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Associated Press
Skip Holtz makes a point during Connecticut practice in this 1998 file photo.

Skip Holtz ready to return to Notre Dame

Skip Holtz is ready to return to Notre Dame.

But the South Florida coach also knows the season-opening game between the Irish and the Bulls cannot be about the son of the last coach to lead Notre Dame to a national title.

"I think I just need to keep in perspective that the game is bigger for South Florida than Skip Holtz," Holtz said during a teleconference Monday. "I have to turn and put my emotions and enthusiasm for having the opportunity to go back kind of on the back shelf for what we're doing as a team."

Holtz, whose father Lou led the Irish to the national championship in 1988, went 8-5 in his first year with South Florida.

Holtz said the last time he was at Notre Dame Stadium was his father's last game with the Irish, a 62-0 drubbing of Rutgers in 1996.

Thanks to Holtz's experience as a student at Notre Dame, a player for the Irish and an assistant with the football program, he will be able to prepare his players for the experience at playing at one of college football's most famous venues.

"I'll talk about Touchdown Jesus and a lot of the traditional things that are on the campus," Holtz said. "It will be more of an educational process because I don't want them to be out there oohed and awed. I want them to understand the entire experience."

For more on Holtz's thoughts about returning to Notre Dame for the Sept. 3 season opener, read Tuesday's Journal Gazette.