocket at one halfback and Mark Green or RickyWaters at the other, and, you know, Anthony Johnson at fullback, prettygood wishbone team back there, so we got a chance to practice against itall spring. Now this is completely different. This is just going to bea new experience for our players.”
Q. The one advantage you had last year with your special teams was thatyou had a volunteer assistant Jon Fabris who could devote all of histime on special teams. What can you do to try to bridge that gap withhim not being there?”
COACH HOLTZ: “Well, I don’t think our problem onfield position — and let us take the punt return. Our only problemthat I see on the punt return is not fielding the ball. I mean, as manytimes as Washington punted last year – you can go and check the film -when the guy punted the ball, there was not a single person onWashington’s team across the line of scrimmage – not one. Deke Cooperand Randy Kinder were doing a great job on the wideout. They weren’t afactor.
“Even though the punts weren’t long, we just let the puntbounce. If we would catch the ball, and when we do catch it, such as wedid against Ohio State, I think that our punt return is excellent. Ifeel very comfortable with that. Let us just field the darn ball. Nowif we have to take somebody who is not capable of going 91 yards withit, but will make a good judgment of catching the ball. Our kickoffreturn has been pretty good. What made it bad last week was ourinability to hang on to it, and fumbling it.
“Now we go look at the PAT. We had a PAT blocked. There was no penetration, but you cannot kickthe ball this high, you know, I am sorry it wasn’t blocked, I am sorryit was blocked because it would have been interesting to see whether itgot over the cross bar or not. That would have been an interestingthing to see. And we have talked about this in practice the precedingweek. He just doesn’t get the ball up high and he has got to do that. So it is not a case where although you have all kind of seepage — onetime I got a little seepage.
“The one that was blocked was absolutely no seepage. The area of concern that I have is our kickoff coverage. Wehave not been very good, but that is the only area that I feel that weare not executing well in the kicking game other than decision making ifyou catch the ball seven yards in the end zone that you do not bring itout – and being able to field the ball.”
Q. I saw Deke Cooper returning kickoffs yesterday. Is that just anexperiment or how serious are you about that?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I don’t knowhow serious I am, but I can tell you how mad I was. I was mad. I alsohad him running back punts. I don’t know – once I am not mad anymore,we will look at the situation and give you an honest evaluation. Youalso didn’t see Sanson kicking yesterday either. We will just see.”
Q. In light of the success you had on offense Saturday and the way youhad it, is the so-called Blarney offense, as we know it, is that dying anatural death?”
COACH HOLTZ: “What we did with that is — when we firststarted looking at it, we had Derrick Mayes you spread out there whenpeople went one-on-one such as Florida State did he got a couple oftouchdowns and was open some other times.
“If we can get the caliber ofreceivers and the maturity to beat man-on-man coverage and ourquarterback can deliver the ball like I think Ron Powlus can, then Ithink we can continue to do that because when you look at it on film,and you say, gee, we ought to be able to do this and this. I mean,there are some things that should open up the running game if you can goout and force double coverage.
“But I do think we always have to keep asemblance of power football and a semblance of option football in ourgame package to discourage strict man-coverage. And discourage a lot ofthe twist and the slants and other things that we were starting to seeon a regular basis. But I think based on what we have, talent riseright now, we still have part of it in the offense, but we have tried tosimplify down what we can do and execute.”
Q. Because Rosenthal had said after the game, he said we threw away theold stuff and went back to the old stuff….?”
COACH HOLTZ: “That is not absolutely true. We put an accentuation on some things. And we felt to really hone in on things we had never done. Here is theother thing, and, you know, I don’t particularly get excited talkingabout theory publicly, but just let me say this: In the past when youhave limited number of selections, you get to those selections. We cameout of the Ohio State game we hardly ran anything more than once ortwice. We never really gave it a chance. Then they defend this and soyou jump to a different formation.
“What we have always done in the pastis we are in these couple of formations, if you do this, this is open;you do this, but we can do that because we have had a lot of repetitions on it and executed it and that is what I think when he saidwent back to the way old stuff was just, hey, very, very much morelimited style offense. However, in the basis of the week with thebackground we have, we can change our offense drastically fromweek-to-week now.”
Q. Also, can you comment on the improvement in Rick Kaczenski from lastyear to now?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I have said this so many times. I think RickKaczenski is probably as good a center as we have had here, except heisn’t real strong. But boy, I will tell you what, he is more mature. He is a leader of the offensive line. I don’t think there is any doubtabout that; whereas the year before Leahy and Dusty Zeigler were more inline with that.
“He is a very smart football player. He is a greatcompetitor, very good technique – technician-type player; takes the gamevery, very serious. He is great for the team and he loves the game. Ayear ago when we had to play him, I didn’t know if he would ever playhere. I really didn’t because he just wasn’t very strong, but, boy, youget him in the game and he understands leverage and he is a very, verygood football player.”
Q. Couple of seasons ago you used to get asked why don’t you throw thetightend more. This season, through five games, I think he is eitherleading with team interceptions or near the top. How has that kind ofevolved in terms of is it just because Ron is more comfortable throwingto him or is it something in the offense and do you still get asked whydon’t you throw the tight end more?”
COACH HOLTZ: “That is all everybodyasks, why don’t you throw the tight end. At every luncheon – I don’teven bother to answer the question, but every luncheon, throw it to thetightend, I am sure we will get that question. The tight end to someteams that run strictly a passing game style offense, they will throw tothe tight end where they will have two tight ends, etcetera.
“The teamsthat throw a lot to a tight end are ones that have two tight ends, but alot of football teams, they don’t even have a tight end. And when theydo have a tight end, they don’t use him much. It is hard to get theball to a tight end with only one in the game. But he also ismore experienced receiver.
“He is finding in the open area more. And weare calling — all our patterns are mirrored, in other words, we can runthe same pattern from one formation to another formation. But now we areputting it in formation to accentuate the tight ends more often thanbefore it would be to accentuate a Derrick Mayes, a Lake Dawson, andjust recently we have gone to where it has accentuated the tight end.”
Q. “The other thing is, on the punts you have talked off-season abouthow Autry tended to let them bounce and that has become a problem. Have you considered putting a short man – not a short man, but someone10 yards, within 10 yards in front of him to catch the short punts and…?”
COACH HOLTZ: “It has always been my basic premise — that is a very,very good question — to always put two people; not one – two – to puttwo people here, one at 25 on the left; one at 20 on the right. Now thereason you put the guy on the right at 20, so if the right-footer kickershanks it to the left, it isn’t going to go that far. And anything thatthey don’t have to move back on, they fair catch it immediately. Thenyou put your other punter back there at the depth whatever the punter isaveraging.
“The problem we had and the reason we can’t do that is peoplesplit out two wide guys. So those two guys that are normally back herehave had to go up and cover that. Well, you say, let’s take two otherguys out there and still put the two back there, then you areoutnumbered up front if they wish to run a fake punt and snap the ballto the fullback.
“So I have always believed — one thing that I havebeen adamant about is the ball bouncing. We lost 41 yards last weekalone on the ball bouncing. That is four first downs. And so that isour basic premise, eight-man front with those two guys back there. Butwe — what we have done in practice this week is we have had HunterSmith and Palumbo and Wachtel with the ball.
“And our guys’ normaldepth, and they all threw like they are going to kick it, but adifferent guy kicks it. Hunter Smith may boom it – blocked or you mayhave to run up quite a ways to get to get it. So just trying to get atthat, they get used to catching Hunter Smith and they think everythingis going to sail, but when the nose is up and it doesn’t — but it isfrustrating and I have no — I think Autry Denson catches puntsexceptionally well, exceptionally well. But we have got to do something.”
Q. “A lot of frustration after the Ohio State game and after this pastgame seemed to be a lot of, I guess, confidence in your voice, the wayyou address the fact that we went back and played note Notre Damefootball; you talked about the 12 passes that Ron Powlus threw was morelike the old style, that type of thing. You said before that whenplayers come in they will be us and we will be them and we are not goingto be them. Do you look back at situations — there was another time, Ithink in a Bowl Game where you changed the offense to the simple thing– against Florida in the Sugar Bowl? Are there times as a coach youwant to adapt your offense; you want to be a little bit more open tomaybe let Ron throw 25 places and maybe you regret maybe the adjustmentbecause it is not maybe more your style?
COACH HOLTZ: “No — I thinkthat is a good question. I think hindsight you can always look and saythis and that, but I think there is a lot of things to take intoaccount, one is recruiting.
“We have some good young receivers becauseof what we did. We have a quarterback, incoming freshman, that canthrow the ball pretty well; has good height. I think that you have tolook at your academic schedule, how much guys could throw; weatherconditions, etcetera, I do think we need to be more wide open. I thinkwe are in a better position to play it more wide open when we absolutelyhave to, but I also that football is a game of toughness and execution,etcetera.
“Nebraska has won a lot of football games doing what Notre Damehas done over the past eleven years. There have been some other teamsand Ohio State is pretty much that way. I think you have got to be ableto run the football when you are in the midwest. I think with PennState, Michigan, Notre Dame, Nebraska, you know, the teams that havebeen real good through the midwest because of weather, one, because ofthe ability to throw and catch year-round, because of the wind, becauseof a variety of different things it is hard to be a finesse passing teamcompletely in this area.
“You go down south, it becomes more easier todo that. But to be successful in the game of football you must be ableto run the football. We went back to more two-backs, not because wedidn’t want to split people out but because we couldn’t run the footballwhen they just outnumbered us with only one back. We only had one backyou can only basically run two plays, zone play and counter play andthat is it, occasionally a trap. And so with our inability to run thefootball, you must be able to run the football to win.
“And evenFlorida runs the football to win. And when Bobby Bowden, and God blesshis soul, he may disagree with this, but I am just going to tell youwhat I observed, when Bobby Bowden is in a big game, Warrick Dunncarries the. Ball when they play games with 45 points they throw it 60times. That is my observations. Warrick Dunn, all he ever does is handthe ball to him when we play him. Hands the ball to him when they playMiami. I watched him one game and they won by 40 and Warrick Dunncarried the ball twice, so you must be able to run the football to winthe ball games.”
Q. You have got a lot of people on the defense with a lot of quicknessand agility whereas maybe a little bit more we had a little bit moresize. In games like this against Air Force and then Navy, does it makeit a little bit easier to adapt to the option knowing that you have gotpeople that are not only good size, but perhaps a little bit quicker?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I think it helps us to have people like Kory Minor andBert Berry on the ends that can run and Tatum and Cobbins inside thatcan run, Renaldo and Dansby — I wish our safeties ran a little bitbetter because I think that is going to be important. But we run prettywell everywhere except maybe at safety. We have pretty good team speedthere. And that helps. If we are going in the right direction, but ifwe are running in the wrong direction, speed hurts.”
Q. “In regards to the running game coming into this year you had RandyKinder leading the team last year and being right up there on the listof Irish backs and he was injured early on and now you have Densonestablished himself so well. What is the status of Kinder as of rightnow? Where does he sit in your mind?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I think Kinder andFarmer both have to make a major contribution every Saturday. AutryDenson was the starter because he basically stayed healthy and he hasdone a nice job and he catches the ball very, very well. Randy Kindermissed all of spring practice, and of course, he missed much oftwo-a-days and the first couple of games and that made it difficult.
“But as I said last week, I thought Randy Kinder and Farmer practicedwell as anybody and I thought they both ran very, very well and playedwell on Saturday and I think that, you know, we played Jamie Spencer alittle bit more. You know, you need to have fresh backs in there and,you know, we are fortunate that all three of them are healthy right now,so I definitely think Randy Kinder has got to play a prominent role onour team.”
Q. “Coach, are you planning on starting Deke at free safety and can youtalk about have you saw some better things from Jarvis last week?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I thought Jarvis stepped in and play very, very well when he wasin the ballgame. I thought Jarvis showed great improvement. But Jarvishas a knee that is bothering him right now and, you know, one of thesad things as a football coach is an individual really wants to be onthe field and yet he gets these nagging injuries all the time and itmakes it seem like, well, he is missing a lot of practice time; whereas,in essence, according to our trainer, he is trying to cover up some ofthese things, you know, so I feel for Jarvis because I know he wants tobe there.
“But Deke Cooper stepped in and for a short period of timereally played awfully, awfully well, and, gee, he isn’t very quick, andyet we got him as our sprinter on the punt team, and he and Kinder, Ithought, did a tremendous job. Our punt team was very, very good. But,yeah, Jarvis is anxious to get back and we are anxious to have him back. He has a lot of experience; he has good size; good speed.”
Q. “I believe you said Morgan is one guy you almost assign somebody to,on defense, you know, the quarterback on the option, is that the way yougo about starting to stop the option is assigning someone to thequarterback and going from there?”
COACH HOLTZ: “Yeah, you basically –our basic philosophy is you assign everybody to the guy with the ball.The problem is who has the ball. And where it gets to be a chess gameis if you assign a certain guy to Beau Morgan, they are going to assigna guy or two to block that guy, and so, it comes down to execution.
“Youare just — No. 1, you aren’t going to stop Beau Morgan; you aren’tgoing to shut him off. Memorable words of Sports Center, you can’t stophim, you can only hope to slow him down. I never heard that before atSports Center, but that sort applies to Beau Morgan.”
Q. “Coach, you are through kind of the murderous row on your schedule,everybody looked at Texas, Ohio State and Washington as being a toughpart of your schedule. Now you have got some teams that you shouldbeat, the trip to Ireland coming up; next week is Boston College. Whatdo you do to guard against a let-down and make sure your football teamdoesn’t look past somebody and start thinking about Southern Cal all ofa sudden?”
COACH HOLTZ: “You know, I do what you all do. I get anewspaper, football news or kickoff and I say, oh, geez, they are 9 and2; oh, next team, they are 10 and 1. Then I look at us and, say, oh,gee. I am sure people look at it and say, oh, yeah– I am going to tellyou something, need I not remind you about all the upsets that occurredduring the course of a season and I have been upset enough to writevolumes.
“How many times I have been upset when people say what game doyou remember the most, God, I think two Stanford games; I think ofTennessee; I think of BYU. I think of Boston College. I think of NorthWestern. You know, it just happens. Were there any upsets last week?Ohio State didn’t have any trouble with North Western; did they? NorthWestern didn’t have seven calls to go against them? Texas got beat–looked at that, there is no way.
“I mean, that is a win. Did they playit? The point I trying to make and I am not trying to be facetious, butI am like you, I look at (inaudible) Boy, you look at it from our end,you look at what happens around you, I am scared to death every Saturdayand particularly against a wishbone and particularly when we are on theroad and particularly on astroturf. Those things all scare me. Wishbone, on the road, astroturf.”
Q. “My question is about your son Skip. I guess when he first got thejob three years ago a lot had been said about the fact that he is yourson and whether fairly or unfairly, but do you think in the threeseasons there he has kind of changed those perceptions; kind have beenable to stand out on his own?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I think that is a questionsomebody else can answer. He is coming in this weekend to visit us. Iam looking forward to having him. All I can tell you is talking to thepeople in Connecticut, they are delighted with the job he is doing, thepeople there.
” ut I am very, very proud of him. I don’t care if heever wins a football game. I don’t care if he is in coaching. I don’tcare what he does. I am proud of him as I am all my children because ofthe person he is, the morals and the values and the way he treatspeople. I could not — no father could ever be more proud of hischildren than I am of mine.”
Q. “Do you see him as having a potential to move up in Major Division Ischool before too long?”
COACH HOLTZ: “I think that — all I can tell youas an assistant coach that he was an outstanding assistant coach. Hewas awfully good in the press box. He was good with players. He is goodat meetings. I think that he is what, 32, 33 years of age? I think heis very mature for his age.
“I think his values are appropriate. Whether he gets another opportunity, I don’t even think he is lookingfor one. He is very happy with Connecticut and the people there atConnecticut, but that is — he has got to lead his own life. I can onlylead one and that is mine, and let me philosophize here for a minute.When we were getting ready to make a decision when the children wereyoung about whether to accept a job or not, I said to my wife, gee, Idon’t want to move the children.
“And my wife said to me something thatis very, very apropos and I never even thought of. She said, you know– she said when they get to be old enough they can lead their lives butthey aren’t going to lead their lives and our lives. We are going tolive our lives and then they can live their lives. And I thought ifthat was fair enough when they were younger that we are going to liveour lives and they are going to live their lives, we are not going toallow Skip and the rest of the children to live their lives and make thechoices that they want to, so whatever happens to Skip is going to behis choice, but we will support him.”
Q. “I was hoping you could step aside from the season for a moment tellme why you think Notre Dame has experienced such broad national faninterest over the years?”
COACH HOLTZ: “Oh, I think that– if you are ever on the campus or come — just something about NotreDame and the dome. It is what other people have said about it. And youknow, the people come here. The people come here to a game or see thiscampus, they talk about the beauty and they talk about the peace and thetranquility and they talk about the Sacred Heart and the students andeverything else; then they pass it onto somebody else.
“I was never evenon this campus and I was a big Notre Dame fan. Why? Because of thestories I heard about Notre Dame from the nuns, from the priests; frommy grandfather, from everybody else. It was just very, very special andI got to say this, Notre Dame just has a magical ring, our lady, youtalk about — I’d even see something, Notre Dame cathedral in France orsomething like that, I don’t know, it just has a special, specialmeaning and I have shared that with other children.
“I have got agrandson two and a half years. Where are you going to school? “NotreDame.” It is ground into him already and his mother is a Florida Stategrad. And I know Skip hadn’t taught him to say anything. The kid justspeaks from his heart. He knows where he needs to go. It is just getspast onto people. Thank you very much.”