Former Gamecock head coach Lou Holtz was among 21 people honored with enshrinement into the College Football Hall of Fame.
Holtz won a national championship at Notre Dame in 1988, but was also known for his uncanny ability to turn around struggling programs within two years. He did just that at Carolina when he took over in 1999. Holtz inherited a 1-10 squad from 1998, and stumbled to a winless first season in 1999.
However, just as he had done at five other schools, Holtz led USC to an 8-4 record and a bowl game in his second season. Not only did Carolina play in a bowl in 2000 (2001), but beat the Ohio State Buckeyes in the New Year’s Day Outback Bowl by a 24-7 score. Ironically, Holtz’ team defeated OSU, coached by fellow 2009 Hall of Fame inductee John Cooper. Holtz followed up in 2001 with an even better 9-3 record, and another win over the Buckeyes in Tampa’s Outback Bowl.
Lou Holtz’ tenure in Columbia lasted six years, 1999 to 2004, when he posted an overall record of 33-37. Although the record isn’t overly impressive, it would look pretty good without the 0-11 first season.