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Skip Holtz introduced as Louisiana Tech coach

RUSTON, La. — Skip Holtz wasn't without a head coaching job for long.

He was introduced as Louisiana Tech's coach Friday, less than two weeks after he was fired by USF.

"I am tremendously excited for the opportunity to build on what Coach (Sonny) Dykes started and to lead this great team forward," Holtz said at a news conference.

Dykes left to accept the head coaching job at Cal last week. Louisiana Tech went 9-3 under Dykes this season, with a potent offense that averaged 51 points and 578 yards per game. It was left without a bowl invitation after balking at an early invitation to the Independence Bowl.

Holtz said he is planning to keep Dykes' up-tempo, wide open offense. "I think if it ain't broke, then don't fix it," he said.

Holtz, 48, the son of Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz, is coming off a 3-9 season at USF, where he was 16-21 in three seasons. He was fired Dec. 2, a day after a 27-3 season-ending loss to Pittsburgh left the Bulls 1-6 in the Big East this year and 5-16 in conference play during his tenure, easily the league's worst record in that time.

Holtz is 88-71 overall in 13 seasons at Connecticut, East Carolina and USF. During his stint at East Carolina, the Pirates won Conference USA titles in 2008 and 2009. Louisiana Tech is moving from the WAC to C-USA in 2013.

Holtz said he was on a golf course when Louisiana Tech called him Wednesday about the job. "I told them I could be on a 4 p.m. flight to interview," he said.

Said Louisiana Tech president Dan Reneau said, "I am extremely excited about the opportunity to have a coach of the caliber and experience of Skip Holtz leading our football program into the future."

No 'bama suspension for murray hit: The SEC won't suspend Alabama defensive end Quinton Dial for a hit on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray in the SEC Championship Game. That means Dial can play in the Jan. 7 national title game against Notre Dame. Dial leveled Murray, a former Plant High standout, with what appeared to be a helmet-to-helmet hit during a second-quarter interception return in the Dec. 1 game. He was not penalized. SEC coordinator of officials Steve Shaw told al.com later that Dial should have been penalized. The league said in a statement it had reviewed video of the play and the school would handle any punishments internally. Alabama coach Nick Saban typically doesn't disclose internal punishments.

Temple: Giants assistant offensive line coach Matt Rhule will be introduced as the school's head coach Monday unless there is a breakdown in negotiations, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Rhule was one of the final two candidates for the job. Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator Mark D'Onofrio withdrew from consideration, reports said.

North carolina: Sophomore All-America tailback Gio Bernard, among the nation's top rushers and punt returners, said he will enter next year's NFL draft.

Skip Holtz introduced as Louisiana Tech coach 12/14/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 14, 2012 11:35pm]

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