Make us your home page
Instagram

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 football coach Skip Holtz mixes humor with info at town hall meeting

TAMPA — It was the most amusing, if not the bluntest, question Skip Holtz fielded in more than an hour of talking with fans in the Sun Dome:

"Coach, when are we going to win the conference, and when are we going to be national champs? No pressure, take your time."

USF's new football coach, his sense of humor already in midseason form: "Take my time in answering the questions or in achieving the goals?"

Holtz, active in TV and radio interviews during his first two months on the job, continues to keep an open door for fans, leading a town hall meeting on campus Wednesday night. He'll do another one tonight in Clearwater, answering questions as best he can while still getting to know his new players and their strengths and weaknesses.

The news of the day was Mo Plancher, the team's top running back with 591 yards last season, was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA for medical hardship. Holtz said he and the team are excited about Plancher's return as an experienced leader of a deep group of running backs.

But at a program that has had only one other coach in its 13-year history, fans want to know everything: What will the offensive and defensive schemes be? Who will the backup quarterback be? What color will the uniforms be? How often will we see his father, former Notre Dame coach and current ESPN analyst Lou Holtz? When the answers weren't enlightening, they were at least entertaining.

On USF's early success in recent years then struggles in conference play: "When you look at our record against the top-five teams in the Big East, we were 1-4 (in 2009)."

On being pleasantly surprised by his defensive line so far: "When you look at the history of who we've struggled with, we've struggled with the teams that line up with two tight ends and kind of bloody our nose, so to speak, running right at us."

On changes to uniforms: "I do believe there will be a couple of changes. The players have talked to me about white helmets. They want to go with white shoes. One thing I've been told (by administration) is, 'Don't bring up black uniforms.' That's where we are. I'm not into coming up with fancy uniforms with crazy stripes everywhere."

On how much you'll see quarterback B.J. Daniels rushing in the fall: "He won't have many called runs. He carried the ball 227 times last year. I don't want to see him do that. We have running backs, and they're on scholarship, too. I'd like to see them earn it."

On his defensive coaches being hands-on: "I put (assistant Vernon Hargreaves) in the press box at East Carolina because I couldn't keep him off the field. 'Vernon, get back!' He's on the hash, out there yelling and screaming. I had to put him in the box. I may have the only staff in the country with four defensive coaches in the press box because I can't keep them under control on the sidelines."

Times staff writer Greg Auman can be reached at auman@sptimes.com and at (813) 226-3346. Check out his blog at blogs.tampabay.com/usf and follow him at Twitter.com/gregauman.

USF coach Skip Holtz talks with Tampa’s Erica Bailey, left, and her mother, Carol, after a question-and-answer session on campus

ATOYIA DEANS | Times

USF coach Skip Holtz talks with Tampa’s Erica Bailey, left, and her mother, Carol, after a question-and-answer session on campus

Meet the coach

When: 6:30 to 8 tonight

Where: The Venue, 2675 Ulmerton Road, Clearwater

Details: Skip Holtz will take questions from fans about the Bulls and will be available for pictures and autographs.

USF football coach Skip Holtz mixes humor with info at town hall meeting 03/03/10 [Last modified: Thursday, March 4, 2010 12:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning

    Blogs

    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.
  2. A test the Rays haven't passed

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — I have no idea what to think about the Rays. Not a clue.

    Tampa Bay Rays players celebrate their 8-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  3. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule: Stanley Cup champion Penguins, expansion Golden Knights among the coming attractions

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here are the home games with the most intriguing storylines:

    The champs (Oct. 12, Oct. 21)

    The two-time defending champion Penguins make two early trips to Tampa. [AP photo]
  4. Tampa Bay Lightning 2017-18 schedule

    Lightning Strikes

    The Lightning's season schedule was released Thursday afternoon, and there are plenty of must-see matchups coming to Amalie Arena. Here is the full 2017-18 schedule.

    The Lightning's Brayden Point celebrates a goal during a game against the Ottawa Senators in February in Tampa. [AP photo]
  5. What Wilson Ramos will mean to the Rays lineup, pitching

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chris Archer was stumping for all-star votes for Corey Dickerson during a live interview Wednesday morning on the MLB Network when he lifted the right earpiece on his headset and said, "I hear a buffalo coming."

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Wilson Ramos (40) waves to the crowd after being presented with the Silver Slugger Award before the start of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.