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Dec. 27, 2002

Columbia, SC –
Earlier today, the University of Florida announced the hiring of South Carolina defensive coordinator Charlie Strong to a similar position on the Gator coaching staff. Here are some comments from USC head coach Lou Holtz, who spoke to Kerry Tharp today from Orlando:

“I spoke with Charlie on Thursday and he told me that he wouldn’t take the job if it would impair the relationship between the two of us. I assured him that it wouldn’t, and that if he felt that this was something he needed to do, then he should do it. I have the utmost respect for Charlie, both as a coach and as a person. I really hate for Charlie to leave. It’s like losing a member of your family. He’s done so much for me and the South Carolina program. Charlie said that he felt that this was in his best interests professionally and I hope he made the right decision. He has a wonderful family, with his wife Vickie, and two beautiful children. We wish them all the best.”

Coach Holtz chose not to discuss his future plans for the defensive staff at the present time, saying that that announcement would come later.