USF athletic director comments on status of Skip Holtz

South Florida athletic director Doug Woolard released a written statement on the status of Skip Holtz, who is 2-4 and 0-2 in conference play heading into their bye week before facing Louisville next weekend.

The Bulls have dropped the last four in a row, including losses on the road to Ball State (3-3) and Temple (2-2).

Wollard's written statement is below:

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, 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 '10 and '11 seasons. As a result, we felt it was important to maintain the stability 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 or 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.

Since taking over prior to the 2010 season, Holtz is 15-16 overall, and has won just 4 of 16 games in the Big East (4-12 overall), including losses in their past 10 of 11 conference games.  After having his name mentioned for other jobs, South Florida extended Holtz's contract last Summer through the 2017 season with an annual salary of $2 million. If the university were to buy Skip out after this season the price tag would be $2.5 million

The three oldest coaches in the FBS are a combined 17-0

We just saw a note a bit ago that the three oldest coaches in the FBS (Bill Snyder, Frank Solich and Steve Spurrier) have yet to lose a game this season.

Bill Snyder has his Kansas State (5-0, 2-0) squad hitting on all cylinders, putting up at least 35 points in all but one game this season. Their 5 wins include wins over Miami (52-13), Oklahoma (24-19 in Norman) and in state rival Kansas (56-16). So far this season, four of their five games have been at home, and they hit the road the next two weekends to take on Iowa State and West Virginia in back to back games.

Ohio (6-0, 2-0) and Frank Solich are also off to a fast start, winning their first six games including a season opening win over Penn State (24-14) and already have two conference wins under their belt as well, winning both games by a combined total of 10 points. Solich and the Bobcats have only one team on their remaining schedule with a winning record (the last week of the season against Kent State who is currently 4-1).

Steve Spurrier (6-0, 4-0) and the Gamecocks are the third team on the list of teams with a veteran coach yet to lose a game this season. After winning their season opener in a close one against Vanderbilt (17-13), South Carolina and the old ball coach have gone on to win their next five games by 21 points or more. Following their fourth SEC win last weekend against Georgia (35-7), the Gamecocks get to head to Baton Rouge Saturday to take on LSU. 

Sometimes there's just no substitute for experience.

Lengendary HS head coach returns to help teach players a lesson

Last week, head coach Christian Mahaffey was controversially let go as the head coach at Rio Americano (CA) high school. Recently, a new head coach was brought in, and he brought with him a lesson that will not soon be forgotten.

According to published reports at the time, one of the Rio Americano players, who was also a baseball stand out, told coach Mahaffey that he would be missing a game early in the season to attend a baseball showcase. Mahaffey told the player that it would be an unexcused absence and, due to team rules, he would be suspended for a game upon his return. After hearing of the suspension, 11 players decided to walk out and quit the team. Coach Mahaffey was let go soon thereafter and the players were later reinstated.

We don't know enough of the facts to opine on what happened; however we read a follow up this morning that Rio Americano recently hired Max Miller, the winningest coach in Sac-Juaquin section football history. Miller got the call from the Rio Americano principal while he was on the golf course with his wife, pleading for him to take the head coaching job. Coach Miller and his wife immediately packed up their belongings and hit the road to meet the administration, and he later agreed to become the next head coach, making it his second stint at Rio Americano.

What really stood out to us was that, after officially accepting the head coaching position and being introduced to his new team, Miller told the players who had originally left the team that they were wrong to leave their coach and that they would be punished. The players would have to sit out a game and do some community service before dressing again. Also, each player would have to personally call Coach Mahaffey and apologize before moving forward.

Forty eight hours before their first game under Miller, Miller scrapped the spread and went back to the I-formation, moving a lineman to the backfield to carry the load for the new offense. That first Friday night Coach Miller went into their game against Cordova HS (where he had recorded most of his 258 career victories) with just four plays, and came out with a 30-6 win. Oh yeah, and that converted lineman / running back rushed for three touchdowns.

These days you don't hear too many stories about a new coach coming in and immediately focusing on respect and discipline; but in this case it seems to be working out for everyone. 

Addazio talks about coaching under Pasqualoni

Temple's Steve Addazio and UConn's Paul Pasqualoni meet this weekend in a Big East match up that pits Addazio with the coach that helped him get his start in the college ranks. Addazio worked under Pasqualoni at both Western Connecticut and Syracuse.

“Obviously Coach P started me in this business. I wouldn’t be where I am right now without him. It begins and ends right there. He taught me how to be a football coach." Addazio explained during a conference call yesterday.

“At WestConn, I could tell you stories, just crazy stuff. We all slept in the office. You are cutting old 16 millimeter film...you have strips of film hanging on the walls." Addazio said of their time together at Western Connecticut.

"Coach P has this makeshift wall. We're all on the other side of the wall and go to sleep there going, ‘Night guys, Night, coach.’ It was like something out of The Waltons." 

“That is how we all started washing socks and jocks. I came back from my wedding, and coach is on a tractor. I am on my hands and knees putting irrigation down to water the field. You just can’t make this stuff up. He is the best there is, and I just have the greatest amount of respect for him.”

While Addazio reminisced for a brief period during the league teleconference yesterday, him and his staff have had their hands full this season. In his second season at Temple, Addazio and the staff have had to prepare 17 first time starters, third most in the country behind Air Force (19) and Hawaii (18).

Temple (2-2, 1-0) will square with UConn (3-3, 0-1) off at 1pm ET on ESPN3.



How Chip Kelly influenced the Patriots no-huddle

The Boston Globe came out with an interesting piece early this morning, explaining how Chip Kelly helped influence New England's use of the no-huddle.

The relationship between Chip Kelly and Bill O'Brien all started with pick up basketball games between two east coast coaching staffs.

While Kelly was at the University of New Hampshire, the staff would sometimes travel up to Brown to talk schemes, and play the occasional pick up basketball game. It was there that Kelly started to share no huddle ideas with Brown assistant coach Bill O'Brien, and their friendship carried over to when Kelly went to Oregon and O'Brien joined the Patriots staff.

Kelly went back to the east coast to talk the no huddle with the Patriots staff a handful of times, including two years ago when he caught the ear of Bill Belichick. Kelly told Belichick and the staff that he was moving to a no huddle system that used just one word to signify the entire play call.

One word was all Kelly planned to use to to communicate the entire offensive formation, protection, motion, shift and play.

While it was hard for the New England staff to grasp at first, Chip Kelly's message to them was to not put a limit on the players' minds, because they will learn what you teach them.

“I was interested to hear how he did it,” Belichick explained of Kelly's no huddle knowledge. “I would say he expanded it to a different level and it was very interesting to understand what he was doing. Certainly I’ve learned a lot from talking to Chip about his experiences with it and how he does it and his procedure and all that.”

New England switched to the one word system while O'Brien called the offense in 2011 and had to adjust the one word play calls a few times throughout the year before they really got things rolling in the playoffs. Now, because of their unique personnel with guys like Aaron Hernandez, they're able to check out of an empty backfield pass formation, to an under center run to take advantage of a defensive alignment, all with one word.

Greg A. Bedard of the Boston Globe does a great job of further explaining how the Patriots now use their no-huddle system in the original article, which can be read in its entirety here. 

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