Tuesday, December 9, 2003

Minter, Holtz to reunite?

They worked together at ND

By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Rick Minter, fired last week as the head football coach at the University of Cincinnati, said Monday that he has been contacted by South Carolina coach Lou Holtz to gauge his interest in becoming the defensive coordinator for the Gamecocks.

Minter, who worked as a defensive coordinator under Holtz at Notre Dame in the early 1990s, said he is also weighing other options, including UC's offer to make him an assistant athletic director.

"I haven't had a chance to digest it," he said of UC's offer. "I don't know much about it. It hasn't been laid out.

"There's no question that I'm a warrior at heart and young enough to still coach and good enough to still coach. That's the passion that drives me right now. That could change 30 to 60 days from now. Who knows?"

Minter, 49, said he plans to take his time before deciding his next career move. He said he will consider seeking a job in the NFL or becoming an assistant coach or coordinator on the college level.

"I would still like to be a head coach," he said. "I know that. It may or may not happen this year. It may not ever happen again. When you get released, that's not a good sign. You're damaged goods, at least for a while.

"Some AD would have to stand up there and say, 'In spite of this, he's our guy.' That's not likely to happen this year. Maybe down the road I'll get a new image."

Minter said he has spent the past week saying goodbye to his players and urging them to buy into the new coach's philosophy.

He said he was proud of the fact that he took a struggling program in 1994 and built it into a program the Big East considered worthy to include in its expansion plans.

He said he was also proud of the fact that more than 70 percent of his players graduated.

"We took a program that did not have a very good academic reputation around the country and put it into a place of academic accountability," he said.


E-mail bkoch@enquirer.com

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