TAMPA, Fla. — Skip Holtz was fired as South Florida’s football coach after two straight losing seasons in which the program fell back instead of progressed.


Athletic director Doug Woolard made the announcement Sunday after meeting with Holtz individually and then accompanying the former coach to a gathering with players. A search for a replacement will begin immediately, with no definitive timetable for naming the successor.


“It was a very difficult meeting and one I will tell you that Skip handled very professionally and very classy as he always does,” Woolard said during a news conference.


“It was a matter of just not having the production that we needed to have over the last couple of years on the field. ... Every program experiences highs and lows on the way to national prominence,” Woolard added. “Brighter days are ahead.”


The son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz went 16-21 at the Big East school, concluding a three-year run with the worst season in school history.