Skip Holtz has sat in Big East coaches' meetings for two years with Greg Schiano and has split two down-to-the-wire meetings with his Rutgers teams, and now Holtz is excited to be sharing Raymond James Stadium with Schiano in his new job as the Bucs' head coach.
"I'm excited for him," Holtz said by phone Thursday night amid a busy schedule of meeting with recruits. "Greg's a good football coach. He has the NFL in his background, he's been there and gets it and it'll be a great opportunity for him. Obviously it's a great organization in a great town with a great fanbase. I think he'll do a good job."
Holtz's USF team edged Rutgers by a single point in 2010, and then Schiano returned the favor with an overtime win in November, rallying from a 14-point deficit in the final eight minutes. Holtz said he reached out to Schiano upon hearing the news, as many coaching colleagues did.
"I tried to call him, but as is probably understood, his mailbox was full," said Holtz, who was able to talk to Schiano later Thursday night. "I just wanted to say 'Congratulations, good luck, welcome to Tampa, if we can do anything to help you, let us know.'"
Holtz hadn't faced Schiano until he came to USF, but the two have known each other much longer through coaching circles, and he followed what Schiano was able to do in turning Rutgers into a competitive team in the Big East.
"He's built a great program there. You go back and look at what Rutgers was before he got there, he has done an incredible job," Holtz said. "His team always plays with energy and passion. In the two years I had the opportunity to go against him, we had a couple of great battles. ... Now I only have to get rid of about six more coaches."