USF coach Skip Holtz has reached back to his East Carolina days in filling a spot on his coaching staff, hiring former Pirates walk-on defensive back Kurtis von Bargen in a graduate assistant or program assistant role working with the Bulls defense.
Von Bargen's resume reads much like current USF offensive graduate assistant Joe Sloan, who also played for Holtz at ECU. Like Sloan, he was nominated for the national "Rudy Award" -- given to college football's top walk-on player in respect to "character, courage, contribution and commitment" -- in 2008, when he had four tackles as a fifth-year senior special-teams player on Holtz's first Conference USA championship team.
Von Bargen, 26, has been busy since graduating from ECU, working first at the Coast Guard Academy, then two seasons as outside linebackers coach at Trinity College. He took a job this spring as video coordinator and assistant director of football operations at Dartmouth before taking the spot on Holtz's staff at USF.
He's the second new addition to Holtz's staff we've reported this summer, with former Campbell assistant Chris Chestnut coming on board on the offensive side. There's already plenty of ECU presence on Holtz's staff -- assistants Todd Fitch, Steve Shankweiler, Rick Smith and Vernon Hargreaves were on his Pirates staff, as was strength coach Mike Golden.