Skip Holtz was let go as South Florida's head coach on Sunday. The news comes one day after South Florida was beaten by Pittsburgh, 27-3, to close the year. The Bulls finished the 2012 season with a 3-9 overall record and a 1-6 mark in Big East play, good for last place in the conference.
Holtz led South Florida to a 16-21 record in three seasons at South Florida. The Bulls' win totals decreased in each year of his tenure, dropping from 8-5 in 2010, to 5-7 last season, to 3-9 this year. South Florida carried a 2-12 record in Big East play over the last two seasons.
According to Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, the school will owe Holtz $2.5 million over the next five years. Defensive coordinator Chris Cosh is also due $325,000 in 2013.
"It's not easy to part ways with such a good man," said USF athletic director Doug Woolard. "However, we must put a more successful football program on the field." Woolard said USF won't use a search firm in a traditional sense but may use one for background checks on candidates.
The current staff will "continue to work as they have been." Offensive coordinator Todd Fitch will handle all football-related issues, and each assistant will have the opportunity to be retained by the new head coach.
Woolard trumpeted USF's facilities and location as assets when hiring a new head coach. The school has put $100 million into facilities, and Woolard cited the Bulls' new football practice facility and locker rooms. He also noted USF's location in a large media market and target-rich recruiting environment as factors that will attract a new coach.
Woolard didn't indicate whether he preferred an active head coach. "Our pool can include any coordinator at the FBS level, plenty of head coaches and I imagine we'll attract some interest from the NFL."
How hot of a topic is conference realignment across the college sports landscape right now? Nearly every other question Wooloard fielded had a realignment angle attached to it.
Holtz also released his own statement, shown below.