Arizona Football

Blog Talk Radio: Former Arizona Wildcats football player Julius Holt

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Former Arizona football player Julius Holt compared Rich Rodriguez to his former coach Larry Smith during an interview with AllSportsTucson.com

Former Arizona football player Julius Holt compared Rich Rodriguez to his former coach Larry Smith during an interview with AllSportsTucson.com

Former Arizona football player Julius Holt joined AllSportsTucson.com’s Javier Morales Thursday night for the latest Blog Talk Radio show.

Morales and Holt touched on various topics in the hour-long show including Holt’s background in Washington, D.C., the recruitment of his son Justin, who will be a junior standout defensive lineman at Salpointe Catholic, and his memories of playing with the Wildcats in the early 1980s.

We apologize for some of the technical difficulties during the show, which is in its infancy. Those difficulties will be ironed out as the show progresses.

Overall, the show was a success and informational with Julius Holt’s viewpoint about his son’s recruitment and daughter’s development as a softball player. He also touched on his induction into the Washington, D.C., Boys & Girls Club Hall of Fame, his motivational speech at the Tucson Downtown Sertoma Club’s Southern Arizona basketball awards banquet, and the Donald Sterling fiasco in the NBA.

Holt’s recollection of his Arizona years are worth the listen. He reflected back on Arizona’s upset of No. 1 USC in 1981 and the Wildcats’ successful 1982 season, the most meaningful in the program’s history.

That was the year Arizona upset Notre Dame at South Bend, Ind., and the Wildcats started “The Streak” with a 28-18 win over a sixth-ranked ASU team that was playing for a Rose Bowl berth.

Holt was especially passionate about his former coach, the late Larry Smith, not yet inducted in the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.


“I know there’s some people who have a bitter taste in their mouth with Coach Smith leaving (to USC). … There’s no reason on God’s green earth why that man is not in the U of A Hall of Fame. I don’t understand that. I can’t comprehend that one. There’s some people administratively who are bitter. They need to get over it and do the right thing. Say what you want. He put Arizona on the map footballwise.”

Holt finished the interview commenting about Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, who is one of many coaches recruiting his son.

“I would have loved to play for Coach (Dick) Tomey and I would have loved to play for Rich Rod,” Holt said. “Rich Rod, to me, is a player’s coach. I think he gets it. … My son (in the background) just said, ‘Definitely.’ … (Rodriguez is) able to relate. He’s approachable. I’ve gone out and watched them practice and he’s a no-nonsense kind of guy, but at the same token, he’s teaching. He’s doing a little bit more than just the football thing.

“He reminds me of Coach Smith in a lot of ways. He’s teaching those life lessons. You want to play for him. He has your back.”

ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also writes articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.

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