UPDATE: Skip Holtz Confirms WITN Report

Through a source very close to ECU head football coach Skip Holtz, WITN first broke the story that Holtz has turned down a job offer to become the head coach at Syracuse.

When asked if Holtz did indeed turn down the job Holtz responded to WITN sports director Billy Weaver by stating "It's true."

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be hosting a press conference today, Thursday, December 11, from 3:30pm to 4:30 pm Central Time.

East Carolina head coach Skip Holtz and Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks will participate in the press conference.

Stay tuned to WITN and witn.com for the latest from Memphis, Tennessee.

Here's the official release from East Carolina University:

GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina Head Football Coach Skip Holtz announced Thursday that he has withdrawn his name from consideration and declined further discussions regarding the head football coaching position at Syracuse University.

Holtz, who led the Pirates to a 27-24 victory over Tulsa to earn the program's first Conference USA Championship Saturday, provided closure to the situation prior to a scheduled AutoZone Liberty Bowl press conference in Memphis Thursday afternoon.

"While it is always flattering for others to have an interest in your abilities, I simply am too focused on our preparations for the bowl game and many other of our short and long-term goals to fairly evaluate what I feel is a promising situation at Syracuse." Holtz said. "I appreciate Syracuse's interest but that certainly is a direct reflection on what our players, coaches and the Pirate Nation have been able to accomplish, especially through a season that featured so much adversity."

Holtz has directed East Carolina to a 9-4 record in 2008, the program's highest single-season win total since 1999. The Pirates will meet Southeastern Conference-member Kentucky in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Jan. 2 vying for their 10th victory, which would be a first for ECU in a season since the 1991 campaign.

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  • by deadfish Location: nc on Dec 16, 2008 at 02:04 AM
    Mr. quinn: For a mature individual as you have stated your sensitivity is elevated! Secondly I expressed my opinion just like you eloquently voice yours! Thirdly before Pete Carroll's(PC) arrival USC couldn't sell a ticket! The LA Coliseum holds at least 93K. Prior to PC USC averaged 50K. They were lucky to go to a second tier bowl. Believe me they were that bad. In fact the year ECU went to the fruit bowl, oops excuse me the Peach Bowl ECU finished ahead of USC in the final poll(s). I am NOT afraid or ashamed to reveal that. What bothers me about SOME ECU fans is their [hyper inflated heads]. Whether you like it or NOT ECU is NOT ready for the big CFB boys. Finally Mr. quinn: "Life's to short...". Like I said before it's a good thing you stated that you did NOT major in English. How about life's [too] short... Oh, I forgot you were an Art major. A simple preposition NOT correctly placed in a sentence by a former college student is absolutely unforgivable grammar, Sir. Good day!
  • by $$$ Location: NC on Dec 16, 2008 at 02:02 AM
    Pete Carroll claims one NCAA championship that he does NOT have. The 2004 season ended with LSU winning as well as USC. Pete Carroll claims a share of the NCAA championship that year. He, along with every other Div 1 coach agreed to let the BCS's decision be the final say so. But when his failure to appear against LSU in "The Big Game" he decided to lay to claim to 1/2 of the championship. He and the USC team had no claim on 1/2 of anything. The LSU Togers won the BCS championship, PERIOD. A coach that will agree to one thing and then go back on his word has no morals.
  • by quinn Location: Outer Banks on Dec 15, 2008 at 09:30 PM
    Deadfish,why so negative? So you are a big USC fan. Pete Carroll has a great resume, everybody knows that. But to get to that point you have to start somewhere. Period. So bashing our present head coach, athletic director, college,etc. What is that going to prove? Everyone knows USC record,and the records behind most of the BCS schools. Being larger institutions with all their funding has ALOT perks. TONS, in fact. I'm sure USC is a fab institution. Basically, football is just a game. Fun to watch and play, but it doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. Life's to short to waste time putting down everybody else for whatever reason. This comes from 41 yrs of experience. "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great." Mark Twain. Sorry, I missed 60 minutes. I crashed early so I could get up and go surfing.
  • by deadfish Location: nc on Dec 15, 2008 at 04:24 PM
    Sam: I [believe] ECU wouldn't fare well facing LSU. Against South Carolina ECU has a tiny slight chance IMHO. Be careful with your "all of a sudden" wishes. They might bite you unexpectedly... Some of you might remember ECU beating PAC-10 Stanford. ECU coached then by Mr.Lewis! That one is for Mr. Barry! Had ECU faced USC the final score definitely would have been different, right? Auburn's new HC hiring has drawn hot criticism from every direction. He was 5-14 at Iowa State, go figure. They interviewed Buffalo HC Turner Gill who is black so they can say they are fair minded. Please comment on that one... Besides Barry who else watched USC Pete Carroll segment in CBS 60 Minutes last night? Later Pirate fans!
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Dec 15, 2008 at 12:27 PM
    Hay Millie, what is so sad about this? I have met Terry Holland on many occasions and he is the complete opposite of arrogant. He is a very friendly man that will come up and start up a friendly conversation with you. I like Terry Holland very well. Hey Barry, I may be wrong but I beleive that ECU is one better #28. For all of those people saying that Kentucky will pound ECU, are you that stupid? Plus, ECU may be in a non-BCS conference, but we beat the ACC Champions and beat a team tied for second in the Big East. Oh did I mention Conference champs in one of the higher class bowls, ranked about 9th or 10th, or somewhere very close to it. I was origionally expecting South Carolina or LSU instead of Kentucky, therefore I was shocked, and the pirates will have several of the guys back from injury coming from having 4 weeks off. I expect to see the same pirates that there were in the first 2 weeks of the season.
  • by Storm Location: Greenville on Dec 15, 2008 at 11:49 AM
    Millie obviously has no attachment to ECU athletics. We should be proud and very optimistic at the direction that ECU is going in most of our Div. 1 sports programs. I am from out of state and there hasn't been a year that I can remember that more friends of mine have commented about how recognizable ECU is on a national level and tha is thanks VERY much in part to Terry Holland. We have a football schedule that we can look forward to for the next nine years. Whether Holtz stays or goes he has left his mark on our football program with several of the most talked about and televised wins we have ever had. Let's face it, we are not a BCS school but we are a school that regularly contends with some of the top ranked teams in the country.If Skip decides to go for more money at a BCS school can you blame him? I assume that every submitter has stayed with their very first job based on some of their comments below. Holtz and Holland are worth every penny. Millie's comments aren't worth a dime.
  • by Millie Location: Windsor on Dec 15, 2008 at 08:30 AM
    I was hoping Skip was going to "skip out" and take that overpaid, arrogant Terry Holland with him. It's a sad day at ECU.
  • by Barry Location: Greenville on Dec 15, 2008 at 07:15 AM
    Coach M: Let me retract my last sentence, please. Spelling and grammar is secondary here to what truly matters- football!
  • by Barry Location: Greenville on Dec 15, 2008 at 06:39 AM
    Coach M: The 3 defeats in a row being correlated with The NC State loss is supposition, at best. There were undoubtledly many other contributing factors, e.g. the other team (remember they are trying to win too!), injuries, suspensions, the shape of the football being oblong, fate, etc. To blame these losses, or any football team being defeated anywhere in America, on one causal factor is grossly overly simplistic. As it stands, the Pirates are 9-4, & show up at #29 in the polls. Thus, I would agree with you that ECU is a good team. Maybe when Skip leaves in the next year or so for a big paycheck, you can become the Head Coach at ECU, Coach M. I believe that your teams have never lost a game given you are not even familiar with the term "lose".
  • by Dwayne Location: Greenville on Dec 15, 2008 at 06:37 AM
    Deadfish and all of the other disgruntled naysayers; be thinking about you while walking down Beale street. Merry Christmas!

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