Columbia, S.C. Lou Holtz will retire as coach at South Carolina after the season, The Associated Press learned Thursday night, apparently paving the way for Steve Spurrier to replace him.
Holtz told his team before Thursday's practice that he was retiring, according to a source close to the program who spoke on condition of anonymity. All season, the 67-year-old Holtz said he was worn out and tired, and even said Spurrier would be a good choice to succeed him.
The Tennessean of Nashville reported Thursday that Spurrier had agreed to take over at South Carolina, if and when Holtz stepped down.
An announcement regarding Spurrier, who won a national championship at Florida, is expected next week, the newspaper said, citing an anonymous source close to the situation.
South Carolina athletic director Mike McGee would not confirm or deny whether Holtz had decided to retire or Spurrier had been approached to replace him.
Several calls to Spurrier's agent, Memphis-based Jimmy Sexton, were not returned.
After practice Thursday evening, Holtz drove his golf cart from the practice field to the stadium to speak with a group of fans gathered to wish the team well before it leaves for Clemson on Friday. The coach thanked them for their support. "It's always meant a lot to me," he said.
When asked if he had told his players, Holtz jumped in the cart and sped back to his office.
Holtz is the eighth-winningest coach in Division I with 249 victories at six schools. He took each school -- William & Mary, North Carolina State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Notre Dame and South Carolina -- to bowls in his second season after inheriting losing teams.
Spurrier, 59, went 20-13-1 in three seasons at Duke before taking over at Florida, his alma mater, in 1990.