BREAKING NEWS: Holtz turns down Syracuse coaching job

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, December 11, 2008

By By STEVE FRANKLIN, Sports Writer
GREENVILLE — East Carolina football coach Skip Holtz has withdrawn his name for consideration to be Syracuse University’s next head coach.
In a statement released prior to Thursday’s AutoZone Liberty Bowl Press Conference, Holtz said that he is too focused on preparations for the upcoming bowl game to seriously consider the Orange’s offer.
"While it is always flattering for others to have an interest in your abilities, I simply am too focused on our preparations for the bowl game and many other of our short and long-term goals to fairly evaluate what I feel is a promising situation at Syracuse." Holtz said. "I appreciate Syracuse's interest but that certainly is a direct reflection on what our players, coaches and the Pirate Nation have been able to accomplish, especially through a season that featured so much adversity."
Holtz was in New York on Monday and Tuesday and met with Syracuse University Director of Athletics Darryl Gross — both were in town for the National College Football Hall of Fame inductions where Holtz’s father, Lou and former Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson were being honored.
According to several different sources and a published report from Washington’s WITN Channel 7, the Orange offered Holtz a deal that was worth nearly $12 million.
Last Saturday, Holtz led the Pirates (9-4) to their first conference championship in 32 years with a 27-24 win over Tulsa in the Conference USA Championship Game.
He has posted a 29-21 record at East Carolina and has led the Pirates to three consecutive bowl appearances.
Holtz has been rumored for several other positions, including the vacancy at Auburn.
When asked if this meant he was staying at East Carolina or if he might consider another job elsewhere, Holtz quickly replied, “I’m happy with the (job) I have. I am excited about the program we’ve built at East Carolina and I am just glad to be here at the Liberty Bowl.”