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Holtz calls Arkansas rumors ‘flattering’, says ‘I am not looking to leave’ USF

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One rumored candidate for the suddenly-vacated head-coaching job at Arkansas has already tried to publicly quiet the speculation connecting him to the situation in Fayetteville.

Now another is attempting to do the same.

Perhaps because his father is a former Razorbacks head coach, Skip Holtz‘s name was one of the first mentioned in the immediate aftermath of Bobby Petrino‘s firing last night.  The USF head coach became aware of the speculation via his wife — “Why would anybody want to hire you? You were 5-7″ — and did the expected with Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday: attempted to tamp out the speculation without completely ruling anything out.

“I have not talked to anybody from Arkansas. We’ve been through this drill. It’s flattering your name is floating around, but right now we have a job to do here. We’re in the middle of spring ball and I don’t want any distractions with his team as we’re building this thing.”

“I am not looking to leave here. I am not calling anybody. I am not trying to put my name out there. I want to be the head football coach here,” he said. “I enjoy it here. I like it here. I addressed this in the offseason when some other opportunities were open. I said then I think we have a lot of things we want to get done here. We’ve got a great senior class coming back, and the attitude and morale of this football team is my No. 1 priority.”

Of course, anyone could parse Holtz’s words and point to phrases such as “right now” or “I am not looking to leave here” as proof that, while Holtz may not be actively pursuing the job, he’d be more than willing to listen if such an opportunity presented itself.

By the same token, it’s far from a given that Arkansas would even look to a second Holtz to guide the football program.  Petrino had obviously turned the Razorbacks into an upper-echelon program prior to his dismissal, seemingly making it, at minimum, a top-20 job capable of attracting high-quality candidates.

Given the timing of the opening, however, UA will likely have to wait until the next hiring cycle later this year for those type of candidates, relying instead on someone currently on the UA coaching staff for the time being.  That, though, won’t quell the speculation involving Holtz or any other potential successor until a “permanent” interim head coach is named.

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14 Responses to “Holtz calls Arkansas rumors ‘flattering’, says ‘I am not looking to leave’ USF”
  1. dcboy76 says: Apr 11, 2012 2:22 PM

    Funny, as a Pirate fan, I heard the same thing. Next it became a “Special Situation” and he was gone. If he tweets your colors, he’s gone…

  2. seanmmartin says: Apr 11, 2012 2:23 PM

    What if RichRod left Zona to coach in the SEC?

    Coaching carousel sucks

  3. Deb says: Apr 11, 2012 2:25 PM

    It’s bad timing to pick up a coach from another program. Unless some guru is sitting out there unclaimed, they may have to go with the interim coach for this season. And that probably would be the best thing for the team, too–just keeping them on course would be least disruptive.

  4. Deb says: Apr 11, 2012 2:46 PM

    @seanmartin …

    Why would Arkansas want RichRod????

  5. seanmmartin says: Apr 11, 2012 2:47 PM

    They wouldn’t. It was a joke.

    But at the same time, why would anyone want RichRod?

  6. florida727 says: Apr 11, 2012 2:53 PM

    Have to give Skip credit. He was schooled well by his dad, Lou. The EXACT politically correct things to say, yet extremely open-ended.

    “I’m not LOOKING to leave here.” Doesn’t say you wouldn’t consider it if approached though, does it Skip?

    “I WANT TO BE the football coach here.” Of course you do… until a better gig comes around, right, Skip?

    “I am not calling anybody.” But what if THEY are calling YOU, Skip?

    How about this, Skip, “Mr. Long, at Arkansas, if you are interested in me, thank you, sincerely, it’s flattering, but please remove my name from consideration. I will under no circumstances consider any other offer to coach any other college or professional football program/team. I made a contractual commitment to USF, and I WILL honor it.” See, something like that, Skip, leave little room for interpretation, or mis-interpretation. Get the idea?

  7. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 11, 2012 3:11 PM

    Truly it takes time to get the best. Keep what you have and let the Seniors keep doing what they know how to do for this season.
    If we had chosen someone right away we would probably have taken Jimbo. That was too close. If we had done that he would have slithered off as soon as Coach Bowden left. Thanks for giving Coach Stewart a chance and getting the best for us later. At least he loved the Mountaineers and wasn’t looking to leave as soon as a better offer came.
    Who knows you may find out that the one you have is the best for you. Never know unless you try.
    Still wondering, who would want to coach at Arkansas if that woman is there.

  8. Deb says: Apr 11, 2012 3:12 PM

    @seanmartin …

    Yeah … that’s what I was thinking :D

  9. fatcamper says: Apr 11, 2012 3:14 PM

    As a USF grad and one of the dwindling number of Skip supporters in Tampa I would love to keep him here. Last year was rough, but the program seems to be taking some strides in recruiting with Holtz. The USF job is a double-edged sword in that you are in fertile recruiting grounds, but everybody recruits heavily here.

    Unfortunately Skip didn’t do a good job giving a “thanks, but no thanks” on this one. I’d hate to see him go to the Razorbacks, but he is a great option for them and it would be an obvious step up going to the SEC for him. Things that make sense for both sides usually happen.

  10. stairwayto7 says: Apr 11, 2012 3:25 PM

    Skip is like his old man..a liar! He will be Arkansas new coach within a week!

  11. jonkybon says: Apr 11, 2012 4:44 PM

    Of coarse that’s coach speak for UA, show me the love ($$$) and I’ll ditch Fla in a NY minute.

  12. mountaineer50415 says: Apr 11, 2012 6:21 PM

    That makes no sense. Why would a winning program like Arkansas want a new coach that has a record of 5-7? I would think they would want to continue to win.
    Maybe they know something I do not. However, the year before wasn’t much better.
    He seems to do real well one week and lousy the next. No two weeks alike.
    Why not wait and get a really good coach? Give a great coach time to leave where they are with respect. If a person leaves in a hurry from one school they will do it again in another. There has to be some back up coaches out there that would be great.

  13. jmb795 says: Apr 11, 2012 8:54 PM

    Like the old saying goes;
    How do we know if a college football coach is lying?
    His lips are moving.

  14. pdcooper08 says: Apr 12, 2012 7:09 AM

    Promote Paul Petrino to the internal HC. He deserves it, plus he can bring back some respect to old man Petrino name.

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