One day after a season-ending loss, South Florida fired coach Skip Holtz after three disappointing seasons.
The school made the announcement at a Sunday afternoon media conference.
Holtz posted a 16-21 overall record in three seasons at South Florida. The Bulls struggled in Big East play, finishing 1-6 in the conference each of the past two seasons and failing to qualify for a bowl for the first time since 2004.
Holtz's brief stay ends with nine losses in his final 10 games. South Florida fell 27-3 at home to Pittsburgh on Saturday in its season finale.
After receiving a contract extension earlier this year, Holtz is owed $2.5 million for the remaining five years on his contract.
Holtz, 48, was just the second head coach in the program's 16-year history. He left East Carolina, where he won two Conference USA titles, to take the South Florida job after Jim Leavitt was fired for allegedly hitting a player during a game in 2009.
After a 4-0 start last season, the Bulls lost seven of their last eight to finish 5-7 and this year their record slipped to 3-9 under Holtz.
Athletic director Doug Woolard released a statement, which read, according to CollegeFootballTalk.com: "During his three seasons as our head coach, Skip has served the university and the football program admirably. Our team has excelled in the classroom, setting a new USF standard for team GPA. Our APR scores are up as well. Skip's hard work in stressing the academic side of student life has been critical in that progress. He has worked tirelessly, helping to mold our football players into outstanding young men. His community work, his representation of USF, and his work ethic have all been exemplary. It is not easy to part ways with such a good man. I am thankful for his friendship, and for what he has done for USF Athletics."
Holtz issued a statement, which read: "I want to thank my assistant coaches, staff, the players and their families for their dedication and loyalty," Holtz said in his statement. "I'm extremely proud of how they fought through adversity during this time. Throughout my time here, the young men on this team never gave up, and that reflects on their character as individuals and as a team. I believe we made some positive strides, most notably in our academics, that were helping to build a foundation for this program and I would have liked the opportunity to see it through.
"But, I understand the administration's decision and wish them nothing but success in the future. I'm grateful to the University of South Florida, President Genshaft and Doug Woolard for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this fine institution."