Louisiana Tech sacks Skip Holtz: Bulldogs opt for coaching change after nine years in mid-season 3-8

Louisiana Tech has sacked coach Skip Holtz after nine seasons, the schedule announced on Friday. Holtz will coach the season finale against Rice on Saturday. He was 64-49 with the Bulldogs and led the program to seven straight bowl games before suffering a poor season in 2021.

“Skip and I discussed and agreed it was time for both sides to change,” said Eric Wood, athletic director of Louisiana Tech. “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 was able to accomplish things that were not done here. consistently before he arrived. We continue to commit to winning conference championships, and that expectation is stronger than ever. “

Just two years ago, Holtz led the program to their very first 10-win FBS season as Louisiana Tech shared a share of the Conference USA West division with UAB. However, the Bulldogs hit rock bottom in 2021 with a 3-8 record pending results against Rice, giving Holtz his first losing season since making his Louisiana Tech debut in 2013. The record included three losses to Mississippi State, SMU and NC State by a combined 10 points.

Louisiana Tech has regressed in the conference game after tight non-conference performances. The Bulldogs handed Southern Miss her only FBS win of the season in a 35-19 loss to the Golden Eagles, despite USM facing more than 10 players for quarterback.

“This is the right time for me to assess a fresh start in my career,” said Holtz. “I have had the privilege of coaching youth and creating football programs for over 30 years, the last nine of which as head coach of Louisiana Tech. The past two seasons have brought additional challenges to our agenda, and I just think it’s about time someone else got the chance to lead this special group of young men. “

Louisiana Tech is playing Rice at 1 p.m. Saturday in Houston. Both teams come in at 3-9.

State pride

Outside of LSU, Louisiana Tech has always been Louisiana’s premier sports department. But in 2021, the Bulldogs will shockingly end up with the worst record among schools in Louisiana. ULM is already sitting down with four wins despite the hiring of a seemingly disappointing Terry Bowden must be a frustration. Billy Napier, meanwhile, led Louisiana to three straight 10-game seasons.

Holtz’s sacking compares favorably with that of former Louisiana coach Mark Hudspeth. He led the Ragin ‘Cajuns to four consecutive nine-game seasons before being fired in 2017 after a 5-7 campaign. Napier entered and led Louisiana to historic success. For this reason, expect Louisiana Tech to bet on a newcomer to put the program’s name back into the national conversation.

Changing landscape

The news comes months after several of Conference USA’s top programs announced their departure for the American Athletic Conference and Sun Belt, leaving Louisiana Tech, UTEP, FIU, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky as the only remaining members. Conference USA has since added transitioning members Liberty, New Mexico State and FCS Jacksonville State and Sam Houston.

The Bulldogs have long been one of the proudest sporting departments in the country and have won three National Championships at the Division II level. With years until the realignment was completely sorted out, Louisiana Tech was unwilling to roll the dice on Holtz to get his mojo back, especially after major programs neglected him after a period of unprecedented success on FBS on the program.

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