Leave it to Speaker John A. Boehner to bring fellow Ohio Republican Steve Chabot face to face with his past.
Boehner tapped College Football Hall of Famer Lou Holtz to motivate House Republicans during the group’s retreat in Cambridge, Md. — a pep talk which included a throwback pic of a mutton-chopped Chabot being courted by the then-third-year coach to play ball at the College of William & Mary.
The Tribe racked up a disheartening 5-6 record that year. And Holtz decamped for North Carolina State University the following season.
But Chabot maintains he learned plenty from the man who would later guide the University of Notre Dame to the national championship in 1988.
“Coach Holtz valued the integrity of his players and stressed that they always be truthful. He also understood that we were attending William and Mary to get an education,” Chabot shared via email about Holtz’s insistence on honesty and hard work. “He never let us forget that we were students first, and football players second.”
Although four decades have transpired since they first met, Team Chabot assured HOH that the congressman remains close with the gridiron great. A Chabot aide said the lawmaker touched base with the sports icon when Holtz testified about illicit gambling before the House Judiciary Committee in mid-2000. And Chabot and Holtz traded advice in 2009 when the two-time retiree briefly flirted with the idea of running for office in Florida.
No word on whether they talked shop or just reminisced this time around.
But Chabot estimated that colleagues seemed to get a kick out of seeing him during his glory days.
“There was definitely some good natured ribbing,” Chabot said of the walk down memory lane.