Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

USF Bulls hire East Carolina's Mike Golden as strength coach

TAMPA — Mike Golden and Skip Holtz have been nearly inseparable over the past 13 years, so it's no real surprise that the East Carolina strength coach has been named to the same position at USF, reuniting with Holtz for their fourth stint together.

"We work very good as a team together," Golden, 42, said Tuesday, one day before he starts at USF. "We're on the same page, and there's a lot of mutual trust. We want the same thing: to make the average player good and the good player great."

Golden was working for a high school when he was first hired by Holtz in 1998, his last year at Connecticut, and he followed him for Holtz's last three years at South Carolina, then all five of his seasons at East Carolina.

Much as nearby family played a role in Holtz liking Tampa, Golden said part of what makes USF a good fit for him is that the family of his wife, Nicole, is from Sarasota, so their five children are much closer to their grandparents.

"I know exactly what I'm getting, and I'm excited about it," Holtz said. "I talked to some great people, but I had a hard time getting away from that stability and that comfort level."

USF lost associate strength coach Frank Wintrich, who joined Dan McCarney's staff at North Texas, and Golden is able to bring one of his ECU assistants, Greg Honeychuck, to USF to fill that spot on his staff.

Golden replaces Ronnie McKeefery, who stepped down after USF's bowl win in Charlotte, ending a 10-year run with the Bulls to take a job with the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Golden is the fifth assistant hired from Holtz's staff at ECU, joining offensive coordinator Todd Fitch, offensive line coach Steve Shankweiler, defensive ends coach Vernon Hargreaves and defensive backs coach Rick Smith.

BIG WEEKEND: Holtz doesn't have any Hillsborough County or Pinellas County players among USF's commitments, but that could change after this weekend, which has a huge gathering of about 25 recruits for official visits, including many already on board with the Bulls.

Local targets due to be on campus this weekend include Armwood QB/S Josh Grady, Jefferson WR Andre Davis, Robinson athlete Ruben Gonzalez and (though still a long shot) Alonso DE Anthony Chickillo.

"It'll create a great atmosphere," said Holtz, whose staff is preparing for about twice the normal number of weekend visitors with national signing day ahead Feb. 2.

THIS AND THAT: Holtz knows new Pittsburgh coach Todd Graham well from their Conference USA days: Holtz's first Conference USA title at East Carolina came with a win against Graham's Tulsa team, forcing seven turnovers in a 27-24 victory.

"I know Todd well — he's done a great job everywhere he's been," said Holtz, who lost to Graham's 2006 Rice team 18-17 on a field goal with three seconds left.

Greg Auman can be reached at and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at

USF Bulls hire East Carolina's Mike Golden as strength coach 01/11/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 11, 2011 10:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays journal: Erasmo Ramirez ready to start a day after closing game

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — RHP Erasmo Ramirez was on the mound to finish Sunday's 15-inning marathon win over the Twins and will start tonight's game against the Rangers.

    The Rays’ Erasmo Ramirez throws 12 pitches in the 15th inning against the Twins to earn the save then says after the game that he’s ready to make his scheduled start against the Rangers: “My arm feels good.”
  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — The Rays sure made it interesting Sunday, taking an early lead, watching their beleaguered bullpen blow it, rallying to tie in the ninth, battling the Twins to take a lead in the 14th then giving it up again.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Twins game

    The Heater

    The Rays won because they got two innings of good relief from each of the two pitchers who contributed to them losing Saturday's game, Danny Farquhar (who again struck out Miguel Sano) and Tommy Hunter, who both posted zeroes.