Skip meals? Holtz down 32 pounds since bowl
Lots of news and notes to come from Ponte Vedra, but it's wild to see how things have changed for USF coach Skip Holtz from a year ago, when he was among the newest hires in the league.
Now, with first-year coaches at Connecticut (Paul Pasqualoni) and Pittsburgh (Todd Graham) and a coach-in-waiting at West Virginia (Dana Holgerson), Holtz is closer to the league veteran -- by the end of the year, only Rutgers' Greg Schiano and Syracuse's Doug Marrone will have more years in the league than he has at USF.
"We have a great nucleus of people in the room, a good working relationship, with good lines of communication," Holtz said of the nine coaches gathered, including Gary Patterson of TCU, which joins the Big East in 2012. "We're having some very productive meetings."
Holtz looks different physically from a year ago -- since the end of his first season at USF, he said he has dropped 32 pounds, a result of having a normal offseason to shed the weight he said he typically puts on during football season.
"Trying to eat right and work out," Holtz said. "Just the old-fashioned way, get on the cardio machines and try to work out. Losing weight is all about burning more than you eat. If you're not burning enough, you need to eat less. If you eat more, you need to burn more. I've cut everything back, trying to eat healthier."
Holtz declined to say what weight he was at now -- "that would show where I was," he explains -- saying he's used to dropping weight each spring but wasn't able to because he was so busy a year ago after taking the USF job. His old weight is something he hopes to stay away from as long as possible.
"That was my motivation, when I got on the scale right after the season," he said. "'Whoa.' Let's not see that number ever again.' I'm getting back down to where I normally am this time of year."
As for the coaches in the room, Holtz said it was interesting to get an outsider's perspective on the league from Patterson, who expressed a respect for the parity in the Big East and the relative depth of the conference.
"He was talking about the parity and how strong the league is from top to bottom," Holtz said.