I was born January 6, 1937, eight years after Wall Street crashed and two years before John Steinbeck published The Grapes of Wrath, his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about the plight of a family during the Great Depression.
I do know this: God does answer your prayers, but it's not always in the way you expect. God knows what's best for us, though, so there's no need to worry when things don't go how we originally wanted them to go.
Sacrifice, discipline and prayer are essential. We gain strength through God's word. We receive grace from the sacrament. And when we fumble due to sin - and it's gonna happen - confession puts us back on the field.
Our cellar home had a kitchen and a combination bedroom and half bath, which meant we had a sink next to the bed. We had no refrigerator, no shower or tub, and no privacy. My parents shared the bedroom with my sister and me.
The Sisters of Notre Dame at St. Aloysius Grade School influenced my life tremendously. This was due to the fact that they encouraged you always to make sure that God is the focus of your life, and they didn't allow you to do anything except to the very best of your ability.
My first assistant-coaching job in football was at William & Mary in 1961. The pay wasn't much, so to get $300 more per year, I agreed to coach the golf team. I didn't even know how to keep score, and really, my main job was not to wreck the van on the way to tournaments.
As a coach, one thing that used to frustrate me was one player would make a bad decision, and that's all you would read about in the papers all over the country. We have so many athletes do so many wonderful things for other people, and you never read about it.
We were at a beach one summer, and I had a bathing suit on. My wife looked at me and said: 'Boy, you are skinny, aren't you?' I said: 'Honey, I'd like to remind you that it was minor defects like this that kept me from getting a better wife.'
At home I have a copy of the April 21, 1986, issue of 'Sports Illustrated.' I'm on the cover with the blurb, 'Can Lou Do It?' I'd just arrived at Notre Dame, and with spring football underway, I was the focal point of that week's coverage.
The University of Notre Dame does not redshirt, and I endorse that policy completely. I am very much in favor of redshirting, but not at Notre Dame. But there's no doubt about it. It puts us at a huge disadvantage.
If you look at the history of Notre Dame, if you hire a coach who's been successful at another college program, they're going to be ultra successful at Notre Dame because the talent will always be there.
I think that everybody needs four things in life. Everybody needs something to do regardless of age. Everybody needs someone to love. Everybody needs something to hope for, and, of course, everybody needs someone to believe in.
Had I been a great athlete, I'm not sure I would have even gone into coaching. I may have turned out feeling that my life ended when my athletic career ended, as happens so many times with various athletes.
Teamwork is the foundation of success. The three universal questions that an individual asks of his coach, player, employee, employer are: Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? And, do you care about me?
Do what's right! Do the best you can and treat others the way you want to be treated because they will ask three questions: (1) Can I trust you? (2) Are you committed? (3) Do you care about me as a person?
After landing his invasion forces on the shores of some country, the sixteenth-century Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes would immediately burn his own boats. He was sending his army a message: "We can't turn back. Either we succeed here or we die here." Excuses were not an option.
We are not going to win because you have a new head coach, any more than you are going to fix a flat tire by changing the driver. We will win the minute all of us get rid of excuses as to why we can't win and stop wallowing in self-pity.
All winning teams are goal-oriented. Teams like these win consistently because everyone connected with them concentrates on specific objectives. They go about their business with blinders on; nothing will distract them from achieving their aims.
Your neighbors will make judgments about you based on how your lawn and house look, and people who see you passing will judge you based on how clean you keep your car. It's not always fair, but it has always been true. Appearances matter, so make yours a good one.
The answers to these questions will determine your success or failure. 1) Can people trust me to do what's right? 2) Am I committed to doing my best? 3) Do I care about other people and show it? If the answers to these questions are yes, there is no way you can fail.
At age nine, I got a paper route. Sixty-six papers had to be delivered to sixty-six families every day. I also had to collect thirty cents a week from each customer. I owed the paper twenty cents per customer per week, and got to keep the rest. When I didn't collect, the balance came out of my profit. My average income was six dollars a week.
I have to admit, I sometimes wonder how much more successful I would have been as a coach had it not been for my spending summers on the golf course. I could have watched more film, that's for sure. One advantage Joe Paterno had over me was that he didn't play golf.
If you made me the national commissioner of football, I'd tell you one thing that I would mandate. The second Saturday in September, we're going to have conference day. Everybody from the SEC plays a Big 12 team. Everybody from the Big Ten is going to play the ACC. Everybody from the Big East is going to play the Pac-10.
In football, it's the job of the player to play, the coach to coach, the official to officiate. Each guy is charged with upholding his end, nothing more. In golf, the player, coach and official are rolled into one, and they overlap completely. Golf really is the best microcosm of life - or at least the way life should be.