USF deal with Holtz could be finalized today

TAMPA – The University of South Florida’s search for its next head football coach could end today if a deal with East Carolina’s Skip Holtz can be finalized.

Holtz was contacted by USF athletic director Doug Woolard about the job Sunday and interviewed with USF officials Tuesday in Orlando.

A source close to East Carolina told the Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer on Wednesday night that a deal between Holtz and USF was close but not done yet. “But they’re moving in that direction,” the source said.

As of this morning, Holtz had not met with his East Carolina players about his future.

Holtz is the son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz. In five seasons at East Carolina, Holtz has a 38-27 record and has led the Pirates to back-to-back Conference USA titles.

If a deal can be reached, a news conference is expected in Tampa on Friday and Holtz would be formally introduced to fans and boosters at USF’s basketball game Saturday at the Sun Dome against Rutgers.

On Tuesday in Orlando at the American Football Coaches Association national convention, Holtz said the USF job was appealing for many reasons.

“Obviously, there is interest from the standpoint of the league that they play in, the Big East,” he said. “My parents live here in Orlando, and my wife is from Port Charlotte. We would have four grandparents right here. There are a lot of positives to it. I think it’s definitely an up-and-coming program.”