Skip Holtz


Skip Holtz

College coach infobox
Title = Head coach
Name = Louis Leo "Skip" Holtz, Jr.


|250px
Caption = Coach Holtz in his first game as the Pirates' head coach.
DateOfBirth = Birth date and age|mf=yes|1964|3|12|mf=y
Birthplace = Willimantic, CT
Sport = Football
Conference = Conference USA
College = East Carolina
Title = Head Coach
CurrentRecord =
OverallRecord = 56–40
Contract = $1,160,000/year [cite web| title = SALARIES & CONTRACTS| publisher = COACHES HOT SEAT| date = 2008| url = http://coacheshotseat.com/SalariesContracts.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-08]
BowlRecord = 1–1
Awards =
Championships =
CFbDWID = 1104
Player = Y
Years = 1986
Team = Notre Dame
Position = Wide receiver
Coach = Y
CoachYears = 1987–1988
1989
1990–1991
1992–1993
1994–1998
1999–2003
2004
2005–"present"
CoachTeams = Florida State (GA Coach)
Colorado State (WR Coach)
Notre Dame (WR Coach)
Notre Dame (OC)
Connecticut
South Carolina (Asst. HC/OC)
South Carolina (Asst. HC/QB Coach)
East Carolina
FootballHOF =

Louis Leo (Skip) Holtz, Jr. (born March 12, 1964 in Willimantic, Connecticut) is the NCAA football head coach of the East Carolina Pirates football team. Skip, a former American football player, was the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies football team between 1994 and 1998 and an assistant head coach for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks between 1998 and 2004.cite news | last = Wallace| first = William| title = COLLEGE FOOTBALL; Skip Holtz Is Hired by UConn| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1993-12-23| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE5DA113BF930A15751C1A965958260| accessdate = 2008-03-08]

Skip's father, Lou Holtz, is an acclaimed former head coach of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and currently works as a commentator on the television channel ESPN. [cite press release| title = New Assignments and Returning Commentators Highlight ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU College Football Coverage| publisher = ESPN| date = 2007-03-12| url = http://www.espnmediazone.com/press_releases/2007_06_jun/20070628_CollegeFootballCommentators.htm| accessdate = 2008-04-11] Due to his father's career as a collegiate football coach, Skip was exposed to football from an early age. At the time of Skip's birth, Lou was a football assistant for the Connecticut Huskies. Skip attended Fayetteville High School in Arkansas, and played on the school's football team as the team's quarterback. At the same time, his father was the head coach at the University of Arkansas.cite web| title = Skip Holtz Profile| work = Football| publisher = University of South Carolina| url = http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/holtz_skip00.html| accessdate = 2008-03-08] After graduating from Fayetteville High School, Skip attended Holy Cross Junior College for two years. He then transferred to Notre Dame, where he earned a bachelor's degree in business management. While at Notre Dame, he lettered in football as a special teams member and backup wide receiver. [cite news | last = Wallace
first = William| title = At UConn, Holtz Stands for More Than a Name| work = Football| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1994-08-23| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9901E5D71539F930A1575BC0A962958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all| accessdate = 2008-03-08
]

Early life

Skip Holtz grew up in many towns while his father coached football. After Skip was born in Connecticut, the Holtz family moved to Columbia, South Carolina for two years, as his father worked as an assistant coach at the University of South Carolina. In 1968, the family moved to Columbus, Ohio after Holtz took a job at The Ohio State University. One year later, the Holtz family moved to Williamsburg, Virginia and The College of William and Mary for Lou's first head coaching position. After two seasons, Lou took a head coaching position with the Wolfpack of North Carolina State University. The family lived in Raleigh, North Carolina for four years until Lou accepted a head coaching job for the National Football League's New York Jets. The family spent one year in New York while Lou coached the Jets. After resigning from the Jets, Lou took his family back to the American South when he accepted the head coaching job in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at the University of Arkansas in 1977. In Fayetteville, Skip attended Fayetteville High School and graduated in 1983. [cite web| title = Lou Holtz| work = Coach Bio| publisher = BlueAndGold.com| date = 2008| url = http://www.blueandgold.com/coaches/coach.cfm?coachid=25| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

Playing experience

While at high school in Fayetteville, Skip played for the school's football team at the quarterback position, bringing moderate success to the program. As a high school junior, he visited Notre Dame and met with head football coach Gerry Faust and head basketball coach Digger Phelps. In his final year of high school, Skip was denied admission to Notre Dame due to average grades and his failure to learn a foreign language. Coaches Faust and Phelps encouraged Skip to enroll at nearby Holy Cross College, located adjacent to the university in Notre Dame, Indiana. After two years of study at Holy Cross, Skip had improved his grades and transferred to Notre Dame. After his first year, Skip decided he wanted to speak with Coach Faust about walking on to the football team during his senior year. The discussions were cut short, however, as after the 1985 season, Coach Faust resigned. Replacing Faust was Skip's father, Lou, who eagerly accepted his son as a walk-on. Skip began spring practice before the 1986 season as a quarterback, but quickly changed to flanker due to his lack of talent. As a flanker, he earned 54 yards on three receptions at the Blue-Gold intra-squad game in the spring of 1986. During the fall of 1986, Skip played in all 11 games on special teams. He never caught a pass, but rushed once for one yard.cite book| last = Hansen| first = Eric | title = Notre Dame: Where Have You Gone?| publisher = Sports Publishing LLC | date = 2005| location = South Bend, IN| pages = 81-85| url = http://books.google.com/books?id=FLQZWs1LulUC&pg=PA81&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=0_0&sig=mQFJ5QGz-8ceAHcrbf0fqP_68tU#PPA81,M1| isbn = 1582611513]

Coaching experience

Early positions

said, "if you can be here in two days, I've got a job for you at Florida State."cite web| last = Zenner| first = Tom| title = Notre Dame legend Lou Holtz made his son a believer-at home| work = Life Lessons From Coach's Playbook| publisher = DadMag.com| date = 2000-09-08| url = http://www.dadmag.com/guycenter/lou_holtz.php| accessdate = 2008-03-09] Upon arriving at Florida State in 1987, he became the graduate assistant coach. He met his future wife, Jennifer, in Coach Bowden's office while in Tallahassee. cite news| last = Hudson| first = Jane Welborn| title = The four F's: Food, fun, fellowship and football for the Holtz family| publisher = The Daily Reflector| date = 2005-08-29| url = http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/news/inthenews/archives/2005/08/082805homewithholtz.cfm| accessdate = 2008-03-08] He left after two years to become the wide receivers coach at Colorado State University under legendary coach Earle Bruce. After one season, he went back to Notre Dame to coach under his father.

Notre Dame

Holtz's first job at his alma mater was to serve as wide receivers coach, and he filled the position for two years. In 1992, the team began a search for a new offensive coordinator. Lou's first choice, Joe Moore, declined. Lou than asked Skip for recommendations to fill the position. Skip initially said he wanted the position, but Lou said, "he couldn't do it at that time with me [Skip] being his son." Skip then mentioned Mark Richt, who was then the offensive coordinator at Florida State. Lou Holtz called Coach Bowden to ask permission to speak to Mark Richt. Coach Bowden said Holtz could hire Richt as long as he could hire Skip. Coach Holtz said, "Well, if I'm just going to switch coaches, I might as well hire Skip." Skip became Notre Dame's offensive coordinator in 1992. Between 1992 and 1994, Skip and his father recorded 40 wins, eight losses, and one tie, an 82.7% winning percentage. Together, they coached Notre Dame to the Cotton Bowl twice, beating Texas A&M both times. Skip had the third-best total offense in the NCAA during the 1991 football season.

University of Connecticut

Following his success at Notre Dame, Skip Holtz was asked to become the head coach of the Connecticut Huskies. He accepted the offer and took his first head coaching job on December 23, 1993. He replaced Tom Jackson, who had gone 14–19 over the past three years and had decided to resign on November 17, 1993. [cite news | title = Jackson Resigns as Connecticut's Coach| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1993-11-18| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE2DF123CF93BA25752C1A965958260| accessdate = 2008-03-09 ] [cite news | title = A Holtz for UConn?| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1993-12-23| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CE5D6113FF931A15751C1A965958260| accessdate = 2008-03-09] He agreed to a four-year contract at a salary of $95,000 a year. Even though Skip came from a "major football institution" (Notre Dame), University of Connecticut President Dr. Harry J. Hartley said that the hire "should not be seen as a signal that Connecticut intends to upgrade its program." Despite Hartley's remarks, Holtz planned to help elevate the team from I-AA to I-A. Holtz commented on Hartley's remarks by saying "I'd love to have the opportunity to coach a Division I team here...." [cite news | last = Cavanaugh| first = Jack| title = A Winning Team (And Not Basketball)| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1998-11-08| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9502E3DF163EF93BA35752C1A96E958260| accessdate = 2008-03-08] In 1998, UConn, after 100 years of football and five years with Skip Holtz as its head coach, played in its first Division I-AA playoff game. The Huskies scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to beat Hampton University, 42–34. [cite news | last = Cavanaugh| first = Jack| title = Sunshine on UConn's Shoulders in Playoffs| publisher = The New York Times| date = 1998-11-29| url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9800E3DB1139F93AA15752C1A96E958260| accessdate = 2008-03-09] In the next round of the playoffs, the Huskies lost to the eventual champion, Georgia Southern, on December 5. Two days later, Skip resigned as head coach of the Huskies in order to rejoin his father, who had taken the head coaching job at South Carolina the day before the Huskies' loss. As the leader of the Huskies football team, he accumulated a winning percentage of .596 (34–23) over five seasons.

University of South Carolina

On December 4, 1998, The University of South Carolina announced that Lou Holtz would serve as its next head football coach. Lou asked Skip if he would move down to Columbia to become his offensive coordinator—the same position Skip held during his final two years at Notre Dame. Skip accepted the offer, in part due to a desire to live closer to his parents and so his children could spend more time with their grandparents. In 1996, Skip's mother, Beth, was diagnosed with throat cancer. Two years later, the cancer spread to her liver, lung, adrenal glands, and ovary. Meanwhile, Skip and Lou continued to coach football at South Carolina. As Lou began to struggle as head coach, the question of his eventual successor arose. When Skip was hired in 1998, Lou had included a clause in the hiring contract that Skip would succeed him after he retired. South Carolina Athletic Director rebutted by saying, "There are no formal or informal guarantees for him," and "It's always helpful to have potential succession in a staff." [cite news | title = Skip Holtz To Join His Dad At S.C. | publisher = CBS Sportsline| date = 1998-12-07| url = http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/1998/12/07/archive/main24553.shtml| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

The 2000 and 2001 seasons brought South Carolina back to national prominence with consecutive Outback Bowl wins over Ohio State and season ending rankings in the Top 25. However, after going 5–7 the following two seasons and suffering a season-ending blowout in 2003 by interstate rival Clemson, Skip was demoted from the offensive coordinator and assistant head coaching positions to quarterbacks coach. Four assistant coaches—including the team's defensive coordinator—were fired in the same shakeup that saw Skip demoted. [cite news | last = Haney| first = Travis| title = Holtz tries to change 'culture' | publisher = Augusta Chronicle| date = 2004-07-30| url = http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/073004/usc_1604353.shtml| accessdate = 2008-03-09] On November 22, 2004, one season after Skip's demotion, Lou Holtz announced he was retiring as head coach of South Carolina. [cite press release| title = Lou Holtz Announces Retirement From Coaching| publisher = Gamecocks Online| date = 2004-11-22| url = http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112204aab.html| accessdate = 2008-03-09] On the next day, South Carolina announced Steve Spurrier as the next head football coach. [cite press release| title = Steve Spurrier Announced as New Head Football Coach at South Carolina| publisher = Gamecocks Online| date = 2004-11-23| url = http://gamecocksonline.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/112304aak.html| accessdate = 2008-03-09] Coach Spurrier announced that he was keeping only three members of Lou Holtz's staff. Letters were sent to all the other staffers—including Skip Holtz—informing them that they likely would not be retained. [cite news | last = Iacobelli| first = Pete| title = Spurrier assembles staff; Taps son to coach wide receivers| publisher = The Associated Press| date = 2004-11-29| url = http://www.usatoday.com/sports/college/football/sec/2004-11-29-spurrier-assistants_x.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

East Carolina University

With his firing imminent, Holtz resigned. Since he was formerly a coach, Skip had several offers from Division I-A and Division I-AA teams. After several interviews, he elected to take the head coaching position at East Carolina University. East Carolina announced Skip Holtz as their 19th head football coach on December 3, 2004. Holtz assumed control of a program that won just three games in its past 25 contests. [cite news | last = Myatt| first = Al | title = Holtz the chosen one to resurrect program | publisher = Bonesville.net| date = 2004-12-03| url = http://www.bonesville.net/Articles/AlMyatt/2004/12/120304_Myatt.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09] Skip signed 23 athletes in his first recruiting class, including his first commit, Rob Kass. Also included in the recruiting class was future NFL player Aundrae Allison. [cite web| title = Thumbnail sketches of 23 players signed by ECU| work = Football Recruiting| publisher = Bonesville.net| date = 2005-02-04 | url = http://www.bonesville.net/Articles/OtherArticles/Recruiting/Recruiting_FB/2005/Thumbnails_2005.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09] Skip's first victory at ECU came in the first game of the 2005 season as the Pirates defeated the Blue Devils 24–21 at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. The victory was ECU's first non-conference Division I win since 2000, when the Pirates won the Galleryfurniture.com Bowl against Texas Tech. [cite news | last = Myatt| first = Al| title = Therapy brought to you by Terry Holland| publisher = Bonesville.net| date = 2005-09-04
url = http://www.bonesville.net/Articles/AlMyatt/2005/FB_Games/090405_Myatt.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09
] During Holtz's first season, the Pirates also defeated conference foes Rice, Southern Methodist University, Marshall University, and the University of Alabama Birmingham. Due to his success on the field, Coach Holtz was chosen to help lead the East team in the 2006 Hula Bowl at War Memorial Stadium in the town of Kahului, Hawai'i. [cite news | title = Hula Bowl: Central Florida's Marshall lead East to win| publisher = Associated Press | date = 2006-01-21| url = http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/news/story?id=2301267| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

In 2006, Holtz's second season as head coach, ECU won seven games, including victories over inter-state rival North Carolina State University, Conference USA East rival Southern Miss, and ACC foe Virginia. As a reward for their season, the Pirates earned their first bowl game under Holtz's tenure, playing the Bulls of the University of South Florida in the Papajohns.com Bowl, losing 24–7. [cite news | last = O'Brien first = Denny| title = Bulls expose holes for ECU| work = The Slants of the Game| publisher = Bonesville.net| date = 2006-12-24| url = http://www.bonesville.net/Articles/DennyOBrien/2006/FB_Games/122406_OBrien.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09] Despite the bowl loss, the 2006 season was ECU's first winning season since 2000, and the Papajohns.com Bowl was the Pirates' first bowl game since 2001.cite web| title = 2005| work = East Carolina Yearly Results| publisher = College Football Data Warehouse| date = 2008| url = http://cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/div_ia/conferenceusa/east_carolina/yearly_results.php?year=2005| accessdate = 2008-03-09] In 2007, Holtz won eight games, including a close win against Boise State University in the Hawai'i Bowl. [cite web| title = East Carolina Pirates 2007 Football Schedule & Links| publisher = Bonesville.net| date = 2008-02-27| url = http://www.bonesville.net/Articles/OtherArticles/Bonesville/Bonesville_Football/Schedules/2007.htm| accessdate = 2008-03-09] This was the second year the team went to a bowl game and was the runner-up in the Conference USA East division. [cite web| title = Standings| work = History/Records| publisher = Conference USA| url = http://conferenceusa.cstv.com/auto_pdf/p_hotos/s_chools/c-usa/sports/m-footbl/auto_pdf/history-records| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

The 2008 season was opened with two stunning upsets over ranked opponents. ECU opened the season with a neutral site contest in Charlotte against 17th ranked Virginia Tech from the ACC. ECU won the game with a critical late game punt block play. The Tech victory was followed in week 2 with a dominating 24–3 victory over the 8th ranked team in the country the West Virginia Mountaineers of the Big East. By week two of the 2008 season Skip led the Pirates to a national ranking of 14th in the country going into conference play.

Personal life

Skip met wife Jennifer Fitzgerald while he was working at Florida State. They have three children: Louis Leo "Trey" Holtz III, Chad Fitzgerald Holtz, and Hailey Elizabeth Holtz. [cite web| title = Skip Holtz Profile| work = Football| publisher = East Carolina Official Athletic Site | date = 2008| url = http://ecupirates.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/holtz_skip00.html| accessdate = 2008-03-11] Skip has three siblings: Luanne Altenbaumer, Kevin, and Elizabeth Messaglia. [cite web| title = Prognosis for Beth Holtz termed 'excellent'| work = News & Notes| publisher = American Football Monthly| date = 1999-11| url = http://www.americanfootballmonthly.com/Subaccess/Magazine/1999/Nov'99/news.html| accessdate = 2008-03-11] Outside of the football team, Holtz is deeply involved with an annual spring golf tournament named the "Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf Classic". Drew Steele, the son of former East Carolina basketball coach Mike Steele, has Down syndrome who Skip met at another Special Olympics Golf Tournament in Greenville. [cite web | title = Birth of the DSSH Golf Classic| work = About DSSH| url = http://www.drewskip.com/about.aspx| accessdate = ] The "Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf Classic" benefits citizens with special needs of Pitt County. [cite news | last = Summers| first = Nathan| title = First Drew Steele-Skip Holtz Golf Classic raises thousands| publisher = The Daily Reflector| date = 2006-06-06| url = http://www.reflector.com/news/content/news/steele-holtz/5classic.html| accessdate = 2008-03-09]

Bowl experience

Holtz has participated in 12 bowl games in his coaching career. Four games occurred while he was head coach and eight when he was an assistant coach. Of the four games where he was the head coach, two occurred in the Football Bowl Subdivision(FBS) (formerly Division I-A) and two occurred in Division I-AA (now known as Football Championship Subdivision). As a FBS head coach, he is currently 1–1. Each playoff game is treated like a separate bowl game.

Coaching record

CFB Yearly Record Start
type=coach
team=
conf=
bowl=
poll=
CFB Yearly Record Subhead
name = Connecticut
conf = Yankee Conference, Atlantic 10 Conference
startyear = 1994
endyear = 1998
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 1994
name = Connecticut
overall = 4–7
conference = 4–4
confstanding =
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 1995
name = Connecticut
overall = 8–3
conference = 5–3
confstanding =
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 1996
name = Connecticut
overall = 5–6
conference = 3–5
confstanding =
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 1997
name = Connecticut
overall = 7–4
conference = 4–4
confstanding =
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
championship = conference
year = 1998
name = Connecticut
overall = 10–3
conference = 6–2
confstanding = 1st (New England Division)
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Subtotal
name = Connecticut
overall = 38–23
confrecord = 22–18
CFB Yearly Record Subhead
name = East Carolina
conf = Conference USA
startyear = 2005
endyear =
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 2005
name = East Carolina
overall = 5–6
conference = 4–4
confstanding = 4th (East)
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 2006
name = East Carolina
overall = 7–6
conference = 5–3
confstanding = 2nd (East)
bowlname = Papajohns.com Bowl
bowloutcome = L 24–7
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 2007
name = East Carolina
overall = 8–5
conference = 6–2
confstanding = 2nd (East)
bowlname = Hawaiokinai Bowl
bowloutcome = W 41–38
ranking =
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Entry
year = 2008
name = East Carolina
overall = 3–1
conference = 1–0
confstanding =
bowlname =
bowloutcome =
ranking = 23
ranking2 = no
CFB Yearly Record Subtotal
name = East Carolina
overall = 22–17
confrecord = 15–9
CFB Yearly Record End
overall = 60–40
bcs = no
poll=
polltype=

References

External links

* [http://ecupirates.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/holtz_skip00.html Skip Holtz Profile]


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