Coach Holtz's Wednesday Press Conference

The following is an interpreted transcribed account of Coach Holtz's post practice press conference dated August 6, 2003. While we will not always provide this because of repetiveness, today's was particularly interesting ...

Coach Holtz sat down and opened by saying:

"It was one of the few times I've ever been forced to leave the practice field due to inclement weather in all my years of coaching. Usually it clears up and you go back out. With the weather the way it is ... and we couldn't use the indoor facility ... so there was no way we could practice. And with final exams coming up tomorrow, I'm giving the upperclassmen the evening off to go prepare for their final exams. And with the younger players, when the weather clears up later, we'll try to have a little pass (inaudible). That's all we'll do. The linemen won't even go out. It's all contingent upon the weather clearing up."

You hate to lose an installation day, a day where you're putting things in. You want to be able to look at how it looks and then coach off of it and correct off of it and teach off of it. But that's just not possible. Unfortunately, we have final exams tomorrow ... Shropshire has one on Friday, and we'll get those behind us. If it wasn't for that, you could just say we'll finish it up when the weather clears up. But with exams we couldn't possibly do that right now.

I like the attitude of the football team. They are all working and (I/we) feel good about it. We've only had a day and an hour so far. <smile>.

The question was asked why the indoor facility could not be used:

Number one, we could possibly go over there and have pass (inaudible) in there, but you can't take a whole team over there. It's far too small and the turf isn't in the best of shape, etc. But that was the main reason. Most places you have an indoor facility, but we're not afforded that luxury right now.

The question was asked if the new walkon punter from Utah, Beardall, was there today:


The question was asked why he was not there yesterday:

No, he had to get a physical or had to do something. I couldn't even tell you what it was. He was out there today and he's got a nice strong leg. I feel better about the kicking game situation right now than I did when we started ... but I still have some concerns about it.

#79 in a black jersey today was Woodly Telfort, not Josh Malloy:

Woodly has a little bit of a medical condition they're looking at. Some high blood sugar, which they have to look at ... it might be (inaudible) diabetes ... I talked to Woodly briefly today (and) I don't know if he has diabetes, but I talked to him about the importance of controlling it. My foundation provides pumps for people who cannot afford them. I explained that it can be treated medically. You're not looking at next week's or next month's effects but there are some traumatic effects about being diabetic. I'm not an authority on it, but I know far more than the average person does with my son Kevin having been inflicted with it at age 15. ... I am pretty well versed on it.

Did Woodly experience any symptons:

Not that I know of. I don't know what it was. You'd have to ask the trainer about that. He's really an upbeat guy and the kids really like him. He just has a great personality. You know, he's from Brooklyn, I think it is, and this is a different environment for him. He's a good person and he's very, very goal oriented from what I can tell with our short period of time with him.

Were there any position changes today:

We're going to look at Andrea Gause at a safety or corner possibly. He came to me and said he would really like to play on defense. He loves the game of football but he's just not sure yet. He's a good athlete, he's had problems with the knee, couldn't do much last year. We just have to look and see. That's the only one that comes to my mind right now. Pinkins is still at quarterback, so is Michael Rathe. <laughing>

There was a question asked about a foot blister problem:

I think Nike runs about a half size smaller and narrower. That's not my concern, that's Mr. Matlock's problem.

Coach Holtz was asked if he was feeling any extra pressure in his fifth year:

No, I just want to turn it around as soon as I can and get to the top as soon as we can. We had 2.5 very good years. We had 1.5 bad and that still bothers me.

I want to say this. These aren't my recruits or somebody else's recruits. They were South Carolina football players. And they were part of the team. And they came here with hopes and ambitions and dreams. I've always felt you have every obligation to give them an opportunity to have a wonderful experience with the University of South Carolina.

I've never been one to say, 'Well, these are my players,' they are South Carolina players. They are alums of South Carolina and I joined their family. That's how I approach it. We have an adopted granddaughter and we love her every bit as much as any other grandchild. It's the same thing with a player. They chose South Carolina and we have an obligation to them.

How much time did they get in today before the storms hit:

Twelve periods. We got 12 periods in out of 36, <laughing> no seriously about 33. So we got about a third of it in.

Coach was asked to comment on Troy Williamson and Marcus Lawrence having been teammates at Silverbluff.

"Where they there at the same time ... together?"

The question was answered with a 'yes' and then it was explained that they had won a State Champsionship in AA ball that year.

<laughing and shaking head> I would hope so. I mean my gosh! I would hate to have been a coach having to face those two on the same team in two A ball.

Marcus is really an excellent linebacker and a wonderful young man, and so is Troy Williamson, who's just starting to blossom into his own. I really think Troy has a chance to be something special.

Coach was asked when he first was introduced to Coach Cosh:

I was at the University of Minnesota and Guty (John Gutekunst) said he had this young man that played for him at Virginia Tech and would like him to be a graduate assistant. So, Chris came up. I had two graduate assistants that year. One was a guy about 5-foot-7 named Ron Cooper. And the other one was Chris Cosh. Cooper is now the defensive coordinator at Mississippi St.

Both of them were outstanding. Both of them are still great friends to this day. ...(At Notre Dame) I hired Ron Cooper when I lost defensive coordinator Rick Minter to the University of Cincinnati. And Ron Cooper said bring Chris Cosh in and let us coordinate this defense and we'll build you a great defense. They were close. They were together at Nevada-Las Vegas and for whatever reason, I didn't do it. look back on that and say it was a mistake.

Anyway we stayed in touch with Chris when he was a coordinator at Illinois and defensive coordinator at Michigan St. I really was impressed with him when he was a graduate assistant. Very conscientious, had a good knowledge of the game, good rapport with the players... That's how we came about, through Gutekunst.

Coach Holtz was asked to compare Coach Chris Cosh against Charlie (Strong):

He's much more serious, much more reserved. Charlie had so many fine assets, but Chris is as well organized as anyone I've been around. And Charlie was well organized. Very hard worker ... thorough ... good football mind. Very, very thorough. He and Charlie share that in common, they're both very, very thorough. He's not as outward going, but every bit as intense. He's a devoted family man.

.... that's why I said three years ago he'd be my defensive coordinator. I like to elevate from within. So, there wasn't any doubt in my mind when Charlie went to Florida who would be the defensive coordinator. Plus, he and I really work well together, but I don't spend a great deal of time in defensive meetings. I just have a great respect for him.

The other thing is John Gutekunst has been a defensive coordinator and John thinks like a coordinator and they both have stayed in touch and their defensive thinking is very similar. It's also very, very similar to mine. So there wasn't any doubt in my mind. And I think he's going to do an outstanding job.

Coach was asked why he commented at the SEC Media Days that this year's team was going to be fun to watch:

Number one, you don't know what's going to happen from one play to the next. They're going to keep you on the edge of your seat, because they are young people. They like the game and they like each other. I think that's the main thing. Plus, we're really frustrated with how the last half of the year went. Really disappointed. At the same time we know we're in the Southeastern Conference ... we know this isn't an easy ride. We're not afraid, we're not intimidated, we're not awed, and I speak for my players as well as myself. I just hope that they have enough confidence. They appear to exude confidence. If they have enough confidence, I think they can surprise themselves.

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