Jan. 12, 2004
Columbia, S.C. – Rick Minter, who is regarded to be one of the premier defensive coaches in the country and has 10 years of head coaching experience at the major college level, has been named defensive coordinator at the University of South Carolina. Minter will reunite with USC head coach Lou Holtz, who he helped develop nationally recognized defenses with while working at Notre Dame in the early 1990s.
Minter comes to Carolina after 10 seasons as head coach at the University of Cincinnati (1994-2003). During that time, he led the Bearcats to four postseason bowl games and was the winningest coach in the program’s history. Minter’s 2002 UC team were co-champions of Conference USA.
It was during his two seasons with Coach Holtz at Notre Dame (1992-93) that he earned a national reputation of being one of the top defensive minds in the country. The 1993 Fighting Irish defense held nine of its 12 opponents under 100 yards rushing en route to an 11-1 season and runner-up finish in the national championship race. Even though he had accepted the head coaching post at Cincinnati in Dec. of 1993, Coach Holtz invited Minter back to run the defense in the Irish’s victory over Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame finished that season with the nation’s fourth-best rushing defense, with five of Minter’s defenders earning All-America honors, including free safety Jeff Burris, cornerback Bobby Taylor, tackle Bryant Young, cornerback Greg Lane, and linebacker Justin Goheen.
The 1992 Notre Dame defense allowed an average of just 91 yards rushing and 277 total yards over the last nine games of the season, as the Irish posted a 10-1-1 mark, won the Cotton Bowl and was ranked #4 in the final national polls. That season also saw the Notre Dame defense finish ninth nationally in rushing defense. Safety Jeff Burris, cornerback Tom Carter, linebacker Demetrius DuBose, linebacker Anthony Peterson, and tackle Bryant Young earned All-America honors. During his two seasons at Notre Dame, Minter coached 18 defensive players who went on to play professionally in the NFL.
“Rick Minter was a graduate assistant on my staff at the University of Arkansas and I’ve followed his career ever since,” said Coach Holtz. “He did a tremendous job for us at Notre Dame as defensive coordinator, and as the head coach at Cincinnati, took them to four bowls and won more games than any other coach in the history of that school. Rick Minter is a winner; he’ll be a great role model for our players and he’ll provide outstanding leadership.”
“I’m very excited about having the opportunity to come to South Carolina,” said Coach Minter. “It’s great to be reunited with Coach Holtz once again. From everything I’ve observed and heard in all of our conversations, I’ve never seen Coach Holtz more focused on taking this program to the top. I look forward to running the race with him.” Prior to joining the Notre Dame staff, Minter served as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator at Ball State for seven seasons, annually developing units that were ranked among the national leaders. The 1991 Ball State squad was ranked ninth in the country in scoring defense, 11th in total defense and 16th in passing defense. A year earlier, in 1990, the Cardinals were second in the nation in total defense, third in pass and scoring defense and 10th in rush defense. Minter also has collegiate coaching experience at New Mexico State, North Carolina State, Louisiana Tech and Arkansas, where he was a graduate assistant under Coach Holtz.
A native of Nash, Texas, Minter was a graduate of Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas. He was a three-year starter at defensive end at Henderson State, where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
The 49-year-old Minter is the father of two sons: Josh (22) and Jesse (20).
Term’s of Minter’s contract were not disclosed and are subject to USC Board of Trustees approval.