Notes: UConn ties strong for Holtz, staff
It's been 12 years since Skip Holtz was head football coach at Connecticut, but the coach still has strong ties to the Huskies, who come to the Sun Dome today to play USF's men's basketball team.
Holtz was born in Storrs, spending his first two years there while his father Lou was on Connecticut's football staff. And while he'll certainly be wearing green and gold at today's game -- it's also the football program's "Junior Day" with key recruits on campus -- the opponent holds a special place for him.
Current UConn athletic director Jeff Hathaway was the Huskies' executive associate athletic director when Holtz coached the Huskies from 1994-98 in his first job as a college head coach. Holtz isn't the only new USF coach with UConn ties -- offensive coordinator Todd Fitch was with Holtz during his five years with the Huskies, and defensive ends coach and special teams coordinator Vernon Hargreaves was on the same staff from 1994-97.
Joe D'Ambrosio, who has been play-by-play voice for UConn's football and basketball games since 1992 and a fixture in Huskies radio broadcasting, saw Holtz at breakfast Friday and posted a note on his Twitter page.
-- Thinking about going to today's USF-UConn game at 2 p.m.? Big East tickets probably don't come much cheaper than $3 a pop. If you go to Ticketmaster.com and type in "madness" as the promotional code, you can get third-level seats for just $3 -- even with fees, a pair of tickets is just $9.
-- We'll have more later on USF's Junior Day in football, but the Orlando Sentinel drops a few names of Central Florida recruits expected to be on campus today.
-- Thanks to a prominent link at Yahoo.com this week, the Jason Pierre-Paul video that shows him doing 13 back handsprings in a row is nearing a half-million views. This weekend, it's appropriate to mention that it's still about 200,000 views behind the USF-UConn baseball danceoff video from last year's Big East baseball tournament.
-- More JPP -- Pierre-Paul jumped up two spots to No. 7 on Mel Kiper's new "big board" draft rankings. New name is second BIg East player on the list -- Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty has jumped in at No. 20, moving ahead of Scarlet Knights tackle Anthony Davis.
-- New mainstream mock to share -- NFL.com's Pat Kirwan, who I worked with at SI.com many, many drafts ago, has a post-combine mock with Pierre-Paul at No. 19, going to the Falcons. CBSsports.com's Rob Rang has Pierre-Paul going 14th to Seattle, and colleague Chad Reuter also has him going to Seattle, but at No. 6.
-- Sign of things to come in next few months -- USF nearly saw its 4x100 relay school record broken Friday, as the Bulls entry of Lindsey Lamar, Kayvon Webster, Derrick Hopkins and Greg Fontus ran a 40.89 on its home track, just short of the record of 40.83. That's three football freshmen in there with Fontus, with Sterling Griffin also in contention for the relay during the outdoor track season.
-- Wild headline out of the Orlando Sentinel, which reports that UCF signee Jose Jose, once a USF commitment, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault and carrying a concealed firearm.