Sunday, January 18, 2004
Minter happy to assist
Ex-UC coach on Holtz staff again
Enquirer news services
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina defensive coordinator Rick Minter is glad to be back where football is king.
"Right now, at this time of year, I'm (usually) talking about basketball," said Minter, who was Cincinnati's head coach for 10 seasons.
Even with Minter winning a Conference USA title two seasons ago and going to four bowl games during his tenure, football always rated somewhere below the hoops program and its fiery coach, Bob Huggins.
No chance of that happening at South Carolina.
The Gamecocks' basketball team is 16-2 this season, its best start in more than three decades. But the football coaching search that ended with Minter's hiring Monday was the big news on the South Carolina scene ever since head coach Lou Holtz let four assistants go on Nov. 24 - two days after a humiliating 63-17 home loss to rival Clemson.
Now, Gamecock Nation is looking to Minter to restore a defense that's slipped badly the past two seasons.
And there were plenty of reasons why Minter was Holtz's selection - again.
Holtz gave Minter his first two major coaching breaks - in 1978 as a graduate assistant at Arkansas, and 14 years later as Notre Dame's defensive coordinator. Minter, 49, was Holtz's defensive coordinator at Notre Dame for two years (1992-93).
Minter ran things on Cincinnati's defense the past two years. The Bearcats went 5-7 after starting 3-0 this season.
With a 53-63-1 record, he is UC's all-time winningest coach.
The Fighting Irish were 21-2-1 in Minter's two years with Holtz. In 1993 Notre Dame held nine opponents to less than 100 yards rushing while in 1992 the Fighting Irish held their last nine foes to just 91 yards rushing.
"I've just learned so much from him," said Minter, who had not been to Columbia during Holtz's search process until he arrived Monday to meet with his new players. "It's great to be reunited with coach Holtz."
Minter said several factors led to the delay in his hiring, including his trying to resolve contractual issues with Cincinnati, deciding what the best career move was for himself, and helping his assistants find jobs.
"I've had my eyes on this situation for now four to five weeks," Minter said. "Coach Holtz has been very, very patient with me."
The Gamecocks' athletic department didn't release any information about Minter's contract, saying it had to be approved by South Carolina's executive committee, which must OK contracts worth $250,000 or more.
Minter told reporters during a teleconference that his base defensive scheme would be a four-man front, but he likes to be "multiple" on defense to make sure offenses don't have a "stationary target."
"We aren't going to sit back and wait and let things happen," he said.
LOCAL COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Bearcats roll, but it's no masterpiece
Maxiell expected back soon after spraining ankle
Valiant XU can't stop top Hawks
Daugherty: West one high-flying Hawk
Martelli rips XU fans for booing
Georgia shocks No. 5 Kentucky
Time, turnovers cut for Hawkins
Lethargic Hawks fall apart
RedHawks welcome return of Horace
Norse present Winstel with her 450th victory
Blue Devil vets step up in 2nd
Indians rebound nicely from rout
Saturday's boys basketball games
Saturday's Kentucky boys basketball games
Saturday's girls basketball games
Saturday's Kentucky girls basketball games
Groeschen: Preps insider
Ernst: Kentucky prep insider
Swimming: Carothers helps St. X to 30-point lead
Prep sports results, schedules
REDS / BASEBALL
Can Lopez become factor?
Reds e-mail Q&A
Brock: Famers protective of Hall
Selig will always have special spot for Brewers
Astros get an off-field boost from Clemens
Eagles hope third time is the charm
Hot teams, chilly setting
All Eagles want is some R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Can't get enough of these NFL playoffs
Minter happy to assist
Fulmer out of bounds with defective detective work
IU designates Randle El's No. 11 an 'honor jersey'
Iowa's Russell is Hula MVP
MORE BASKETBALL HEADLINES
Top 25 games: UNC upsets No. 1 UConn
Flyers top Fordham; Buckeyes slam Gophers
NBA: Miller's layup lifts Grizzlies past Sixers
ALSO IN SPORTS
Oh brother, can Esterkamp play
The Big Wiesy makes it look easy
Page Two power rankings
Sports on TV, radio