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Skip Holtz signs three-year extension with South Florida

By Chip Patterson | College Football/Basketball Writer

South Florida announced a contract extension for coach Skip Holtz on Friday, adding three years to his deal -- which now runs through the 2017 season.

Holtz was extended along with men's basketball coach Stan Heath, the Bulls' coach since 2007.

"We're pleased to be able to extend both coach Holtz and coach Heath," athletic director Doug Woolard said in the school release. "They're great representatives for both USF and their respective programs. I have great confidence in the leadership they are providing and the future of both our football and men's basketball programs."

The Bulls have compiled a 13-12 record in Holtz's two seasons, including a win in the 2010 Meineke Car Car e Bowl. After a 5-7 record in 2011, USF missed the postseason for the first time since 2004.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, Holtz will make $2 million a year and be eligible for annual raises "if he meets at least one contract incentive." Getting the Bulls back to the postseason is one of those incentives.

The new deal does not include a significant bump in salary for Holtz, but he will reportedly have more money to pay his assistants. After being mentioned as a candidate for the coaching jobs at North Carolina and Arkansas in the last year, the new deal also includes a reworked buyout clause requiring Holtz to pay $1 million if he leaves in the next two seasons.

USF has struggled in Big East play under Holtz, failing to capitalize on promising starts and going 4-10 in the backloaded conference schedule. South Florida started 2011 with an upset of Notre Dame and four straight wins, but lost seven of its last eigth games -- going 1-6 in league play.

With 15 starters returning, including veteran quarterback BJ Daniels, USF has been picked by some as a dark horse title contender in the Big East in 2012. If the Bulls live up to those expectations, Holtz will likely receive even more attention from schools looking to fill coaching vacancies in 2013. Locking in Holtz and Heath, who is fresh off the school's first NCAA tournament appearance in 20 years, seems like a logical move for USF.

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