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News Nuggets, 11.26.04
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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Still poor-mouthing, Holtz leaves coaching door open


11.25.04: Stockstill among trio of assistants retained by Spurrier ... UTEP mines berth in Houston Bowl ... More...
11.24.04: Bowl-bound UTEP eyes winning exit from WAC ... MAC to sub for Pac-10 in Silicon Valley Bowl ... More...
11.23.04: Fox snatches up BCS rights for $320 million ... Brawl scratches bowl trips for Clemson, South Carolina ... BCS football rankings ... AP basketball poll ... More...
11.22.04: Cincinnati-Louisville game to air on ESPN2 ... C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... Associated Press college football poll ... More...
11.21.04: Utah rout of old nemesis BYU forces BCS hand ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...
11.20.04: ABC TV backing out of BCS sweepstakes? ... Former Louisville hoops star dead at 48 ... More...
11.19.04: Holtz paves way for ascension of Spurrier at South Carolina ... Mountain West Conference bonanza rides on Utah-BYU game ... More...
11.18.04: No separate divisions planned for future Big East ... Old nemesis stands in Utes' path to BCS bid ... More...
11.17.04: National talent hunt lands 12 diamond prospects for ECU ... BCA tourney takes on distinct Wolfpack flare ... More...
11.16.04: Badiane joins Heels' Felton on one-game suspension ... BCS football rankings ... AP college basketball poll ... More...
11.15.04: C-USA standings, scoreboard, schedule & TV ... Utes close in on BCS berth ... AP football poll ... More...
11.14.04: Cancer-stricken USF basketball player to miss season ... College football weekend: stars & storylines ... More...
11.13.04: Herrion seals the deal with New Jersey prep target ... Tigers tune up for Pirates with win over USM ... More...
11.12.04: Cook, Badiane fuel ECU win in final preseason test ... Hard-luck Louisville big man lost for season ... More...
11.11.04: Spurrier signals desire for warm weather college job ... LeFors leads Louisville rout of Horned Frogs ... More...

COLUMBIA — As South Carolina coach Lou Holtz left the game he's cherished for 33 seasons, he couldn't resist poor-mouthing himself one last time.

``What am I qualified to do? I don't know, maybe carry the cord'' of the coach's headset, he joked earlier this week.

Holtz, who could make playing Navy sound tougher than playing the Dallas Cowboys, stepped into retirement and cleared the way for the Gamecocks to introduce Steve Spurrier as his replacement Tuesday.

The 67-year-old Holtz goes out with 249 victories, eighth most in Division I-A, and a reputation for turning stumbling programs into winners. At each of his six schools — William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and the Gamecocks — Holtz went to bowl games by his second season.

His greatest accomplishment came in 1988, when he led Notre Dame to the national title only three seasons after the disastrous Gerry Faust era ended.

``Lou Holtz has been one of the great coaches in college football history.'' said Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, the winningest coach in Division I. ``He has brought a lot to the game and has coached some great teams. It will seem strange without him.''

His latest reconstruction project at South Carolina was nearly as remarkable. He came out of retirement in 1998 at 61 to rebuild the Gamecocks. After going 0-11 his first season in Columbia, Holtz brought South Carolina to its best two-year mark in history (17-7) and won consecutive Outback Bowl victories.

``I don't know where I'm going to go. I don't know what I'm going to do. I have faith in the Lord to let him lead me. As long as my family's with me, everything else will be OK,'' Holtz said. ``But I do feel confident leaving here that the football program is on a firm foundation.''

Holtz didn't mention Spurrier by name, but said his replacement ``was a very well known, proven winner ... that I play golf with.''

Holtz worried that his reputation would be damaged by his last game, a 29-7 loss to Clemson that included an ugly brawl. South Carolina officials said Monday the Gamecocks would not accept an expected bowl bid because of the fight, which Holtz was in the middle of trying to restore order.

``Isn't it a heck of a note, Lou Holtz is going to be remembered along with Woody Hayes for having a fight at the Clemson game,'' Holtz said.

Hayes' career ended after punching Clemson linebacker Charlie Bauman at the Gator Bowl in 1978.

It's more likely Holtz will be remembered as the wiry little general, whose diminutive size didn't stop him from being a commanding leader.

The lingering picture of Holtz for many will be of him leading a Notre Dame player off the field during a game by the facemask. Or of his woe-is-us news conferences, where he would make his opponent out to be unbeatable and portray his team as hopeless.

Coaching success only eluded Holtz in the NFL. He coached the New York Jets in 1976 and his rah-rah style didn't cut it with the pros. He went 3-11 and returned to college ball the next season with Arkansas.

In his first three seasons with the Razorbacks, he went 30-5-1. He left Arkansas for Minnesota in 1984, then two years later he was hired by Notre Dame.

He spent 11 season at Notre Dame, compiling a 100-30-2 record and making the Fighting Irish perennial national title contenders in the late 1980s and early 90s.

When Holtz left South Bend in 1996, he thought he was finished coaching. But at 61, he was lured to Columbia to replace fired Brad Scott.

Holtz suffered through a miserable first season in 1999. His wife, Beth, had a recurrence of throat cancer; his son and top assistant, Skip, had a mysterious illness that hospitalized him early that football season; his mother, Anne Marie, died right before the Florida game; and a university plane carrying Holtz on a recruiting trip crashed after dropping the coach off, killing the pilot.

But Holtz put the tragedies aside and revived South Carolina. He finished his six-year stint with the Gamecocks 33-37.

And he hasn't ruled out another try at coaching.

``I don't know what's going to happen,'' Holtz said. ``But when my wife puts me on a suicide watch, then watch out for a challenge.''

Guidugli status in doubt after home accident

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati star quarterback Gino Guidugli broke a bone in his throwing hand when he slipped outside his home, and he might miss Saturday's game at No. 7 Louisville.

Guidugli, who holds most of the school's passing records, broke a small bone on the top of his right hand last Saturday night after the Bearcats routed South Florida 45-23.

``I slipped on the top step, tried to brace my fall and hurt my hand,'' Guidugli said.

He was at practice Tuesday, with his hand wrapped. Doctors told him not to throw this week, he said.

``They want to give the bone proper time to heal, so I'm trying to do as little as possible before Saturday,'' Guidugli said.

Coach Mark Dantonio said Guidugli wants to play against the Cardinals, but a decision won't come before then.

``It's not a break that's a season-ending break,'' Dantonio said. ``If we play in a bowl game in two weeks or three weeks, he should be able to play for sure.''

Cincinnati (6-4, 5-2 Conference USA) lost four of its first six games but became bowl eligible with last Saturday's win over USF.

Guidugli is one touchdown pass from tying the Bearcats' single-season record of 25.

Louisville (8-1, 6-0) has won five of the past six games with Cincinnati.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2004 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:06 PM


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