On Saturday morning, KU coach Charlie Weis will guide his Kansas team against Louisiana Tech, coached by first-year coach Skip Holtz.
But years before, when Weis was just getting comfy at Notre Dame, it was another Holtz who was often part of his weekly routine. Lou Holtz, Skip Holtz’s father, had spent a decade coaching at Notre Dame in the late 1980s and early ’90s, leading the school to a national title in 1988. So when Weis was hired at Notre Dame in late 2004, he made it a point to seek out advice from the elder Holtz, as well as former Notre Dame coach Ara Parseghian.
“I thought they would be great people to talk to,” Weis said this week. “They were great to me the whole time I was there. They were good confidants; they tell you the good and the bad. They would say the good doesn’t last very long, so let’s spend more time talking about the bad.”
Lou Holtz now spends most of his time as one of ESPN’s college football analysts. But Weis says he’s seen the elder Holtz tell a few of his old jokes and show off a couple of his card tricks.
The Kansas connections to the Holtz clan don’t stop at Weis; KU offensive line coach Tim Grunhard played for Holtz at Notre Dame in the late ’80s, while quarterbacks coach Ron Powlus was a top recruit for Holtz in the early ’90s.
Weis, of course, has one other thing in common with Holtz, the elder. Holtz had a son, Skip, who would grow to be a Division I head coach, experiencing success at East Carolina before spending three years at South Florida. Weis, meanwhile, has a son, Charlie Jr., who is attempting to follow in his father’s footsteps while serving as a student assistant on the Jayhawks’ staff.
“I think you get invaluable experience being around us,” Weis said, “but when he wants to talk about that stuff, he talks to (Bill) Belichick, because Belichick was a coach’s son. Sometimes I’ll walk in and say, ‘Oh who you talking to?’
“Oh, it’s Belichick?’ Oh, tell him I say hello.’
“I wasn’t a coach’s son, it’s a different perspective. You really don’t look at it that way. You look at Skip and (what) you go through as your dad being a coach, and you’re always ‘Lou’s Kid.’ I prefer to be ‘Charlie’s Dad,’ to tell you the truth.”