Originally created 11/22/04

Holtz gives up the game



CLEMSON, S.C. - University of South Carolina coach Lou Holtz announced Monday he will retire, ending one of the most successful and colorful college football careers.

"It's always with mixed emotions whenever you leave somewhere," Holtz said during a news conference where tears filled his eyes.

The 67-year-old coach told the team and his staff on Thursday, although he's said little publicly about his departure or about reports Steve Spurrier will succeed him.

College football was what Holtz held so dear for 33 seasons. He's eighth all time with 249 victories. But what he became known for was reviving dormant programs. He took six schools - William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina - to bowl games by his second year. He won a national championship with the Fighting Irish in 1988.

After leaving South Bend, Ind., in 1996 and thinking he would never coach again, the then 61-year-old Holtz was lured to Columbia to replace fired Brad Scott.

Holtz is the only coach in South Carolina history with two bowl victories.