Skip Holtz stepped to the podium as Louisiana Tech's head coach, donning a new blue hat at his introductory press conference Friday. When asked about his time at South Florida, the Holtz defended his three years there, saying he simply "ran out of time."
"I felt like we were doing some great things at South Florida," Holtz said in his first public comments since his firing Dec. 2. Holtz cited the program's improvement academically and blamed the 3-9 record this season—the worst in USF history—on injuries.
"We started eight freshman or sophomores on the offensive side of the ball," Holtz said.
"I certainly don't feel like [being hired by Louisiana Tech] is about redemption," he added. "I don't feel like we weren't successful at South Florida. I feel like we ran out of time."
Holtz was 16-21 (5-16 in the Big East) in three seasons at USF. Before that, he had coached East Carolina to back-to-back Conference USA championships.
Holtz said he thought about taking a year off from coaching after he was fired at USF. "When we went through the last couple years, I was tired," Holtz said. "I was not chasing all these jobs. When I got the phone call [from Louisiana Tech], I was like, I've always been impressed with that program."
Holtz takes over a Bulldogs' program that went 9-3 in 2012 but will lose 31 seniors. Louisiana Tech declined an invitation to the Independence Bowl before then-coach Sonny Dykes took the head coaching job at California.