Skip Holtz Contract Approved By ECU Board Of Trustees

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina University has announced that an extension of head football coach Skip Holtz' contract, which would help secure his position through the 2013 season, was approved Friday by the University's Board of Trustees. The new six-year agreement provides a guaranteed compensation package of $4.07 million and a modified incentive and bonus structure that could reach a total of approximately $9.5 million.

Holtz, who has led the Pirates to two bowl appearances and consecutive winning seasons for the first time since the 1999 and 2000 campaigns, has guided No. 23 East Carolina to a 3-1 start in 2008. Included in the three victories was a 27-22 triumph over No. 17 Virginia Tech in the season opener and a 24-3 decision over No. 8 West Virginia that vaulted ECU into the Top 25 for the first time since 1999.

The contract calls for a guaranteed base salary, marketing, radio and television total of $565,000 in 2008 with an increase to $605,000 in 2009 before $50,000 additions in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 if Holtz remains the head coach for the Pirates. Incentive and bonus compensation related to season ticket sales (amount equal to $25 per season ticket sold), Pirate Club donations (amount equal to five percent of annual fund) and student academic success (starting at $100,000 and increasing by $25,000 per year) are also a part of the agreement.

"I remain genuinely appreciative and grateful to the leadership we have at East Carolina for the confidence and support they have in the direction that our program is heading," Holtz said. "The level of commitment that is currently in place at ECU and the unmatched support of the Pirate Nation have allowed us to be in a competitive position at college football’s highest level."

Holtz, 44, became East Carolina's 19th head football coach in the school's history on Dec. 3, 2004 and quickly revived a program that had won just three contests in a 25-game period in two-plus seasons prior to his arrival. Accompanying the Pirates' turnaround on the field, which include a 7-6 finish in 2006 and an 8-5 record in 2007, has been dramatic school-record attendance increases at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

In all, ECU has drawn six of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium's top 10 all-time crowds since Holtz' arrival which helped produce new school records a year ago in both average (41,537) and total attendance (249,219). The Pirates' 2008 home opener against the Mountaineers Sept. 6 drew 43,610 fans, ranking as the largest in the Holtz Era and fourth-largest in stadium history.

“The contract is consistent with our desire to continue the tremendous strides our football program has made over the past four years.” East Carolina Director of Athletics Terry Holland said. “One of the keys to our growth has been the stability of leadership and it is our hope that this will remain in place in the future.”

East Carolina also captured its first post-season victory since 1999 under Holtz' leadership last year when the Pirates posted a 41-38 win over No. 24 Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. He currently owns an overall record of 23-18 heading into Saturday's Conference USA contest against Houston, despite annually playing one of the toughest schedules in program history over the past four years that includes 13 (of 14) non-conference games against Bowl Championship Series members.

The agreement also includes a $100,000 buy-out clause should Holtz leave ECU prior to the expiration of the contract.


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  • by Walk the Plank Location: G-Vegas on Dec 11, 2008 at 01:47 PM
    Even though I'm a little late on responding to this, I'm glad to see that most of what everyone said is FALSE. The year's not over yet but we are 9-4 CUSA Champions!!!! Next stop: Memphis.
  • by Big T Location: greenville on Sep 29, 2008 at 06:18 AM
    deadfish, unfortunately I fear that you are correct. While I hold on to the hope of 9-3 season, my concern is Memphis, UCF, and Southern Miss. Losses to those programs will produce the very result you speak of. However, following saturday's performance, the only game I am not real concerned over is Virginia. That game is of no conference consequence. At this point I am concerned about UAB and Marshall too. Just like Oregon and USC, a team always has that one team that does well against them no matter what. Call it karma or whatever you want, but Marshall has a knack for playing very well against ECU regardless of record. In the beginning, with last years win against Boise State, VT, and WVA, I thought we had a shot at an outstanding year. I wonder now if those programs were just grossly overrated? I will stick with the guys but will concur, we MUST do a better recruiting job than we have been. Who do you think would drop the 100 grand to buy out contract to pick Skippy up?
  • by deadfish Location: nc on Sep 28, 2008 at 05:47 PM
    "Mr. T.": First of all ECU will NOT get nine wins. Expect a 7-5 record at best. On another thread I mentioned that Washington Huskies Tyrone Willingham's job is in jeopardy. Syracuse HC Greg Robinson's job is being reported to be in jeopardy as well. IMHO I don't see Skip Holtz leaving for either job. Both programs based on what I've read and heard need a lot of work. I'd say Washington offers a larger area that you can recruit from and that includes California of course. If Mr. Holtz leaves I would at least interview Ed Orgeron and Norm Chow. Coach Orgeron was a defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator(Can recruit a scare crow!) at USC and then Ole Mis HC. Norm Chow was NC ST OC and QB's C when Philip Rivers was NC ST QB. He then was USC OC and TN Titans OC. He's UCLA OC. Mr. Chow never been a HC but considered one of the best offensive minds in CFB as well as a top QB guru. Despite ECU's sports foes ECU must also improve their national academic standing which is #206.
  • by Big T Location: greenville on Sep 28, 2008 at 09:28 AM
    Dave and deadfish, I hope you are wrong, but if we don't come up with 9 wins this year I fear you may be correct. 100 grand is nothing for Notre Dame to shell out as an incentive to get Skip, that contract should have been a bit more...cumbersome to get out of in my opinion. With that being said, looks like we can only drop one more, or risk that very fate. The man works his keester off, Why do we only have local talent, junior college transfers, and kids from florida? Maybe ECU should spend some of that booster money recruiting. Instead of making dens for the greenville elite to partake of the games.
  • by smb=pirate girl Location: Grimesland aka Pirate Nation on Sep 28, 2008 at 08:40 AM
    Bob, just saw your post and agree with you. I don't understand the people that come here specifically to bash ECU. Put that passion towards being devoted to your own school. There is nothing wrong with ECU trying to make a name for itself. Personally, I think the people that bash us are secretly Pirate fans, lol. They long to be a part of a fan base that loves its team no matter what. It's an unfathomable thought for some schools, I know.
  • by smb=pirate girl Location: Grimesland aka Pirate Nation on Sep 28, 2008 at 08:36 AM
    Well, most ECU fans, deadfish, Dave and Ty, accept that Skip will most likely leave; heck, it's all we talk about. We know that if he really wants to go, we can't compete against a "Big Program". Like you all have said, it's a business, it's his career, and he'll make the move that's best for him. We hope he'll stay, there's no denying that, because I think tons more can be done with this program, and as you've seen the last 2 weeks, we need some work. My hubby and I think that Greg Hudson would be a good replacement for Skip if and when the time comes, but Hud was approached last year by other schools, and he almost left, so who's to say he'll stick around if Skip bounces? As long as we don't get a repeat of the John Thompson era, and we can get someone that will keep us moving in the right direction, ECU will accept that person, though it will be hard to see Skip go. I just have one question; Dave, if you hate ECU so much, why do you care? Do you have nothing better to do?
  • by Dave Location: Greenville on Sep 28, 2008 at 06:57 AM
    Well said dedfish and thanks for the compliment! Also, ECU will get crushed by Southern Miss. as well! The way I see it, ECU is in for a 7-5 finish and some mid December Bowl game that nobody will watch, or care about!
  • by deadfish Location: nc on Sep 27, 2008 at 09:07 PM
    Have you heard of expiration and an average coach, etc.? What is "experation"? UHM? Mr. Bob: Dave is correct and too smart. So far I haven't read anything here from anybody being able to pin him down. Sir, your argument is noted with ALL due respect. VBush: It costs $49K plus per year to attend USC. By 2011 it will cost $52K plus. ECU fans be realistic your luck has run out. After the Tulane game I stated that it would take a fast defense to get ECU offense rattled>Bingo! You still have to face UCF and TCU and I don't think ECU will NOT win neither of those two games. Keep in mind the team has lost a couple of key players to injuries. Every team in the nation has them, OK? BubbaGump is that the best you got, please? Pirate nation there is always next year. ECU will NOT go to a bowl having four loses... BTW Duke beat Virginia. I remind you again they are #32 in recruiting while ECU is #70 according to rivals.com meaning ECU staff has lot of work to do... Good luck!
  • by Dave Location: Greenville on Sep 27, 2008 at 04:24 PM
    Well Bob, I hate to tell you this but when Joe Pa retires, there will be PLENTY of coaches banging down the door to get one of the most MARQUEE jobs in college football!
  • by BUBBAGUMP Location: WASHINGTON on Sep 27, 2008 at 11:40 AM
    IT IS THE PIRATE SPIRIT THAT REALLY PULLS OFF THESE UPSETS. THOUGH I LOVE ECU, IT WILL ALWAYS BE THE UNDERDOG. BETTER COME TO GREENVILLE READY TO PLAY. HOLTZ WILL PROBABLY LEAVE AND DO MEDIOCRE SOMEWHERE ELSE, JUST LIKE THE OTHERS THAT HAVE COME AND GONE. THE PIRATE SPIRIT REMAINS. ARGHHH !!
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