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Lou Holtz Resigns at Notre Dame

November 19, 1996

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) _ Lou Holtz resigned as expected today as Notre Dame football coach. The resignation takes effect at end of season, Holtz’s 11th at Notre Dame.

In a statement, Holtz, 59, didn’t give a reason, though he said he did not want to break Knute Rockne’s record as winningest coach at Notre Dame.

``I cannot honestly give you a reason for my resignation, except to say I feel it is the right thing to do,″ he said.

``I have no desire to become the all-time winningest coach at Notre Dame,″ he said. ``The record belongs to Knute Rockne or some other coach in the future. I am comfortable leaving here with his record intact.″

Despite rumors that Holtz resigned so he could take another shot at the NFL, where he coached the New York Jets to a 3-10 record in 1976 before resigning with one game left, he said he has no plans once he leaves Notre Dame. One scenario has him coaching the Minnesota Vikings if Dennis Green leaves.

While he has no idea who will replace him, Holtz said he hopes it would be one of his assistants. Among the top contenders to take over college football’s glamour job are Northwestern’s Gary Barnett and Irish defensive coordinator Bob Davie.

Holtz’s resignation ends nearly a week of speculation that he was leaving.

The 10th-ranked Irish (7-2) have two games remaining. A bowl bid, probably the Orange or Fiesta, would close out Holtz’s career at Notre Dame.

He is 99-29-2 at Notre Dame _ six wins shy of tying Knute Rockne’s Irish school victory record _ and 215-94-7 overall. But he encountered rough times recently. Notre Dame lost 10 games in the last three seasons _ more than his 1988-1993 squads lost combined.

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