2016 Purdue Football Coaching Search: Skip Holtz
Candidate Tier #3
Category: Intriguing Candidates
Who Is He?
Boilerdowd: He's LaTech's head coach, the former UConn, ECU and USF head coach...and the son of Lou Holtz. Some might say he's the Pat Knight of college football…for multiple reasons.
Aneesh: Little Holtz ain’t so little. He’s 52, with an extensive head coaching record (regardless of how he got those jobs). He posted two 9 win seasons in five years at ECU, and two of his first three years at Louisiana Tech have ended with 9 wins. Seven out of Holtz’s twelve head coaching seasons ended in a bowl game (with four ending in bowl game wins).
Now, he succeeded Sonny Dykes, so there was talent left in LA Tech’s program. This year will prove to be vital to see if Skip can sustain Dykes’ level of success, and he’s off to a 4-3 start (with losses at Arkansas, Texas Tech…and Middle Tennessee).
Why would he be successful at Purdue?
Boilerdowd: He'll be cheap, he wants the opportunity to get into a Power 5 program and would probably happy as a clam to have the chance to be near his alma mater (UND) and potentially play the program that his Dad rebuilt in a few seasons.
Aneesh: He’s got extensive head coaching experience and, theoretically, knows the Midwest. I also thought he did a better job at ECU than he typically gets credit for. Holtz is an offensive coach (like, not offensive, but offensive, but maybe he’s offensive, I’ve never met the man) and his LA Tech teams have been fairly high-scoring, and points are very much welcome in Ross Ade Stadium.
Why could he flop at Purdue?
Boilerdowd: He could flop at Purdue because he was fired at ECU and USF...the bloom is kinda off of the rose for Holtz, but he's still a good coach who would stabilize the bleeding-out Boilers.
Aneesh: Teaching old dogs new tricks? Can Holtz recruit at a level to sustain success at LA Tech, let alone in the Midwest at Purdue? Do high school recruits even know who Lou Holtz is, or that he coached in the state? Holtz would be a very stale hire, despite the positives of his offensive system.
Would he come to Purdue?
Boilerdowd: I don't think Bobinski would have salary even in the discussion before Holtz would accept.
Aneesh: Absolutely. Holtz has never had a job as prominent as Purdue, which is a super weird sentence to type, but he’d leap at the opportunity in the Big Ten West in an instant. Maybe he’s worth a casual mention in Bobinski’s office, but he shouldn’t make it past the first round of evaluations.