DEREK J. AMAYA
Associate Managing Editor
Louisiana Tech Bulldog fans will be seeing a lot of new faces and some familiar faces coaching the Bulldogs on the sideline at Joe Aillet Stadium.
New head coach Skip Holtz has successfully filled every position of his coaching staff with the exception of a new defensive coordinator.
“We are kind of turning the page now starting a new chapter, which is the chapter about what we have to get done here on campus,” Holtz said. “There are a number of things you are looking for in a staff. There are a lot of different variables you want in your staff. You have experience, age, pay scales, recruiting backgrounds; a lot of different things that go into it.”
Added to the new staff are offensive coordinator Tony Peterson, defensive backs and special teams coordinator Ronnie Bradford, wide receivers coach Tim Rattay, offensive line coach Matt Moore, running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and inside receivers coach Joe Sloan.
“I said in my press conference there were three things that I was looking to make sure were covered when we first got hired and putting the nine coaches together,” Holtz said.
Some familiar faces include defensive line coach Stan Eggen, linebackers coach Jeff Koonz, strength and conditioning coach Damon Harrington and character coach Ed Jackson.
“One of the first people that I personally hired when I came in here within probably the first couple days of being here after interviewing and talking with them was Stan Eggen because I felt he brought familiarity, a Louisiana Tech background,” Holtz said. “Then, I ended up hiring Jeff Koonz.”
Tech hired defensive coordinator David Gibbs, but due to family living in the Houston area, he took a job for the same position at the University of Houston.
“I have talked to a number of people, but one of the things I kept running into were coaches that wanted to wait until after signing day because of the young men that they have recruited and they wanted to be fair to the school they were at,” Holtz said.
National signing day was yesterday, but Holtz said he wants to continue building on the success former head coach Sonny Dykes built here. Dykes’ lead the Bulldogs to a 9-3 season and created the No. 1 offense in the country. Recruiting up to those standards can be a difficult task.
“From a calendar standpoint, once we got hired we immediately jumped into recruiting and that has pretty much taken all of our efforts,” Holtz said. “It has been hard recruiting because you are going into eight or nine schools in the course of the day, you are trying to get to know the high school coaches, trying to start to follow up a little bit on junior recruiting and at the same time after school you are trying to do two or three home visits in the area.”
Holtz said he is excited about all of the recruits Tech received today and hopes they will rely less on junior college players and more on the presence of the high school players in the upcoming seasons.
Spring practice will start on March 15 and lead to the spring football game on April 13.
All practices will be open to the public.
Email comments to dja...@latech.edu.