Notre Dame Mourns The Passing Of Beth Holtz

Bryan Driskell

Lou Holtz was a legendary head coach that won Notre Dame's last national championship, and any fan of the Fighting Irish during that era knew the great love he had for his wife, Beth Holtz.

Mrs. Holtz passed away this week at the age of 83. Like her husband, Beth Holtz was slight in stature but not in presence. Mrs. Holtz battled throat cancer for a long time, and as Chuck Freeby of 46 Sports pointed out, she went through 83 rounds of radiation treatment while battling cancer. 

The University of Notre Dame released a statement following the passing of Mrs. Holtz.

"“Beth was not only an advocate of our University’s mission and a loving presence in the Notre Dame family, but a wife to one of our coaches, a mom to one of our student-athletes and a supporter of many students through the Lou & Beth Holtz Scholarship at Notre Dame,” James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said in a statement. “Our University community mourns the loss of Beth and our prayers are with the Holtz family at this time.”

Here is more from the release:

"Lou and Beth Holtz founded the Holtz Charitable Foundation in 1998. The program is committed to promoting Christianity, education and charity and has awarded grants to many non-profit organizations that support its mission.

"The Holtz Charitable Foundation has provided important funding to several causes including trade scholarships, homeless centers and Christian ministries. The homeless shelter in Columbia, South Carolina, was named after Lou and Beth Holtz in December 2003, and both have been instrumental in helping the Center for the Homeless in South Bend. The foundation has also supported multiple Catholic universities across the nation. In 2015, the couple received the Notre Dame Prize for Catholic Education.

"Beth and Lou Holtz’s longtime philanthropy to Notre Dame encompasses many areas close to their hearts, from their membership in the Rockne Heritage Fund that underwrites financial aid to Notre Dame student-athletes, to their establishment in 1991 of the Lou and Beth Holtz Family Scholarship that assists deserving undergraduate students who have demonstrated financial need. As a result, fifty-four Notre Dame students have received nearly $1 million in scholarship funding."

Former Notre Dame running back Reggie Brooks recently made the decision to become the Executive Director of Holtz's Heroes. Brooks provided his own statement in the release by Notre Dame.

"Beth was an extraordinary human being who possessed the quiet strength necessary to support her equal, Coach Holtz. While Coach Holtz was in the spotlight, Beth was the foundation for the Holtz family which extended beyond their four biological children to include hundreds of young men coached, mentored and cared for throughout their many stops. She was a comforting mother for me and so many others whose mothers were miles away.”

Former Notre Dame tight end Oscar McBride also shared his thoughts about the passing of Mrs. Holtz.

“I am truly heartbroken at the news of the passing of Mrs. Holtz. While I am extremely sad for Skip, Elizabeth, Luanne and Kevin in their loss of mom and matriarch, my heart aches especially for Coach. Mrs. (Beth) Holtz was his soulmate… his everything… his person. I can’t imagine the loss he must be feeling right now. The McBride Family is praying for their emotional comfort and spiritual peace during this most difficult time."

Skip Holtz, the son of Lou and Beth Holtz, a Notre Dame graduate and current head coach of Louisiana Tech had this tweet:

A number of Coach Holtz's former players paid their condolences to their former coach while honoring a woman they clearly had a great deal of respect for. Here are some of those tweets.

Former players were not the only members of the Notre Dame community that were impacted by her passing.

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Comments (7)
No. 1-7
Irish For Life
Irish For Life

Prayers and condolences for the entire Holtz family and friends. Praying that she is Resting in Heaven as we speak.


Eternal rest grant unto them , O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.


So sorry to hear this. Praying for the entire Holtz family.


Prayers for the Holtz family. Her spirit will live on. She positively impacted the lives of so many and will never be forgotten.


A quiet hero. Beth Holtz was special in so many ways, not the least of which was her tremendous love and support for her entire family.
God has raised her up. I pray that He comforts Coach Lou and his family. My heart and prayers are with them.


So very sorry for the passing of Mrs. Holtz. I had the occasion to meet her in Detroit years ago, and she was such a lovely lady. God bless Coach, Skip and the entire family.


Rest In Peace Mrs Holtz. May the angels take you to heaven. God bless Lou and the rest of the family.