When you ask University of South Florida football fans what they think about the dismissal of Skip Holtz as head coach, the reactions range from measured:
"It was pretty much what USF needed to do," said USF alum Trevor Whitman. "It needed to happen."
To not so measured:
"He [Holtz] sucks!" yelled Bulls' fan Joe Herzhauser.
While the reactions varied, the opinions were the same. Fans and followers of the USF program agree it was time for the 48-year-old coach to go.
"I felt that this change was necessary," explained USF senior Jeff Gao.
Gao was playing a game of flag football Sunday afternoon when news of Holtz' dismissal spread throughout the campus. He said the students he spoke with weren't real surprised.
"The rumors have been around since the season has been down." Gao added.
Holtz finished his tenure at USF with a record of 16-21. Boosters, supporters and fans say that record is just not good enough, especially in Florida where football has a rich tradition.
Year-in and year-out some of the nation's top recruits come from the Sunshine State.
"We have amazing recruiting possibilities [in Florida]," says Whitman. "It's a state school in the Southeast. There are all these amazing athletes around us, and we can't get any of them."
So who would die-hard Bulls fans like to see take over the reins of the program?
Nobody could come up with a name on Sunday but many spoke of qualities they would like to see from the next coach.
"We really need someone who has good recruiting and solid fundamentals," Whitman said.
"I think we should focus on somebody local, someone that we can trust who has good integrity that will raise the program from the ground up," Gao said.
We now know whoever leads the Bulls out the tunnel at Raymond James Stadium next year won't be named Holtz, and that appears to make fans in this area pretty happy.
"I really thought Skip Holtz was the guy and he's just, he's just not. He had a great last name but that was it," Whitman said.
Holtz was hired after USF fired Jim Leavitt.
The university fired Leavitt after an investigation into allegations that he choked and hit a student during a game. The university concluded that the allegations were true and that Leavitt had inappropriate contact with players who were part of the investigation.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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