The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Football: Holtz returns for one more game

Bill Brink | Friday, October 3, 2008

Lou Holtz is coming back to Notre Dame – kind of.

Holtz will coach a team of Notre Dame football alumni against the Japanese National Team on July 25, 2009, in a game in the Tokyo Dome of Japan’s capital city, according to a press release.

Holtz, who coached at Notre Dame from 1986-1996 and won a National Championship with the 1988 Fighting Irish team, said in the release he will come back for “one more game.”

“I have cleared my schedule to coach in the game and I am really looking forward to it,” Holtz said. “We will bring a very competitive team that is not only excited about representing the University of Notre Dame in this game, but about the prospect of visiting Japan.”

Holtz will announce his intentions this afternoon at the weekly Notre Dame Football Luncheon, the release said.

Former Irish running back Reggie Brooks, who currently handles Notre Dame Football Alumni Relations, will recruit players for the game, the release said. He will focus on those who have graduated in the last 10 years.

The team, the release said, will meet in South Bend July 17 and 18 for mini-camp before heading to Japan.

“I have previously coached in Japan three different times and had a memorable experience each time,” Holtz said. “The Japanese people were kind, congenial and helpful. I learned a great deal from them on each and every trip.”

The game will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Japan American Football Association (JAFA), the release said.

Global Football, an organization that coordinates football at all levels and runs fantasy camps, has organized the game. Patrick Steenberge, President of Global Football and the U.S. event producer for the game, played quarterback for Notre Dame in the 1970s under Ara Parseghian.

“We are honored to be working with Notre Dame and of course with Coach Holtz on this exciting venture,” he said in the release.

Steenberge is also the camp director of Notre Dame’s fantasy camp that takes place every July as well.

“We have enjoyed a successful run with the Notre Dame Football Fantasy Camp and are now looking forward to some great experiences both on and off the field in Japan,” Steenberge said in the release. “This event fits perfectly within the Global Football mission of uniting the world through American football.”

Holtz named Bill Lewis, a former assistant coach at Notre Dame and former coach at Georgia Tech, East Carolina and Wyoming, as his assistant coach and defensive backs coach.

Holtz said in the release he was excited about the game and felt fans and alumni would be as well.

“The fine players we have contacted to play in this game are excited about the prospect of helping the Japan American Football Association celebrate 75 years of football,” he said. “We are also aware that Japan’s football is very good and we will have to play our very best to compete with their national team and you can rest assured we will bring a very good team