"When I returned to Nashville after Christmas, I realized I had made a commitment to the people at Vanderbilt, to the athletes and particularly to Coach Bobby Johnson, whom I've had an association with for more than 20 years, and I could not renege on that commitment," said Caldwell in a prepared statement.
"I feel bad for the disruption and difficulty I have caused. I love the state of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina and have nothing but the utmost respect for Coach Holtz. I'm confident that the Gamecock program can achieve great things under Coach Holtz and wish them all the best."
Caldwell interviewed on Monday for the job held previously by Dave DeGuglielmo. Two days later, Holtz and South Carolina released a statement saying Caldwell had accepted the position. It would have meant a return to his home state for Caldwell, a native of Pageland, S.C.
"But [Caldwell] has now informed me that he was decided to remain at Vanderbilt University," Holtz said late Saturday. "I've always felt that the most important thing for an organization to have in order to be successful is to surround itself with people who have a passion for what they're doing and who truly want to be a part of your program. And, that's what we intend to do."