Skip Holtz fired by South Florida

Posted: December 03, 2012

SKIP HOLTZ was fired as South Florida's football coach after two straight losing seasons in which the program fell back instead of progressing.

Athletic director Doug Woolard made the announcement Sunday after meeting with Holtz individually and then accompanying the former coach to a gathering with players. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with no definitive timetable for naming the successor.

"It was a very difficult meeting and one I will tell you that Skip handled very professionally and very classy as he always does," Woolard said during a news conference.

"It was a matter of just not having the production that we needed to have over the last couple of years on the field . . . Every program experiences highs and lows on the way to national prominence. Brighter days are ahead."

The son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz went 16-21 at the Big East school, concluding a 3-year run with the worst season in school history. The Bulls lost nine of 10 to finish 3-9, 1-6 in the conference, following a 2-0 start.

The firing came a year after Holtz was given a contract extension through 2017 despite going 5-7 in his second season. He will receive a $2.5 million buyout paid over 5 years.

In a statement released by USF, Holtz thanked his assistant coaches and players for their dedication and loyalty.

"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," Holtz said.

Noteworthy * 

North Carolina State introduced Dave Doeren as its coach, a day after announcing he would leave Northern Illinois to take the job.

"It seemed like a place that was very close to getting to the next step," Doeren said. "I feel like I can make a difference here. That was the one thing I wanted to be able to do."

Doeren took the job less than a day after leading Northern Illinois to a second straight Mid-American Conference championship.

Doeren was 23-4 in two seasons as Northern Illinois coach, including a 17-1 in conference play. He won't coach the No. 16 Huskies (12-1) in their bowl game.

Under Tom O'Brien, who was fired last week after six seasons, NC State went 40-35.

* Authorities said University of Oklahoma football players Jalen Saunders, a wide receiver, and Cortez Johnson, a defensive back, were arrested on possession of marijuana complaints.

The arrests come after the No. 12 Sooners (10-2, 8-1 Big 12) beat TCU, 24-17, on Saturday.

* Virginia coach Mike London fired four assistant coaches and reassigned another as part of sweeping changes to his coaching staff after the Cavaliers finished a disappointing 4-8.

Defensive coordinator and associate head coach Jim Reid, defensive line coach Jeff Hanson, running-backs coach Mike Faragalli and tight-ends coach Shawn Moore have been dismissed, London announced. Anthony Poindexter also has been relieved of his duties as special-teams coach but will remain on staff.

In another matter, quarterback Michael Rocco will transfer. The junior started 21 games in the past two seasons.

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