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Holtz puts Syracuse talk to rest

From staff and ECU reports
All rights reserved.

East Carolina coach Skip Holtz has ended a widely reported informal courtship by Syracuse University to head its football program.

Holtz announced the decision in a Thursday afternoon press release issued by the ECU athletic department prior to his appearance in a Memphis press conference with Kentucky football coach Rich Brooks. The Pirates and Wildcats will face each other in the Liberty Bowl in Memphis on Jan. 2.

Holtz, who met with Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross while in New York this week for the induction of his father, Lou Holtz, into the College Football Hall of Fame, indicated that he has withdrawn his name from consideration by the Orange and has declined further discussions regarding the post previously held by Greg Robinson.

"While it is always flattering for others to have an interest in your abilities, I simply am too focused on our preparations for the bowl game and many other of our short and long-term goals to fairly evaluate what I feel is a promising situation at Syracuse," stated Holtz. "I appreciate Syracuse's interest but that certainly is a direct reflection on what our players, coaches and the Pirate Nation have been able to accomplish, especially through a season that featured so much adversity."

Holtz has directed East Carolina to a 9-4 record during a roller coaster season that began with back-to-back victories over Top 15 opponents Virginia Tech and West Virginia, then stalled under the weight of injuries and suspensions before regaining momentum with a Conference USA championship run.

Hours after Holtz' announcement,, citing multiple sources, reported that New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Doug Marrone, an SU alumnus, has accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater.

12/12/2008 03:15:09 AM


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