South Florida AD: We will attract candidates from all across the country

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday December 02, 2012

Posted by: Chris Vannini on December 2, 2012

A few months after a contract extension, Skip Holtz has been dismissed at South Florida.

USF athletic director Doug Woolard announced the decision Sunday, and still stands by the extension he gave Holtz in the summer, despite a 5-7 season in 2011.

"When we extended his contract, I feel like it was exactly the right thing to do," Woolard said. "He was being pursued at the time... by other schools in the BCS. All factors pointed to the fact that everybody expected us to have an outstanding year this year."

Moving forward, Woolard said USF will not use a search committee in the traditional sense. Holtz is due buyout money for the next five years, but Woolard said the next coach will be given a "competitive" salary.

USF is looking for just its third coach in program history since its founding in 1997. Woolard was confident he would have strong candidates, while publicly pitching the program.

"This program is going to attract folks from all across the country," Woolard said. "I think people all across America know what kind of job this is, what kind of facilities we have. We just put $100 million into our facilities. We probably have some of the best football practice facilities in America. Our locker room is probably better than some pro locker rooms.

"We play in probably the best stadium in the NFL. We're in the 14th largest media market in the country. We've got this weather, and we're in such a rich talent (place) for football players in Florida."

Woolard said conference realignment didn't play any part in the decision to let Holtz go. Despite the Big East being re-formed, Woolard doesn't think it will detract from the appeal of the job at USF.

The assistant coaches will remain with the school until a new head coach is hired, and they will have the opportunity to remain on staff if the new coach finds a fit.

"While our program remains young, having just completed our 16th season of competition, our history is rich, and the expectations of coaches, players, administrators and fans are high," Woolard said. "That is why the past few months have been difficult for all of us."

Here is a list of potential candidates at USF.


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Chris Vannini is the lead writer for and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to

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