Louisiana Tech and head football coach Skip Holtz have agreed in principle to a contract extension. Although it still technically has be approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, that is a mere formality.
The five year, $3.5 million extension shows a commitment from both school and head coach to keep Holtz in Ruston. This arrangement has been very successful for both parties thus far. Tech gave Holtz a second chance after a stint at USF didn’t work out, and Holtz has brought Tech a level of sustained success they hadn’t seen in several years. This is highlighted by two division titles and three straight bowl wins, something Tech had never seen at the I-A/FBS level. After years of occasionally doing well in the WAC, Holtz has made La Tech a top-tier team in C-USA.
Coach Holtz will be paid $700,000 per year, which is a raise of $200,000 from the previous contract. This alone takes him from being one of the lowest-paid coaches in C-USA to roughly in the middle of the pack.
La Tech has also apparently set a target of eight wins per year (they’ve won nine games each of the past three years). The contract, which currently goes until 2022, will extend by a year each time the Bulldogs win eight or more games in a season. However, if he fails to win eight games in a given season, his buyout (which starts at $400,000) will decrease by $100,000. So in other words, Holtz gets another year every time he wins eight or more games, but becomes cheaper for someone else to hire every time he doesn’t. Also of note concerning the buyout: if Tommy McClelland is no longer Tech’s Athletic Director, the buyout will be decreased by $25,000. Similarly, if Dr. Les Guice is no longer La Tech’s president, the buyout will decrease by the same amount. So if both the AD and president leave their respective positions, Holtz’s buyout would drop by $50,000.
Another note of interest concerns assistant coaches. There is an agreement that La Tech and the athletic foundation will use their “best efforts” to create formal contracts for assistant coaches, something that is not currently in place. Holtz expressed his desire to see this happen as a method to reduce turnover. Several assistant coaches have come and gone thus far during Skip Holtz’s tenure, and he clearly wants to create more stability within his staff.
The biggest C-USA coaching headlines this offseason have come from new hires that hope to turn their teams into winning programs. Louisiana Tech has clearly made a statement that it will not be left behind by successfully hanging on to the coach that has made the Dawgs the team to beat in C-USA West. With Jeff Brohm gone, will 2017 be Holtz’s year?