USF coach Skip Holtz gave his team Monday off from practice for the beginning of fall classes, allowing him the chance to talk with the media about his deeply personal return to South Bend, Ind., where the Bulls open their season at Notre Dame on Sept. 3.
Having the opportunity to go back to South Bend, selfishly, its going to be an amazing experience for me, Holtz said. Having spent so much time as a student there, having the opportunity to play there and having the opportunity to coach there for four years and also having all the success that my father had there with Notre Dame being such an integral part of our family.
Holtz is one of three children from his family to graduate from Notre Dame, where his father, Lou Holtz, coached the Fighting Irish to the 1988 national championship. After stints at Florida State and Colorado State, Skip Holtz served as wide receivers coach for two years under his father before being promoted to offensive coordinator for two more years in the early 1990s.
Skip Holtz has avoided the topic since training camp opened, instead focusing on his own team, but said he will start discussing the pageantry of Notre Dames program and the talent of its team when USF returns to the practice field today.
Ill talk about Touchdown Jesus and a lot of the traditional things that are on that campus, he said. I want them to go and understand what theyre walking into with the history and everything that is there. It will be more of an educational process because I dont want them to go there and I dont want them to be oohed and ahhed, I want them to understand that were going to play a football game. But at the same time, I want them to understand the entire experience.
As far as USFs itinerary for its stay in South Bend, Skip Holtz said he hopes to bring the team to the College Football Hall of Fame the day before the game to help teach it the history and tradition of the sport.
However, there is one place in South Bend that Skip Holtz said hes not planning to take the Bulls the statue of himself outside Gate D of Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame built a statue of Lou Holtz in 2008, which also features Skip Holtz wearing the No. 9 jersey he wore as a walk-on wide receiver.
I dont think Ill take them over for that, he said.