Lou Holtz on Thurs. tells USC squad he is retiring - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

WIS has learned

Lou Holtz on Thurs. tells USC squad he is retiring

(Columbia) Nov. 18, 2004 - WIS News 10 has learned Coach Lou Holtz addressed the Gamecock squad at a Thursday evening meeting at Williams-Brice Stadium and told them he is retiring from USC after this season.

Holtz talked to fans briefly after practice Thursday but did not talk about his impending retirement. WIS has also learned USC will have a press conference on Monday, although there has been no official word from the University. WIS News 10 will bring you the conference on Monday live at 11:00am.

All season, the 67-year-old Holtz said he was worn out and tired.

Holtz's announcement came on the same day as reports that former University of Florida Gators and Washington Redskins coach Steve Spurrier has agreed to take over at South Carolina, if and when Holtz stepped down. He has said Spurrier would be a wonderful choice to replace him.

South Carolina Associate Athletic Director and Sports Information Director Kerry Tharp said this morning that the report was incorrect. Tharp says it's up to Holtz to decide if he wants to return for a seventh season with the Gamecocks. Tharp says he can't talk about speculation.

The Tennessean newspaper from Nashville reported Spurrier will be announced as Carolina's head coach next week after this Saturday's game at Clemson.

South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee would not confirm or deny whether Holtz had decided to retire or if Spurrier had been approached to replace him. The Washington Post reports Holtz has had discussions with South Carolina officials about replacing McGee, who is in the final year of his contract.

ESPN reports Holtz is under contract to South Carolina through 2008, though that deal allows both the coach and the school out of the agreement with five days notice. The Post says Holtz would coach the Gamecocks in a bowl game.

Regis Philbin said on "Live with Regis & Kelly" Friday morning he was sad to see his friend. Philbin, who said Holtz had revitalized the South Carolina football program, is a Notre Dame graduate. Holtz, who took the Irish to a national championship in 1988, is a longtime friend of Philbin's.

South Carolina plays at state rival Clemson on Saturday in the final regular season game. The Gamecocks are eligible for a bowl game this season, the third time in Holtz's six seasons in charge.

Holtz is the eighth-winningest coach in Division One with 249 victories at six schools. He has coached at William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina. He took each of his teams to bowls in his second season after inheriting losing teams.

updated 8:18am by Chris Rees

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