Friday, December 15, 2017
Colleges

Reports: Former USF Bulls coach Skip Holtz takes job at Louisiana Tech

Skip Holtz, fired Dec. 2 as USF's football coach, has accepted the job as head coach at Louisiana Tech, according to multiple media reports Thursday.

The school is expected to hold a news conference today to introduce Holtz, who was fired by USF after going 16-21 in three years, including losing nine of the last 10 to end the just-completed 3-9 season.

Holtz, 48, replaces Sonny Dykes, who left the Ruston, La., school to become coach at Cal.

The Bulldogs finished 9-3 this season and led Division I-A in offense, averaging 52 points per game. The Bulldogs are moving from the Western Athletic Conference to Conference USA next season.

It's the fourth straight time Tech has hired the son of a well-known, former coach: Holtz (father, Lou); Dykes (father, Spike); Derek Dooley (father, Vince); and Jack Bicknell Jr. (father, Jack).

USF's Taggart makes coaching staff changes

TAMPA — New USF coach Willie Taggart began forming his staff by holding onto a familiar face and bringing along a recruiter from his past.

Taggart announced the only member of Holtz's full-time staff he will retain is running backs coach Larry Scott, a former Bulls player (1997-99) who has worked at USF since 2005. Scott, who will be an offensive assistant, has been a strong recruiter in Florida, specifically the Miami area.

Taggart also hired Raymond Woodie, one of his top recruiting assistants at Western Kentucky the past three seasons, as a defensive assistant. Woodie has ties to the bay area; he is a former head coach at Palmetto High and Bradenton Bayshore, and he recruited the state for Western Kentucky.

"To be able to come home, that's special," said Woodie, who will coach linebackers. "But I know that there's no honeymoon, it's time to get to work. Hopefully we can do well and put a fence up and keep kids in the state."

FSU loses third assistant: Associate head coach Eddie Gran became the third Seminoles assistant to exit coach Jimbo Fisher's staff in the past two weeks, leaving to join Tommy Tuberville's staff at Cincinnati as offensive coordinator. Gran, who served as Bearcats receivers coach from 1992-93, and Tuberville coached together at Auburn and Ole Miss for a combined 14 years. Fisher has also seen the departures of defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, the new head coach at Kentucky, who then hired FSU defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot as his defensive coordinator.

Golden still a 'Cane: Miami coach Al Golden, who was out recruiting, quickly refuted a Sports Illustrated writer's Twitter post that he was pondering leaving for Wisconsin, which is looking to replace Bret Bielema.

Irish coach honored: Notre Dame's Brian Kelly won the Football Writers Association of America Eddie Robinson coach of the year award.

Mississippi: Coach Hugh Freeze received a one-year extension (deal through 2016) and a $500,000 raise, hiking his base salary to $2 million per season.

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

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