EVANSTON, Ill. — As he prepares to lead a college football team for the first time, David Braun is going to have a little more help by his side for the 2023 season.
The coach joining his staff has plenty of experience at the college level and has enjoyed success in a new professional league recently.
On Thursday morning, Northwestern confirmed the hiring of Skip Holtz as a special assistant to the head coach as Braun gets ready to lead the program on an interim basis. He’s taking over for the 2023 season for Pat Fitzgerald, who was fired in the wake of a hazing scandal that’s erupted over the last month.
Holtz is the head coach of the Birmingham Stallions of the United States Football League, which began play in 2022, leading them to a pair of championships. He will remain as the coach of that team even as he takes on this new role with the Wildcats.
“With his many years of head coaching experience and tremendous knowledge of the game, Coach Holtz will be an invaluable resource for myself, our coaching staff and student-athletes during the upcoming season,” said Braun in a statement released by the school. “I’m thrilled to welcome Coach Holtz to Evanston and can’t wait to begin working with him.”
Holtz has an extensive college coaching resume that started with a graduate assistant position at Florida State in 1987-1988. After his first assistant coaching job at Colorado State in 1989, he joined his father Lou’s staff at Notre Dame in 1990 and remained there through 1993, spending two of those seasons as the Fighting Irish’s offensive coordinator.
In 1994, Holtz got his first head coaching job at UConn, which he held through 1998 before joining his father’s staff at South Carolina. In Columbia through 2004, he then became the head coach at East Carolina, where he stayed through 2009. Since then, he’s had stints leading the programs at South Florida (2010-2012) and Louisiana Tech (2013-2021) before joining the Stallions in 2022.
As a head coach at the collegiate level, Holtz has a 152-121 record with two conference championships, 12 bowl game appearances, and an FCS Playoff berth at UConn.
“I love coaching football and am passionate about leading young men to achieve their very best. This is a unique opportunity to help these outstanding student-athletes and partner with Coach Braun to do anything I can to help Northwestern football in 2023,” said Holtz in a statement.