As expected, the number of coaches hitting the unemployment line has grown by one Sunday.
The latest to add “ex” to his title is Skip Holtz, with South Florida announcing this afternoon that the son of Lou has been dismissed. Speculation had been growing in recent weeks that Holtz’s future with the Bulls was tenuous at best, with the din reaching a crescendo after USF had put the finishing touches on the worst year in the program’s history Saturday.
Athletic director Doug Woolard labeled the decision “very difficult” is a statement released by the school.
“During his three seasons as our head coach, Skip has served the university and the football program admirably,” Woolard said. “Our team has excelled in the classroom, setting a new USF standard for team GPA. Our APR scores are up as well. Skip’s hard work in stressing the academic side of student life has been critical in that progress. He has worked tirelessly, helping to mold our football players into outstanding young men. His community work, his representation of USF, and his work ethic have all been exemplary. It is not easy to part ways with such a good man. I am thankful for his friendship, and for what he has done for USF Athletics.”
Holtz parlayed 18 wins in his last two seasons at East Carolina into the job at South Florida. Unfortunately for the coach, his best year was his first, winning eight games in 2010. It was all downhill from there for the Bulls, with, after five wins last season, Holtz’s tenure bottomed out in a three win season this year.
The Bulls have won just two Big East games total the past two seasons, and just three of their past 19 games against FBS-level teams.
“I want to thank my assistant coaches, staff, the players and their families for their dedication and loyalty,” Holtz said in his statement. “I’m extremely proud of how they fought through adversity during this time. Throughout my time here, the young men on this team never gave up, and that reflects on their character as individuals and as a team. I believe we made some positive strides, most notably in our academics, that were helping to build a foundation for this program and I would have liked the opportunity to see it through.
“But, I understand the administration’s decision and wish them nothing but success in the future. I’m grateful to the University of South Florida, President Genshaft and Doug Woolard for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this fine institution.”
In a fit of irony, Holtz left ECU for USF in part to climb to a school that was a member of a BCS conference. Less than a week ago, ECU announced it was leaving Conference USA for… the Big East, the Bulls’ current conference home.