Holtz says Bulls will return to Vero Beach in August
USF football is going back to the beach.
Skip Holtz took his first Bulls team to the former Dodgertown complex in Vero Beach for his first training camp last fall, and the bonding effect his players had was strong enough he's convinced USF administrators to send the Bulls back for 11 days at the Vero Beach Sports Village this August.
"Vero Beach is a done deal. Everybody's on the same page," Holtz said. "It's a good thing to put the team in a camp atmosphere."
Summer classes end August 5, and Holtz said he expects to leave for Vero within a day or two of that, with the Bulls conducting their first few practices without pads on campus before heading across the state.
What Holtz likes most about the setup in Vero Beach is the isolation -- players don't have the distractions of cars, girlfriends, video games and off-campus apartments, so there's nothing but football as coaches set the tone for Holtz's second season.
"You'll hear that a team makes its biggest improvement from Game 1 to Game 2, but you can say the same thing about going from Year 1 to Year 2," said Holtz, who was appreciative of USF's administrators for agreeing to training camp in Vero.
USF had estimated the cost of staying in Vero Beach at about $185,000 last year, but said it would have cost close to $100,000 just to feed 105 football players and staff in the same timeframe had the team stayed on campus.
To get a sense for how strongly Holtz and his staff endorse the complex in Vero Beach, check out this six-minute promotional video produced by the Sports Village staff.