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Beth Holtz, A Legacy of Love

Beth HoltzORLANDO, FL — It is with heavy hearts that the family of legendary football coach, Lou Holtz, announce the passing of his beloved wife and philanthropist, Beth Barcus Holtz. Beth passed away from complications due to prior years of cancer treatment at the age of 82.

Beth’s resilience, philanthropy and commitment to her faith amazed the family as she fought cancer in 1997 and again in 1999. Her strength and courage inspired people and influenced Coach Holtz to always lead with a positive approach.

Mrs. Holtz has been recognized over the years for her tireless dedication to causes that reflect her interests and care for others, including No One Dies Alone and the Holtz Family Foundation.

On September 16, 2008, The Notre Dame Monogram Club presented an honorary monogram to recognize her service to others supporting the club's mission to honor community, legacy, service, diversity and excellence.
In New York City on November 18, 2010, to honor Coach at the “Lou Holtz Coach For Life” reception and dinner, Beth expressed her love and humor:

"What a marvelous and exciting adventure God has given me: to live with the heartfelt love and support from and for Lou for more than forty-nine years. I have seen and felt the great joy from the thousands of lives he has touched in so many positive ways. Yet, he remains a humble man of integrity, who prompts me to enjoy life more with his well-known sense of humor. Hopefully, he will now give me a long-term contract instead of an annual renewal."
— Beth Holtz

Born to Eleanor Josephine (Czech) Barcus and John Campbell Barcus on March 29, 1938, Beth was raised in East Liverpool, Ohio. It was there that she met her future husband and partner for life.

Beth and Coach Holtz were married July 22, 1961 in East Liverpool, Ohio at Saint Ann Roman Catholic Church.

Together, Coach Holtz and Beth embarked on an incredible life that started in Iowa. Beth has faithfully been her husband’s greatest supporter and he was hers.

In 1966, a few weeks after giving birth to their third child, Beth returned to work as an X-ray technician after Coach's assistant position in South Carolina ended. To their surprise, the head coach who hired him, left for the Canadian Football League. The news came shortly after purchasing their first house. To keep her husband motivated and boost his spirits, she bought him a book by David J. Schwartz,

The Magic of Thinking Big. She had no idea how that book would ignite a life with Coach Holtz to include a National Championship, multiple bowl games, meeting U.S. Presidents and two popes and traveling the world.

Beth had a career of her own. She was an entrepreneur and founded The Tennis Hog Pro Shop in the late 1970’s and grew the business before selling it in the 1980’s

Beth worked with Coach Holtz to create the Holtz Charitable Foundation in 1998. The foundation promotes Christianity, education and charity with several grants awarded to non-profit organizations supporting the foundation's mission. Trade scholarships, juvenile diabetes, Universities, homeless centers and Christian ministries have benefited from their generosity.

In December 2003, the homeless shelter in Columbia, South Carolina, was named after Lou and Beth Holtz. High school seniors in her hometown of East Liverpool have been awarded annual life improvement scholarships through the Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame. Beth always held a special connection to the communities that she once called home.

Beth became a research ambassador with her husband for the University of Notre Dame in 2011. In this role she raised awareness of the importance to pursue research with the focus to "heal, unify and enlighten a world deeply in need." Cancer research was a particular focus. She was given a five-percent chance of survival from a rare form of cancer in 1997. She later shared that a strong commitment to her faith and the incredible support of her family made her recovery possible.

The aftermath of 83 radiations to treat throat cancer left Beth with a deteriorated and unrepairable lining of her throat and esophagus. Despite the significant daily challenges this presented, she remained actively dedicated to the causes that touched her heart. On October 19, 2019, she was honored with the Ladies Leaving Legacies Award presented by the Leaving Legacies Foundation supporting the Pediatric Ear, Nose, Throat & Audiology at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando for her philanthropy and charitable service.

Beth has been dedicated to and active in her faith throughout her life. Not only from the charitable efforts she actively engaged in but also in how she lived her life. She attended Mass regularly at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church. Her daily bible studies took place in a prayer room that was central to the design of their home, reaffirming the strength of her family centered on a deep commitment to her faith.

This enduring commitment in faith, provided a significant bond in Beth and Lou’s nearly 60 year marriage. When Coach would travel, wherever he went, at 10:00 p.m. each night they would both look out the window into the night with wonder and awe, thinking "My soul is in the sky" — William Shakespeare. Beth was Lou's soul and he was hers.

Beth and Coach Holtz have resided in Orlando, Florida. She is survived by her husband; their children Luanne (Terry) Altenbaumer, Skip (Jennifer) Holtz, Kevin (Kelly) Holtz and Elizabeth (Michael) Messaglia and nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild on the way.

A message from Tom GallowayHHFBethHoltz4

We heard Coach Holtz say it over and over, that no one will ever know you better or love you more than your parents. And he was able to tell us this because of the great love he had for his partner of 59 years, his loving, admired, and most importantly, his beloved wife and mother of their children, Beth.

It is with deep sadness that I send this note to all of you this morning to let you know of the passing of Beth. At 82 years young, Beth had beaten cancer multiple times over and endured repeated chemotherapy treatments. She was his rock, his purpose, his why. She was his inspiration, his meaning, his drive, his endless energy source, and the twinkle in his eye. And while he would often say that he no longer prayed with her, but to her, I think he honestly meant it. With their 59th wedding anniversary approaching on 22 July, he would undoubtedly repeat that phrase again and again - only to show all of us his admiration and respect for Beth.

The continuity of their generosity and exemplary leadership to the boys they shaped into men seems endless, for which we are ever thankful. The Holtz family has suggested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Foundation bearing their name, The Holtz’s Heroes Foundation, Inc., established for the betterment of our society:

Holtz’s Heroes Foundation, Inc.


Or to mail any remembrance to:
Holtz’s Heroes Foundation, Inc.
℅ Mr. Brian Baker
Secretary & Treasurer
9630 Claymount Lane
Fishers, IN 46037

The greatest gift, he also always told us, was to show your children how much their dad loved their mother….and there was never a finer example than what Coach showed all of us, his love for Beth.

With my regards, and on behalf of the Executive Committee of the Holtz’s Heroes Foundation, Inc., I remain

Sincerely yours,
Tom Galloway
President, Holtz’s Heroes Foundation

Reggie Brooks (ND '93) will become the Executive Director of the Holtz's Heroes Foundation Inc.

April 24, 2020

ReggieBrooksCoach Lou Holtz and the Executive Committee of the Holtz's Heroes Foundation, Inc. (HHF) are extremely pleased to announce that Reggie Brooks (ND '93) will become the Executive Director of the Holtz's Heroes Foundation Inc. effective in the Fall 2020.  A native of Tulsa, Okla., Brooks played under former Irish head coach Lou Holtz from 1989-92. After starting his career as a defensive back, Brooks eventually moved to tailback, where he earned second-team All-America status and finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy voting after a stellar senior campaign in 1992. His career average of 7.6 yards per rush is still a school record, while his 1,372 yards rushing in '92 rank third-best in single-season school history.  Brooks went on to have a career in the National Football League where he was named to the 1993 All Rookie Team while playing for the Washington Redskins. 

In his current role as the Assistant Athletics Director of Athletics Alumni Relationships for Notre Dame, Brooks serves as a liaison between the athletics department and alumni, working to increase stewardship and engagement with the implementation of strategies to promote outreach to former student-athletes and other guests of the department. Previously, he served as the school's Manager for Monogram/Football Alumni Relations. He continues to work directly with the Notre Dame Monogram Club staff and Irish head football coach Brian Kelly on numerous projects related to the Monogram Club and former football players. Brooks also assists Fighting Irish Digital Media (FIDM) with coverage of Notre Dame football, and is a fixture on the Official Notre Dame Football Post-Game Show, as well as other FIDM productions.

Brooks brings to the HHF over 25 years of leadership and relationship management experience.  "Having the opportunity to be the inaugural Executive Director of the Holtz's Heroes Foundation Inc. is truly humbling.  I look forward to furthering the values and lessons learned from my years both as a player under Coach Holtz and working with Coach Holtz professionally as an Athletics Administrator at Notre Dame.  In this role, I will carry on the mission of the HHF (formerly known as the Lou's Lads Foundation Inc.) of helping our former players and teammates by 1). raising educational scholarships for the children of former players, and 2). efficiently and effectively, raise resources and help manage the Bobby Satterfield Hardship Fund, which is designed to assist former players from Notre Dame under Coach Holtz, or their families, in times of need."

Tom Galloway (ND '87), President of the HHF, is a former walk-on at Notre Dame and a scholarship winner under Holtz. He was a member of Coach Holtz's first class at Notre Dame. Galloway says that adding Brooks to the leadership team is a game changer.  "What Reggie Brooks is able to bring to the HHF is unparalleled.  His relationships both within the University and with the former players under Lou Holtz is outstanding.  Reggie will be a huge asset to the Foundation."

"I am very excited for the future of the Holtz's Heroes Foundation, Inc." said Coach Lou Holtz. "We had a great selection of candidates to choose from. All would have been great choices, but Reggie Brooks stood out and I could not be happier that he will be our Executive Director. Reggie Brooks was a great player for me and he not only has great talent, but has excellent skills for taking Holtz's Heroes to the next level. I look forward to great things in the future for the Holtz's Heroes Foundation, Inc."

Holtz's Heroes Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to preserving and supporting the legacy of Coach Lou Holtz and his players while providing a platform to provide financial assistance for the educational needs of underprivileged students and legacies as well as support charitable and educational activities and organizations within the communities of its members.

If you would like to learn more about how you can support the Holtz's Heroes Foundation Inc., or have any questions, please direct them to Tom Galloway at TGalloway@HoltzsHeroes.org.


Orange Bowl Hall of Fame Presented by Autonation to Induct Trio of Bowl Legends for Class of 2019

December 30, 2019

MIAMI LAKES, FL - Three of the most talented players in college football history, a pair of first round picks in the NFL Draft, two Orange Bowl Game MVPs, and a BCS National Champion are among a class of three inductees to the 2019 Orange Bowl Hall of Fame presented by AutoNation.

University of Miami offensive lineman Vernon Carey, University of Florida wide receiver Travis Taylor and Notre Dame wide receiver Derrick Mayes will be joining elite company in the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame presented by AutoNation.

The three will be presented to the crowd during an on-field ceremony prior to the 86th Capital One Orange Bowl game between the University of Florida and the University of Virginia, Monday, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens.

The 2019 Hall of Fame class will join 119 others who have made an impact on the bowl since its beginning in 1935.

Vernon Carey paved the way for the Hurricanes to rush for 218 yards and back-up running back Jarrett Payton (Frank Gore was injured) to gain 131 rushing yards and earn Orange Bowl MVP Honors in Miami’s 16-14 win over Florida State in the 2004 Orange Bowl. He was the first-round draft choice of the Miami Dolphins going 19th overall and the third offensive lineman selected.

Travis Taylor caught seven passes for 159 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore, leading the Gators to a 31-10 win over Syracuse and securing their sixth straight 10-win season. Taylor was voted the MVP of the 1999 Orange Bowl and was later selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round (10th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft.

Derrick Mayes was the MVP of the 1996 Orange Bowl, hauling in six receptions for 96 yards and two touchdowns (33 and 39 yards) for the Irish. He also returned a punt for an apparent touchdown, that was called back for an illegal block. Mayes was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Green Bay Packers and was a part of their Super Bowl XXXI winning team.


Raghib "Rocket" Ismail named to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

January 7, 2019


Lou's Lads Foundation/1988 National Championship Team Ring Opening Bell at NYSE

December 21, 2018

Joe Delaney Honored

December 17, 2018

Joe Delaney honored as Subway Alumni during halftime of ND v Syracuse game at Yankee Stadium highlighting Lou's Lads and its involvement with Bread of Life Drive.


"Notre Dame Subway Alumni"

November 11, 2018

Peter Mulroy is loyal to the University of Notre Dame’s football team, which won one for the Gipper in the 1920s and is undefeated this season as it practices for Saturday’s game against Syracuse University at Yankee Stadium.

The basement in Mr. Mulroy’s house, on Staten Island, is a shrine to the team, with banners and photographs celebrating the Fighting Irish. He talks proudly about once high-fiving Rudy Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame walk-on famous for sacking a quarterback during the final seconds of the only game of his college career. Mr. Ruettiger’s story was the ...


August 5, 2018

In the spring of 1992 the Notre Dame Club of Staten Island began an annual Bread of Life Food Drive (BOLD) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of Our Lady’s University. With the subsequent help of coach Lou Holtz and Lou’s Lads (a collection of his former players and now known as Holtz's Heroes) in 2014, what our club thought would be a one-time service project has turned into an annual food drive held not only on Staten Island, but in 250 cities across America and around the world.



July 25, 2018

Randy Kinder didn’t really have an idea of what he was doing when he decided to give football a shot during his freshman year at East Lansing. But with several of his close friends also planning to try out for the team, Kinder knew he wanted to give a sport he was always a fan of a shot.  That decision turned out to be life-changing for Kinder.


April 26, 2018

Mark Monahan, Randy Kinder on behalf of LLF and Joe Delaney on behalf of BOLD receive award for charitable acts of good.



September 10, 2017

The seventh annual Lou’s Lads event—which takes place at the second Notre Dame home football game each season— came on the same date the Irish played host to a Southeastern Conference opponent in a dozen years with a matchup against Georgia.

But, for several hours Saturday morning at O’Brien’s atop the Compton Family Ice Arena, more than 300 guests packed the room to listen to former Irish football coach Lou Holtz rekindle memories, pay tribute to the foundation work of his former players and entertain an audience.

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