Purdue will face off against Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl on Dec. 27 in Santa Clara, Calif.
While the Boilermakers are looking to win their first bowl game since 2011, the game holds a special meaning for Purdue defensive coordinator Nick Holt. Holt has several ties to the Bay Area, and is looking forward to going back there in a couple weeks.
“This is exciting. It is a good experience,” Holt said. “Getting back to California. Haven’t been there for a while. The stadium is no more than five minutes away from where I went to high school. So it’s pretty cool.”
— Purdue Football (@BoilerFootball) December 9, 2017
Holt went to high school at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, Calif., where he played football and graduated in 1981. Holt then went to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., where he played linebacker for four years before graduating in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in political economics. In addition, Holt said his parents attended the University of California, Berkeley.
“That’s where I’m from,” Holt said. “I’m very proud of it. It’s a great place, as you guys well know. It’s a great place to live.”
“I owe a lot to that area and who I met,” Holt added. “I was very lucky. Very lucky.”
Holt’s first coaching job came at St. Mary’s High School in Stockton, where he was the defensive coordinator. That job helped him realize that he wanted to coach football for a career, Holt said. While coaching there, Holt said that he was a substitute teacher as well.
“I thought I was a good teacher,” Holt joked. “I was entertaining.”
Holt was also asked about Purdue playing in a bowl game and what it must do to be ready for a tough Arizona team.
“We told [the team] yesterday in our meeting, ‘Great job getting to a bowl game. But really, the most important thing is preparation,'” Holt said. “Bowl games are really a lot more fun when you win them. It really sets the tone for winter conditioning and going into the spring. It gives you momentum, especially if you get a good win, you feel good about yourself.”
Holt also mentioned that Arizona has a very good offense, and that the Boilermakers defense will have a tough task.
“We have a really tough assignment preparing for Arizona’s offense,” Holt said. “Very well coached, and they have good players and they have a good scheme. We showed film of Arizona yesterday and our guys understand the task at hand.”
Holt and the Boilermakers will kick off against Arizona in the Foster Farms Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET (on FOX) on Dec. 27 at Levi’s Stadium.
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