TAMPA, Fla. (Sports Network) - South Florida has selected Skip Holtz as its new football coach.
Holtz has decided to leave East Carolina to take the vacancy created when
Jim Leavitt was fired last week in the wake of allegations that he struck a
player during a game this season.
"Skip Holtz and his family have transformed our expectations of ourselves and
our athletic program while contributing to every aspect of our community," ECU
athletics director Terry Holland said. "They will be missed but have provided
ECU with a solid foundation for future success. It will be up to us to build on
that foundation. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the Pirate
Nation is the strength of our future and Coach Holtz helped increase the number
of members significantly."
The South Florida position opened last Friday when Leavitt was fired. The only
coach in the program's 13-season history, Leavitt has strongly denied the
accusations that he struck walk-on sophomore Joel Miller at halftime of a
November 21 game against Louisville and this week vowed to fight for his job.
Holtz, meanwhile, has been the head coach at East Carolina since December 2004
and has a record of 38-27 with four straight bowl appearances in his five-year
tenure. The Pirates won the Conference USA title each of the past two years,
finishing at 9-5 with losses in the Liberty Bowl after each season.
The 45-year-old Holtz was also the head coach at Connecticut from 1994-98,
leading the Huskies -- then an FCS-level program -- to a mark of 34-23 with a
berth in the FCS playoffs his last year.