Over the past three seasons the only emotions Skip Holtz’s crew has managed to muster from our fan base are anger & disappointment. To reinforce my reasoning I’m going to begin with some facts:
Holtz: By comparison over the last three seasons (2010-2012), Holtz has led the Bulls to a lousy 15-16 (4-12) record with only 1 bowl appearance coming in his first year (2010). Since joining the FBS in 2001, 2011 was the worst finish since 2004 when the Bulls finished 4-7 in C-USA. Holtz finished 2011 5-7 (1-6), shattering our 6 straight bowl appearance streak. Are you starting to see my point? Read on..
Leavitt: From 2007-2009 Coach Leavitt led the Bulls to an inspired 25-14 (9-12) record with 3 bowl appearances (2-1). Coach Leavitt had the Bulls on a 5 straight bowl appearance streak from 2005-2009 (3-2). During Coach Leavitt’s time he not only stamped our program as a defensive powerhouse, but also led the Bulls to a school record #2 ranking. Under Coach Leavitt the Bulls first received Top-25 votes in the 2006 Final Poll (17 votes). By Week 4 in 2007 the Bulls had jumped to the #23 team in the land, Week 5 #18, Week 8 #2, and finishing in Week #15 as the #21 Team in the country. 2008 marked another Bull’s first: ranked in the Preseason Poll for the first time as #19, & eventually climbed as high as #10 in week 6. 2009 brought more of the same: by Week 6 the Bulls were #23, Week 7 #21, Week 10 #25, & finished Week 11 #23 in the AP & #24 in BCS before dropping out of the polls in Week 12. I’m sure by this point you can understand my redundant point.
The only rankings reach under Holtz’s era came in 2011 weather infested season opening win over the Irish in South Bend. The Bulls climbed as high as #16 in Week 5 before falling off the Polls for the remainder the disappointing 2011 season.
Winning Percentage: Holtz 48%, Leavitt 64%.
Over the summer AD Doug Woulard signed Holtz to a five-year extension, increasing Holtz’s annual salary to $2 million/year through 2017. Not to mention the incentives:
- Winning BCS National Championship: $500,000
- Losing BCS National Championship: $400,000
- Winning Big East & BCS Bowl Appearance: $200,000
- BCS Bowl At-Large Bid: $150,000
- Russell Athletic Bowl: $50,000
- Any Other Non-BCS Bowl: $25,000
- Big East Coach of the Year: $50,000
- Final Top 10 Ranking (AP or Coaches Poll): $100,000
When I first read about the contract extension I wondered why we would ink Holtz long-term after 2 unimpressive seasons at the helm? But as I delved deeper the picture became crystal clear. AD Doug Woulard, the “mast mind” behind the ousting of Levitt & the hiring of Holtz, gave himself a nice little pay raise bumping his salary up to a cool $500,000/year. Did I mention he decided to “not advertise” this move to the media. Woulard was also ‘all for’ the hiring of DC Chris Cosh whom in recent years has done ABSOLUTELY nothing to deserve a bid from the fast growing South Florida Bulls program; a program that in recent years has continued to prove itself as a national contender with major victories over major BCS programs. This is a package deal & until the staff ‘slate is swept clean’ I’m afraid Bull’s fans are in for a few more long seasons.
Due to the fine print in Holtz’s five-year extension contract, South Florida cannot afford to fire him without crippling the Athletic Department as a whole. But, the same cannot be said for OC Todd Fitch & DC Chris Cosh. I completely 100% understand the outrage & anger, but by creating all of this negative media may lay we’re only assisting in the destruction of our brand image & sending our beloved Bulls closer to the irrelevant oblivion. Sites like www.SkipHoltzMustGo.com, Facebook pages like the Official Fire Skip Holtz Page, & Twitter accounts like @Fire_SkipHoltz won’t do anything positive for our young program & will only add to the negative media attention. Consider how all this negative media from our own fans is affecting our players?
The South Florida Bulls became the fastest team in the modern era of college football to go from upstart to NCAA FBS school to reach a top-10 & top-5 ranking on September 30th, 2007: A feat that only took exactly 10 years & 10 days. The Bulls reached such stardom after just 106 AP Polls, 112 Coaches Polls, & 107 weeks after becoming a full-time FBS member in 2001. We all love of Alma Mater & have expressed this conviction by flooding social media with our disappointment. As a young program we need to face the facts: We cannot afford to fire Skip for at least a few years, so we need to ride this season out & judge the final results before bolstering the media uproar. The last thing we want as a program is to create a negative image around our program & lose touted 2013 recruits like #1 dual threat QB & Elite 11 MVP Asiantii Woulard, RB Jojo Kemp, & WR Jeff Badet. I know we are in a tough rut but remember we’re all Bulls for life through the good & not so good times. Let’s support our players who give their all week in & week out. Please share your thoughts.
by Matthew Manuri
Publisher & Editor, SoFloBulls.com | @Mcknurkle
Here’s a list, as requested by Alex Boody, of South Florida Bulls selected in the NFL Draft. This list doesn’t include free agents picked up after the draft.
“Many are beginning to wonder whether USF coach Skip Holtz is on the hot seat now that the Bulls have gotten off to a disappointing start to the season.
Athletic director Doug Woolard may not have done much to put those questions to rest Tuesday, releasing a statement in Tampa to local media gathered for USF basketball media day. The statement reads:
“I know Skip, his staff and the players are working diligently to get that next win, and to find sustained success. Certainly, the results, in terms of wins and losses to date, are disappointing to everyone involved with our program — the coaches, the players, athletic administration and our passionate fans. Our expectations for this program are very high. I also know this team has a lot of football left to play and great opportunities in front of it. We’re only six games into a 12-game regular season.
“We are going to provide all the support possible for our football program, including employment contracts that reflect our commitment to success. Many factors come into play when considering contract terms, including conditions in the national coaching marketplace. In Skip’s case, multiple BCS schools sought his coaching services at the end of both the 2010 and 2011 seasons. As a result, we felt it was important to maintain the stability and continuity of leadership in our football program and extended Skip’s contract.
“As has been our practice in the past, we will evaluate the status of each of our 19 programs at the conclusion of their respective seasons. We’ll identify where we are as a football program at that time and continue to build from there.” All in one statement, Woolard defended his decision to give Holtz a contract extension last year off a 5-7 record — including 1-6 in Big East play, while also saying the program would be evaluated at the end of the season.
The buyout USF would have to pay Holtz is substantial — $2.5 million if he is fired at the end of this season. So Woolard no doubt is going to have to take that into account during his year-end evaluation.”
via ESPN’s Andrea Adelson
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