Former coach Holtz mulls run for Congress in Fla.

August 4, 2009 5:16:33 PM PDT
Former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz is mulling a run for Congress in Florida as a Republican, a GOP strategist said Tuesday. Holtz could decide in the next several weeks whether to seek the central Florida congressional seat held by Democrat U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, said the strategist who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to talk about the matter.

The 72-year-old Holtz has never run for office. He has worked as an analyst at ESPN since retiring from his last coaching stint at the University of South Carolina at the end of the 2004 season.

Holtz is the only coach to guide six schools to a bowl game, and he led Notre Dame to its last national championship in 1988. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame last year.

A call to Holtz's home in Orlando was not returned Tuesday night.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz wouldn't go into the specifics of Holtz's contract and how a run for public office would affect his work.

"Each situation is different and it's pretty much speculative at this point what it would mean, but he tells us that he is committed to ESPN," Krulewitz said.

Republican leaders in central Florida were surprised that Holtz was considering a run for the seat since he hasn't been involved with the local party, said Lew Oliver, chairman of the Orange County Republican Executive Committee in Orlando.

"I doubt sincerely that 90 percent of the people who live in that district have heard the name before," Oliver said. "It would be different if the guy was named Bob Griese or Don Shula, or someone with Florida connections."

Three other Republicans - two state legislators and a local city commissioner - already plan to run for the GOP nomination.

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