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We’re sad to see you leave, Holtz, but it’s time

Published: Monday, December 3, 2012

Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 08:12

It’s been fun, but it’s time to let go. What a bittersweet ending to our relationship, Skip Holtz.

As coach of the USF football team, you led us to victories over Notre Dame, Miami and Clemson. You stood by our side when times got tough.

“I’m booing me too right now,” you said after a 27-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

But after a 3-9 season and only one win in our diminishing Big East Conference, and a 5-7 record last year, the numbers weren’t adding up. Something had to be done. With too many injuries — many of them to seniors, such as quarterback B.J. Daniels, receiver Lindsey Lamar and defensive tackle Cory Grissom — the end was inevitable.

You probably saw it coming. But you kept your head held high Saturday against Pittsburgh. It’s obvious you care about the players, and they care about you.

“I would like to see these young players develop into what I know they can become,” you said after Saturday’s game.

Despite the numbers, you were a good mentor and teacher to these players, who spoke highly of you and enjoyed a friendly relationship with you and your staff.

“Much respect for @CoachHoltzUSF and his family. Appreciate you guys,” senior tight end Evan Landi posted on Twitter on Sunday.

“I’m just out there trying to have fun,” Daniels said at the beginning of the 2011 season. “I’m joking around and messing with (Holtz) and picking at him while the game’s going on.”

The emotional connection was there, Skip. As students, we cheered through the victories and sobbed through the losses with you and your staff.

More importantly, you weren’t abusive. You kept your cool. You respected your players, treated them as intelligent adults — you didn’t hit them in the locker room, as our former coach was accused of doing.

But you took our money, our time and you didn’t produce results we could live with.

With $15 million in student fees going to the Athletics Department in 2011, according to USA Today — up from $10 million in 2006; three times as much as West Virgina and almost twice the amount that Rutgers and UConn students pay to their respective athletics departments — where was all that money going?
With a $2 million salary, you were costing USF too much — almost as if our poor student bank accounts were being robbed for some secret benefit we never got. That is, considering football is the highest-funded sport.

And you didn’t even mention us — the fans, the students — in your goodbye letter.

We’re sad to see you go, Skip, but it just wasn’t working. You have good things ahead, and so do we, but we just weren’t meant to be together any longer. We have to accept it and move on.

You wished us all the best with our future, and we wish you all the best with yours.


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