Louisiana Tech, football coach Skip Holtz parts way with after nine seasons

Phil Kaplan
Monroe News-Star

Louisiana Tech announced Friday it was parting ways with football coach Skip Holtz after nine seasons. Holtz will coach Saturday's season finale at Rice.

"Skip and I talked and agreed it was time for a change for both parties," said athletic director Eric Wood in a school release. "Louisiana Tech owes Skip a debt of gratitude for his loyalty and dedication to our football student-athletes, our University, and our community over the past decade.

"He has been able to accomplish some things that weren't previously done here on a consistent basis prior to his arrival. We continue to be committed to winning conference championships, and that expectation is stronger than ever."

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Wood said an an interim head coach will be named and the search for Holtz's successor has begun.

Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz walks the field before an NCAA college football game against UTSA in Ruston, La., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

According to his contract, Holtz will be owed a buyout of just over $3 million. The amount is expressly not subject to Holtz’s duty to find new employment and it will not be offset by his future job income. Holtz had gotten a new contract from the school in 2020 that had been set to run through June 30, 2025.

Holtz, 57, has a  64-49 record at La Tech and led the the Bulldogs to two Conference USA Championship game appearances (2014, 2016) and six wins in seven bowl games.

However, La Tech slumped to 3-8 this season and 2-5 in C-USA. The Bulldogs have lost six of their last seven games.

"This is the right time for me to evaluate a new start in my career," said Holtz in a school release. "I've had the privilege of mentoring young people and building football programs for more than 30 years, including the last nine as head coach of Louisiana Tech. The past two seasons have brought additional challenges to our program, and I simply think it is time for someone else to have the chance to lead this special group of young men.

"I am not done coaching football and have great passion and energy to continue to lead young men through this game that I love so much. It is just time for me to channel my energies elsewhere."

Holtz is the son of legendary coach Lou Holtz.

Holtz has had 13 players selected in the NFL draft, the most in C-USA.  He was named the Conference USA Coach of the Year in 2016.

"I appreciate the support of the University, my players and the Ruston community and am extremely proud of what we have done here," Holtz said. "I hate that our streak of seven straight bowl appearances was broken this year. But the program is not broken, and I have no doubt that there are great things ahead for the Bulldogs. I am locking arms with our team to go out and compete with everything we have one last time against Rice."