Holtz named head coach of USFL’s Stallions

On Thursday, the United States Football League (USFL), a new professional football league launching Saturday, April 16, announced Holtz will take the reins of the Birmingham Stallions.

Holtz joins Kirby Wilson (Pittsburgh Maulers), Bart Andrus (Philadelphia Stars), Todd Haley (Tampa Bay Bandits), Mike Riley (New Jersey Generals), and Kevin Sumlin (Houston Gamblers), all named to their positions earlier this month.

“Filling two more head coach positions is another huge step forward for the league as we move towards kickoff,” said Brian Woods, USFL President of Football Operations. “In Skip and Kirby, we’ve secured two outstanding professionals, who, like the coaches already announced, have decades of experience either in the NFL or college, a love of coaching, and a commitment to the quality league we’re building.”

Holtz joins the USFL with 22 years of experience as a college head coach and a coaching resume dating back to 1987. As an FBS head coach, he guided his schools to 12 bowl appearances in 16 seasons, posted 11 wins over Power 5 programs, and notched eight conference or divisional championships.

He posted six consecutive bowl victories and three consecutive nine-win seasons during his nine seasons leading the Bulldogs. Holtz also led his team to its first 10-win season in 35 years in 2019 and was named CUSA Coach of the Year in 2016. He was fired following the Bulldogs 3-9 season this year.

Holtz’s career as a head coach began at the University of Connecticut, spending five years in the Atlantic 10 (1994-98), compiling a 17-7 in his last two seasons. In 1998, the Huskies went 10-3, making it to the NCAA Division I-AA quarterfinals. Holtz then moved to the University of South Carolina, where he spent six seasons (1999-04) as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach/assistant head coach under his father, the legendary Lou Holtz.

Holtz returned to the role of head coach in 2005, spending five seasons at East Carolina University. At ECU, he posted four consecutive winning seasons, made consecutive bowl appearances, won two Conference USA championships, and was CUSA Coach of the Year in 2008. Holtz then moved to the University of South Florida in 2010, serving as head coach for the Big East school. After three seasons and one bowl appearance in Tampa, Holtz was named head coach of Louisiana Tech University in December 2012 and remained there through the 2021 season.

The USFL will hold a player selection meeting from Tuesday, Feb. 22 through Wednesday, Feb. 23, and training camps will open on Monday, March 21. Each USFL team will carry a 38-man active roster plus a seven-man practice squad, and players will receive base compensation in addition to being eligible for victory bonuses.  

The USFL will launch with eight teams split into two divisions playing in one location. In addition to the Stallions, New Orleans Breakers, Gamblers, and Bandits in the South Division, the North Division features the Michigan Panthers, Maulers, Generals, and Stars. Each team will play a 10-game schedule, followed by semifinals between the top two teams in each division, and a championship game between division winners.

The USFL has multi-year agreements with NBC Sports and FOX Sports, establishing both networks as official broadcast partners, with plans to nationally televise every game on either NBC, USA, Peacock, FOX, or FS1.

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