The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

September 9, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN: Holtz a personable coach

MORGANTOWN — There are many pleasures in this world of ours, be they a cold beer on a hot summer’s day, a rare steak and fine glass of wine, a candlelight dinner or the wag of a dog’s tail as you walk into the house after a long day at the office.

Or you can just speak to Skip Holtz.

Perhaps it’s just the name, Skip, but this is a football coach who breaks the stereotype. Seems like everyone named Skip is a personable sort of soul.

He isn’t quite as funny as father, Lou, was, but if you could get past the thought that he was the Notre Dame coach and concentrated on the fact that he is a native of West Virginia, you find that he’s an enjoyable conversationalist.

Holtz, Skip that would be, is the coach at East Carolina, who just happens to be West Virginia’s opponent this Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium, and as such he made himself available to the media Tuesday afternoon.

A year ago he made some people at West Virginia wince badly, partly because his Pirates pounded the Mountaineers 24-3 in a rather embarrassingly one-sided affair, but also because they could have avoided such a beating by having hired him back when they went instead for Bill Stewart.

No regrets with Stewart, of course, but let’s just say that Holtz would have been an equally qualified candidate who would have made things here just as interesting as Stewart does with his down-home approach.

We’ll give you a sampling of Holtz’s observations about the Mountaineers, not so much for what he says as he is a football coach and isn’t about to give them anything to pin on their bulletin board but for how he says it.

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Bob Herzel
  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

  • WVU hoping to add two non-conference contests

    West Virginia is nearing the completion of deals to play football games against long-time rival Virginia Tech, now in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference, according to a source close to the negotiations.
    An announcement is expected shortly.

    July 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: MLB All-Star game biggest celebration of top athletes

    You will pardon me if I find something else to do when the Pro Bowl rolls around, or if I try to find a “Three Stooges” marathon when it’s time for the NHL All-Star game. As for the NBA All-Star game, I’d rather watch a replay of a four-year-old Uruguay-Ethiopia World Cup soccer match in which I knew the outcome.

    July 14, 2014

  • Howes learns to ‘never settle’ as WVU administrator

    You probably don’t know much about Terri Howes, even though she is a rather high-ranking executive in the West Virginia University athletic department.
    “I like it that way,” she said, sitting in a large office at the Coliseum, decorated with pictures and memorabilia, a jar of candy sitting by the door for visitors to dip into.

    July 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Rich Rod’s return not impossible

    As you may guess, in the wake of LeBron James’ decision to let bygones be millions and return to his rooters in Cleveland, more than once was I approached with someone wanting to know if this opened the door for a return to West Virginia University of their once-reviled coach Rich Rodriguez.

    July 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Trickett best option as a leader

    In the end, West Virginia University’s decision to place the mantle of starting quarterback upon veteran Clint Trickett was less about quarterback than it was about leadership.
    This is not to say that Trickett lacks the talent to succeed as quarterback in coach Dana Holgorsen’s system.

    July 6, 2014

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