Holtz says priority is creating culture of winning - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Holtz says priority is creating culture of winning

(Birmingham, Ala.) July 29, 2004 - University of South Carolina head coach Lou Holtz, at the SEC media day, said he was embarrassed last year when his team lost its regular-season finale to Clemson, 63-17, "The last couple of years we have lost some heartbreakers. A play or two away. Then, the last game we got embarrassed like I've never been before. I don't think you can say we are a play away and that's what caused us to change the way we think, the way we act." 

He calls the upcoming season one of his biggest challenges, "I have hopes and beliefs that we can be a pretty good football team, but as you know, pretty good is not good enough in the SEC."

Holtz says a lot of work needs to be done, "We're light years away from changing the culture at South Carolina.''

Holtz overhauled his coaching staff over the off-season. He fired four assistants, assumed the offensive coordinator duties held by his son, Skip, and reassigned him to quarterbacks coach, "Disagreement is when you have a difference of opinion of how to accomplish the same objective. A problem is when you have a disagreement about what your objective is. I can tell you, our objective is to win at the University of South Carolina, to change the culture."

Coach Holtz says one of the big questions for this season is at quarterback, "Dondrial [Pinkins] is the number one quarterback, but he certainly doesn't have a lock on the position. He's a talent. It's just, can we find the confidence level that he has to have and exude that confidence to his teammates as well?"

South Carolina is coming off its second straight 5-7 season. Pinkins was the quarterback for last year's version that saw the Gamecocks lose five of their final six games. He finished the year hitting 162 of 322 passes. He had ten touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Holtz also spoke about the possibility of retiring, "I've never put a timetable on my future. If you say you are only going to coach one more year, then you've already quit. You're just passing time. If you retire, you never get a day off. Think about it. I am a teacher and that's what I enjoy doing. I enjoy seeing someone grow and develop and have success."

The first fall workout is August 7th and USC opens against Vandy on September 4th in Nashville.

Posted 8:11pm by BrettWitt with AP

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