In a unique turn of events, Skip Holtz, a celebrated coach from the United States Football League (USFL), has agreed to take on a temporary role at Northwestern for the 2023 season. He will serve as the special assistant to the interim head coach, David Braun, amidst a tumultuous time for the university.
Holtz, renowned for leading the Birmingham Stallions to consecutive USFL championships, will juggle this responsibility alongside his existing commitment as the Stallions’ head coach. His impressive track record in the USFL, boasting an enviable 17-3 record in the past two seasons, adds a veteran presence to the Northwestern staff.
However, Northwestern University isn’t just making headlines for Holtz’s appointment. In the aftermath of the shocking dismissal of former head coach Pat Fitzgerald and baseball coach Jim Foster, the university is embroiled in multiple lawsuits from male and female athletes, including a former quarterback, Lloyd Yates. The allegations range from hazing by teammates to sexual abuse and racially charged comments from coaches.
Stepping into this volatile situation, Holtz’s appointment seems a strategic move to steady the rocking ship. His proven leadership and ability to rally a team, as evident in his successful stint with the Stallions, will be invaluable as Northwestern seeks to rebuild its tarnished reputation.
Braun, the man Holtz is stepping in to assist, was the defensive coordinator for the Wildcats before being elevated to the interim coach’s position. He brought with him championship-winning experience from North Dakota State, a factor that will undoubtedly pair well with Holtz’s USFL expertise.
Despite the dramas unfolding at Northwestern, Holtz’s USFL team, the Birmingham Stallions, hasn’t skipped a beat. They emerged victorious at the 2023 USFL Championship Game, defeating the Pittsburgh Maulers 28-12. As for the USFL’s plans for the 2024 season, no official announcement has been made yet. However, season tickets for the Stallions are on sale, hinting at a hopeful future for the team.
In closing, while Northwestern University wrestles with its internal challenges, they have made a strategic move in bringing on Holtz. The question that remains is how Holtz’s double duty will play out in the forthcoming season and if his championship-winning magic can bring much-needed stability and triumph to Northwestern’s troubled football program.