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College football: Louisiana Tech parts ways with coach Skip Holtz

Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Louisiana Tech and football coach Skip Holtz agreed to part ways, the school announced Friday.

Holtz will coach his final game for the Bulldogs (3-8) against Rice (3-8) on Saturday in Houston. The Bulldogs lost to Southern Miss on Nov. 19 for their sixth setback in seven games.

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"Skip and I talked and agreed it was time for a change for both parties," Louisiana Tech athletic director Eric Wood said in a news release.

"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."

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The Bulldogs said they will soon name an interim coach and immediately start their search for a new permanent coach.

"This is the right time for me to evaluate a new start in my career," Holtz said. "I've had the privilege of mentoring young people and building football programs for more than 30 years, including the last nine as head coach of Louisiana Tech.

"The past two seasons have brought additional challenges to our program, and I simply think it is time for someone else to have the chance to lead this special group of young men."

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The Bulldogs hired Holtz, the son of Hall of Fame coach Lou Holtz, in December 2012. He takes a 64-49 record with the program into his final game Saturday. Holtz, the 2016 Conference USA Coach of the Year, went 4-8 in his first season with the Bulldogs.

He led the team to a nine wins in each of his next three-consecutive seasons from 2014 through 2016. The Bulldogs followed those campaigns with seven, eight and 10 win seasons, respectively, the next three years. They went 5-5 in 2020.

"He has been able to accomplish some things that weren't previously done here on a consistent basis prior to his arrival," Wood said of Holtz. "We continue to be committed to winning conference championships, and that expectation is stronger than ever."

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Holtz started his collegiate head coaching career in 2005 at East Carolina. He went 38-27 in five seasons leading the Pirates. He went 16-21 in three seasons at South Florida from 2010 through 2012.

"I am not done coaching football and have great passion and energy to continue to lead young men through this game that I love so much," Holtz said. "It is just time for me to channel my energies elsewhere."

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The Bulldogs face Rice in their final game of the season at 1 p.m. EST Saturday at Rice Stadium.

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