For the first time since the announcement that Mark Snyder was leaving USF to take the defensive coordinator job at Texas A&M, Coach Holtz addressed the situation.
"Let me start with the decision of Mark Snyder to leave to go to Texas A&M with Kevin Sumlin," said Holtz. "I'll just say that I'm excited for Mark, and it is something that he's excited about. It was a decision that he made and we wish him the very best."
"Everything here was split on positive terms. I'm very grateful for Mark and everything he's done for us over the last two years. Some of the progress, some of the growth we made on the defensive side of the ball, where we've been and what he did for our program," said Holtz. "In saying that, it starts a new window for us. A process has begun to get a replacement for Coach Snyder here at our program."
Holtz said that players who began winter workouts this week are unfazed by the recent development.
"I know our players who are here working out are really excited to find out who's going to be put in place," said Holtz. "But I will certainly say that my conversations with them have not changed with the way that they are working and the things that they are doing right now."
"With the decision that Mark made, the program will move forward and the players have taken a great approach with an ownership type attitude,' said Holtz. "That we're the ones on the field, we're the ones that are playing the game, we're the ones that are blocking and tackling, and we know that you'll put somebody in place that will be really good for us, so were moving forward and working hard."
With the search for a replacement underway, Holtz said he hopes to have a new defensive coordinator in place as early as next week.
"This process has begun, and I've reached out to several people," said Holtz. "I'm trying and hopeful that I'll have this done by the early part of next week, hopefully in a Monday or Tuesday type fashion. I don't want this to linger all the way out through recruiting."
While the news of the open position, Holtz said there has been a lot of interest in the open position, but wasn't ready to list any specific candidates.
"There's certainly hasn't been a shortage of interest," said Holtz. "There have been an awfully a lot of people contacting us, and people that I've had the opportunity to talk to up to this point have been very open minded and very excited about it."
"I'm not far enough along to get into specifics as to names, and etc," said Holtz. "But there are a lot of different opportunities and options that I'm exploring. I've been in constant contact with the administration about the direction that I'm looking to go."
Holtz said that he views it as an opportunity to strengthen the Bulls program.
"I feel very good about where we are and feel that we will have a very solid candidate in place," said Holtz. "We just have to look it as a program as we continue to strengthen our staff and continue to get better with everything that we do."
Holtz was emphatic that he wants it resolved soon and not linger on.
"I'm very hopeful that we'll have something named by the early part of next week," said Holtz. "We'll be working through the weekend to try to get this done. It's very important that we get this done early and not let it string out."