Football coach looks to make Ruston a longtime stop
Head football coach Skip Holtz has been on the job at Louisiana Tech University for six months and has been well received by Ruston and the entire community.
Holtz was announced as the new head coach in December 2012 and has worked nonstop ever since in preparations for the upcoming football season.
“There’s an unbelievable amount of positives about Louisiana Tech,” Holtz said. “The sky is the limit for what we want to accomplish here in Ruston.”
Holtz grew up in a football family. His father, Lou Holtz, is regarded as one of the most legendary coaches in all of college football. Skip Holtz said the opportunity he had to grow up around his father and coach with him was incredible.
“Having a father that can give you the view from 30,000 feet doesn’t hurt at all when you look at the programs he’s built,” Holtz said. “It’s given me the opportunity to coach with a guy who’s had successes [at programs like Notre Dame, South Carolina and Arkansas].”
Even though Holtz experienced much with his dad, he said his decision to become a coach came during his time as a student athlete at Notre Dame.
“[In my junior year], the reality that football wasn’t going to be a part of my life anymore hit me,” Holtz said. “That was a day that I was not looking forward to facing and was when I said I really wanted to get into coaching.”
From that point, Holtz began his search for graduate assistant jobs and got his first coaching job as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State. From there, he coached in various positions at Colorado State, Notre Dame, Connecticut, South Carolina, East Carolina, South Florida and now Louisiana Tech.
While serving as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State, Holtz met his wife Jennifer and she has served an important role in his life ever since.
Holtz said his family figures heaivily in job-related decisions that he has to make at times.
“I’ve got a wonderful wife who understands and really makes it all work,” he said. “All of the moves we have made since my children have been born have worked because of my wife’s positive attitude and embracing the changes.”
Although Holtz has made several moves in coaching, he said he hopes to stay in Ruston for a while.
“I would love to make this home,” he said. “When I look at a school, I look at it like it’s my last coaching job and make sure that I could be happy there for the rest of my life.”
Holtz also said his transition to Ruston has been tremendous and he has received support from everyone along the way.
“The entire community has embraced me and our family with open arms,” he said. “It’s like drinking from a fire hose. There’s been so much support and there’s no way to absorb it all, but it’s been extremely positive.”
At the end of the day, Holtz said his main reason for being in Ruston is to continue the success of the Louisiana Tech football program and improve it even more.
Skip said he faces a difficult challenge this season because of the new conference, new coaching staff and so many new faces on the field, but he has to take that and still find a way to be successful.
“I don’t know how good we can be,” he said. “But we’ve got to keep working every single day to be as good as we can be.”
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