Skip Holtz steps down from East Carolina to replace Jim Leavitt as USF head coach
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01/14/10 Joshua Lee Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

East Carolina coach Skip Holtz will be the next head coach for the USF Bulls, accepting USF’s offer this morning. The University has been looking for a coach since firing Jim Leavitt last Friday. The lawyer for USF football player Joel Miller is asking Ex-USF football coach Jim Leavitt to apologize for hitting him, the move that cost Leavitt his job. Miller’s legal team held a press conference today at their downtown office.

Last week the University of South Florida concluded that Jim Leavitt would lose his coaching contract for grabbing Miller by the throat and hitting him twice on the head in the locker room during halftime of a football game. Leavitt says he didn’t do it, and is fighting to get his job back. Miller’s attorney Barry Cohen said that if Leavitt doesn’t apologize, a legal battle could ensue.

Before Skip Holtz signed on as the new Bulls coach, Cohen speculated on whether Leavitt could be reinstated.

Miller’s father supported the coach’s position at first, but then decided to support his son when he found out that Leavitt had cleaned out the player’s locker. Leavitt was like a mentor to Miller, and Cohen rebuked the coach’s refusal to admit his actions.

After getting fired last Friday, Leavitt has been on a mission to get his job back. He maintained his innocence yesterday at a post-termination meeting with the University. Given the chance to apologize, Cohen says that USF might have not gone so far.

When asked if Miller would play for an apologetic Leavitt, Cohen said that perhaps the coach and player could make amends.

But now that Holtz will be announced as the new coach tomorrow, Leavitt isn’t likely to coach Miller any time soon, unless he gets his job back. If Leavitt doesn’t apologize, Cohen and Miller’s legal team may sue the former coach on principle. Leavitt was the original coach for the USF Bulls since 1995.

Barry Cohen

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