Offensive Coordinator / Wide Receivers
Louisiana Tech head football coach Skip Holtz announced on February 5, 2016 that 30-year coaching veteran Todd Fitch is joining the LA Tech Family as offensive coordinator and receivers coach.
This will be Fitch’s fourth stint as offensive coordinator after holding similar positions at Boston College, East Carolina and South Florida. He has coached several notable NFL players including three-time Pro Bowl selection Chris Johnson, three-time All-Conference USA honoree Davon Drew and All-Southeastern Conference pick Troy Williamson.
“I am excited to be joining a staff that is part of growing something special,” Fitch said. “This coaching staff has laid the groundwork for a program that has already done some great things and is building a foundation for future success. I am excited for the opportunity to be on a staff with Skip Holtz again and to keep growing this program.”
Prior to joining the LA Tech Family, Fitch spent three years at Boston College first as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator (2013-14) and then as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (2015).
Fitch inherits an offense that returns six starters in 2016 and whose 6,276 offensive yards racked up ranks third all-time in Louisiana Tech history. Trent Taylor, who finished the year with 1,282 yards on 99 catches and was the third-fastest receiver in the nation to reach the 1,000-yard plateau in 2015, leads a returning cast that has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back bowl wins.
“There are a lot of good, young players on this team and it is going to be fun to mold them as they grow. I am excited about the talent level that Louisiana Tech has. Some great players have recently graduated but there is a lot of exciting talent that I can’t wait to groom to be the best they can be.”
Coming to Ruston from Boston College, Fitch was instrumental to a program that achieved back-to-back seven-win seasons in 2013 and 2014 and advanced to the 2013 AdvoCare Independence Bowl and 2014 New Era Pinstripe Bowl after inheriting a program that went 2-10 in 2012. The five-win improvement from 2012 to 2013 is tied for fourth-best in the FBS.
While at Boston College Fitch also mentored Josh Bordner in 2014 as he transitioned from quarterback to wide receiver and led the Eagles in receptions, receiving yards and yards per game.
In his first season at BC, he guided a timely and efficient Eagle passing attack that was highlighted by career receptions and receiving yards record-holder Alex Amidon and quarterback Chase Rettig who finished the season with a 140.6 efficiency rating and the fewest interceptions in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.
He also mentored All-ACC First Team honoree Alex Amidon, who concluded his collegiate career having registered a school record 191 receptions for a school record 2,800 yards.
Prior to Boston College, Fitch served as offensive coordinator alongside Holtz at South Florida (2010-12) and at East Carolina (2007-09).
At USF, Fitch coached record-setting QB B.J. Daniels at USF who finished his career second in school history and third in Big East history in total offense (10,501) despite missing the last three games of his senior season because of injury.
In his first season at USF, Fitch led an offense that helped USF to its fifth-straight eight-win season, making it one of just 15 programs nationally and one of 10 in BCS leagues to accomplish the feat. He mentored both Mo Plancher (793) and Demetris Murray (542) to then-career highs in rushing yards.
The offense saw tremendous improvement in year two as USF improved its national ranking in total offense 75 spots from 2010 to 2011, the largest jump of any school in the country. The most dramatic improvement came in the passing game, where USF improved by 85 yards per game. Only two teams saw a greater jump in the passing offense national rankings, as the Bulls improved 59 spots. In addition, the Bulls improved 39 spots in rushing offense, increasing their output by 38 yards per game.
Prior to coming to Tampa, Fitch spent three seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at East Carolina. In his first season, ECU broke a pair of school single-season records for most points (403) and touchdowns scored (52), records that had previously stood for 28 years.
While utilizing two first-year starters, Patrick Pinkney and Rob Kass, throughout the 2007 campaign, ECU turned in its second-highest scoring average since 1991 and tallied 35 or more points in six of eight Conference USA contests before closing the year with a 41-point performance against No. 24 Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl. The Pirates' explosive offense ranked first nationally in scoring drives under one minute (23) and seventh in scoring plays 25 yards or longer (18).
A year later in 2008, Fitch showed his versatility by converting his game plan to a ball possession offense due to a number of injuries that resulted in a total of 24 different starters on the offensive side of the ball. Although the losses included five first-team skill performers at the running back and wide receiver positions, ECU produced six single-season individual and team school records, including the top yardage total by a tight end in program history.
Fitch and the offense helped ECU to the Conference USA title that year and then, in 2009, became the first program in league history to win consecutive conference championships.
A veteran with 25 years of coaching experience, Fitch has also worked under legendary head coaches Don Nehlen, Earle Bruce and Lou Holtz during his career which spans back to 1986 and included stops at alma mater Ohio Wesleyan, Bowling Green, West Virginia and Colorado State.
Before arriving at ECU, Fitch spent three seasons as a member of the Iowa State staff as quarterbacks coach, where he tutored All-America performer Bret Meyer, who blossomed into ISU's most prolific signal-caller under his guidance. Meyer set school career marks in passing yards (7,348), total offense (7,929), touchdown passes (41) and completions (587) in just three seasons and included a 1,926-yard passing effort in 2004 which ranked as the top freshman mark in school history.
Prior to his move to the Big 12 Conference, Fitch was South Carolina's quarterbacks coach in 2003 after a year as running backs coach and three seasons as wide receivers coach - all under head coach Lou Holtz and offensive coordinator Skip Holtz - where he helped lead the Gamecocks to consecutive Outback Bowl victories in 2001 and 2002.
Fitch came to the South Carolina program from Connecticut, where he worked under head coach Skip Holtz during his five-year tenure from 1994 to 1998. He coordinated the Huskies' offense in his final three years, playing a key role in UConn's high-powered and prolific offensive attack in 1998 that resulted in a school-record 10-win season and quarterfinal round appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. Connecticut quarterbacks set school records for passing yardage, touchdown passes and passing efficiency under Fitch's guidance and the Huskies enjoyed a spot in the Top 25 polls during four of the five seasons.
An Ohio native, Fitch is a 1986 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan, where he was a three-year starter at defensive back and an all-league performer in 1985. Following his playing career, Fitch moved on to an assistant coaching position at Ohio Wesleyan from 1986-87 before accepting a graduate assistant position at Bowling Green for one year in 1988 and a volunteer coaching position at West Virginia in 1989. He returned to BGSU to serve as the Falcons' wide receivers coach during the 1990 and 1991 seasons, where two of his wide receivers were drafted in the NFL.
He moved on to Colorado State in 1992, where he worked as the running backs coach and special teams coordinator for two seasons. His starting fullback played in the NFL and his starting tailback was selected to play in the East-West Shrine Game.
Fitch and wife Julie have two children - Curtis and Peyton.
Robert McFarland enters his second season at Louisiana Tech as the offensive line coach for the Bulldogs and brings with him over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience.
McFarland's hiring was announced in January 2015 as the veteran joins the LA Tech family after spending the last three seasons at Copiah-Lincoln (Co-Lin) Junior College.
"I am very excited to add Robert to our staff and the LA Tech Family," Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz said. "He brings a tremendous amount of experience as a head coach, coordinator and offensive line coach in over 25 years of coaching and in 2015 that experience will be invaluable in continuing to build our program. I have known him for a long time and I know he will be a great asset to our program."
During his time at Co-Lin, McFarland served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for a prolific offense that reached the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) championship game behind a 62 percent passing rate with over 3,000 yards passing with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions by a sophomore quarterback.
In 2012, Co-Lin quarterback Chandler Rogers passed for 3,164 yards and 30 touchdowns in 12 games. In 2013, freshman quarterback Daniel Fitzwater posted 2,684 yards passing with 19 touchdowns in nine games.
McFarland has a long list of achievements and former players who competed in the National Football League. He served as offensive line coach for the United Football League's (UFL) Sacramento Mountain Lions (2011) under head coach Dennis Green and the Florida Tuskers (2010) as the run game coordinator/tight end coach under head coach Jay Gruden. The Tuskers led the UFL in rushing and produced the league's leading rusher.
"Having known Skip for over 25 years, I am excited to have the opportunity to work with him again," said McFarland, who first coached with the Holtz family at Notre Dame. "I grew up in Louisiana and the reputation of Louisiana Tech as a university and as a football program. It is an exciting time to be in Ruston following a successful bowl season and playing in the Conference USA Championship Game. The future is bright for this program and I look forward to work with Skip, the great coaching staff he has assembled and the team he is building."
He spent 2007-2008 as the offensive coordinator/offensive line coach for Iowa State University under then head coach Gene Chizik. He successfully rebuilt the Cyclone offensive line from scratch in 2007 and coordinated an offense that set several school and career records. In 2008, the Cyclone offense set a school record in passing yards per game, second all-time total passing yards, fifth all-time in total offense per game, sixth in total yards, and seventh in scoring. They set season single game school records in three categories. Most impressively, Iowa State cut its sacks allowed from 38 in 2006 to 17 and 2007, despite having only one returning starter on the offensive line.
Serving as head coach at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2005-2006, the Lumberjacks won twice as many conference games in 2006 than previous two years to finish tied for second place in the league. In his two years as the Lumberjacks' head coach, McFarland coached two All-Americans and 26 All-Southland Conference players. In 2005, SFA had the No. 1 passing offense in the Southland Conference and in 2006, the Lumberjacks led the conference in total offense, total defense and scoring defense.
McFarland spent the 2004 season at East Carolina as the offensive line coach. Prior to that he spent four seasons as the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator at the University of Central Florida. During his stay at UCF, McFarland's offensive unit was ranked 11th in the nation in total offense and sixth in the nation in pass offense that season averaging more than 436 yards of offense and 32 points per game in 2002.
His offensive units produced two 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,000-yard rusher in 2002, only the eighth time in NCAA history a team has accomplished that feat.
The Knights finished ninth in the nation among I-A teams in passing offense in 2001 and was 12th in the nation in passing offense in 2000. During his stay in Orlando, McFarland coached six student-athletes who went on to the NFL.
McFarland was the offensive line coach at Stephen F. Austin from 1991 through the 1999 season. During his earlier stint with the Lumberjacks, SFA claimed two NCAA playoff appearances and the 1999 Southland title. The 'Jacks advanced to the semifinals of the I-AA playoffs in 1995. SFA led the league in rushing offense four times with McFarland's offensive line leading the way. SFA also set single-season records for rushing yards (2,193 yards - 1993) and rushing touchdowns (30 - 1999) while McFarland was a Lumberjack assistant. Four of his former offensive linemen also went on to NFL camps.
He has made coaching stops at Kent State under Pete Cordelli, Notre Dame under Lou Holtz and Clemson University under Danny Ford. He has coached teams that have made appearances in the Citrus Bowl, Gator Bowl and Orange Bowl.
His coaching career began as a graduate assistant at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.
McFarland and his wife, Pam, are the parents of two children, Ashley and Koy.
One of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history and one of the most decorated in Louisiana Tech history joined Skip Holtz's staff in 2013 as eight-year NFL veteran Tim Rattay now enters his third season coaching the outside receivers.
"Tim brings a vast experience around the game of football," Skip Holtz said. "His father was a high school coach so he grew up around the game. He was a college player and then played 10 years professionally and has had the opportunity to coach at the professional level the last few years. He is a Louisiana Tech guy; this is his school, this is where he played and this is where he wanted to be. I am really excited we have the opportunity to give him the chance to get into college coaching at his home at Louisiana Tech."
In just his second season, Rattay helped lead the Bulldogs to a Conference USA West Division title and the 2014 Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl championship following a 35-18 win over Illinois at the Cotton Bowl. LA Tech ended the season 9-5 and Rattay helped the Bulldogs to a No. 13 ranking nationally in scoring offense, while Tech was also fifth in the country in most improved scoring offense with 37.4 points per game in 2014.
Rattay joined the LA Tech staff after spending the prior two seasons as the wide receivers coach for the United Football League's (UFL) Las Vegas Locomotives. He is a member of the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame as he was enshrined as part of the Class of 2007.
"I am super excited to get back to Louisiana Tech," Rattay said. "It is a place that has given me so much and it is a program on the rise. So many good things have happened to Tech in the last 10 years and there are a lot of good things still to come for Louisiana Tech Football. I am just glad to be a part of it and I want to thank Skip Holtz for the opportunity to come back home."
Rattay returns to his alma mater where he rewrote the Louisiana Tech record books while permanently etching his name in the NCAA record books during his three-year career with the Bulldogs from 1997 through 1999. Spurned by most Division I programs due to his undersized stature, Rattay possessed an uncanny ability to dissect defenses with his pin-point accuracy and exploded onto the national scene in 1997 as he passed for 358 yards and three scores in the Bulldogs 30-23 win over Bowling Green.
It was just the beginning of a three-year run in Ruston that saw Rattay earn two NCAA Total Offense titles while passing for 12,746 yards and 115 touchdowns. His collegiate career ended with him owning every LA Tech passing and total offense record while ranking No. 2 in NCAA history in total offense (12,618), No. 2 in passing touchdowns and No. 2 in passing yards.
While the Phoenix, Arizona native led Tech to 23 wins, including memorable victories over Alabama (twice) and California, arguably his biggest moment came when he combined with Troy Edwards to embarrass the defending national champion Nebraska Cornhusker's defense as he passed for 590 yards and four scores in the inaugural Eddie Robinson Classic in 1998.
Following his collegiate career, the All-American was selected in the seventh round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers where he spent eight years in the league with the 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals before retiring from the NFL in 2007.
During his NFL career, Rattay recorded a number of impressive performances, including breaking the 49ers single game completions record with 38 in a 31-28 win over the Arizona Cardinals in 2004 (Joe Montana held the previous mark with 37). He also became the only player in NFL history to throw three consecutive passes all going for touchdowns, a feat he accomplished while with the Cardinals in 2007.
He led the Buccaneers to the franchises biggest comeback ever. Trailing eventual NFC champion Chicago by 21 points in the third quarter on Dec. 17, 2006, he tossed three fourth quarter touchdowns to send the game into overtime where the Bears eventually won 34-31.
Rattay is also one of only three 7th-round or undrafted quarterback since 1995 to pass for more than 400 yards in a game, joining Matt Cassel and Tony Romo.
Following the completion of his NFL career, Rattay spent two seasons playing for the UFL's Locomotives where he served as the backup in 2010 and the starter in 2011 before suffering a season-ending injury.
In 2012 Rattay spent the year as the wide receivers coach for the franchise.
Rattay earned his bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech in 2001.
He is married to the former Allison Walker, who was a Louisiana Tech volleyball player during her college days. The couple has three kids: Riley, Taylor and Sloane.
Joe Sloan enters his fourth season as the inside receivers coach at Louisiana Tech after joining head coach Skip Holtz and the Bulldog family on Jan. 8, 2013.
Formerly a graduate assistant at South Florida, Sloan joined the Louisiana Tech Family after having spent the previous eight years with Skip Holtz, either as a player or as a coach.
"Joe has both played and worked for me and he brings a relentless work habit and attitude along with a youthful enthusiasm for the game," Holtz said of Sloan. "He is going to be one of the young stars in this business and I am excited to have him on our staff."
In 2014, Sloan helped guide the fifth most improve scoring offense in the nation as the Bulldogs captured the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl title with a 35-18 win over Illinois at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas. The 2014 season resulted in a 9-5 record, five more wins than the previous year, and a Conference USA West Division championship thanks to a 7-1 mark in league play.
In his second season on staff, Sloan played an integral part in LA Tech's nationally ranked offensive numbers, with the Bulldogs ranking 13th in scoring offense, 15th in fourth down conversion percentage and 22nd in red zone offense.
Sloan was an offensive quality control assistant at South Florida from 2010-11 and then spent the 2012 season as a graduate assistant coach for the Bulls.
"I have had the pleasure of working with Skip Holtz for the past eight years both as a player and as a coach. I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue working with him here at Louisiana Tech," Sloan said. "Coach Holtz runs a championship program, and I am excited to help him build on the success of Louisiana Tech Football."
Prior to his tenure at USF, Sloan was an administrative assistant/recruiting for the Spring of 2010, assisting with all aspects of ECU's recruiting efforts.
Sloan finished up his collegiate days at ECU after playing in all 14 games in 2009 with the Pirates. Sloan appeared in 41 career games throughout his final three years at ECU and was the special team unit's placeholder for those three seasons.
During the 2009 season, Sloan assisted with opponent breakdown and scouting reports, organized and ran the offensive scout team during practice, assisted with the weekly game plan development and implementation and participated in all offensive staff meetings.
He earned a redshirt season in 2005 after walk-on tryouts and was a scout team player in 2006 but did not see game action. Throughout his career, Sloan was also a reserve quarterback.
In 2009, Sloan was nominated for the Rudy Award, which honors a student-athlete who demonstrates exemplary "character, courage, contribution and commitment" as a member of their collegiate football team.
In addition, he was a three-time winner of the team's Jerry T. Brooks Award for superior academic achievement from 2007-09. Sloan was also a three-time member of the PCS Phosphate ECU All-Academic Team from 2008-10, the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and a Conference USA Academic Medal recipient.
Sloan earned a bachelor's degree in business administration, managerial finance from ECU in December 2008, graduating Summa Cum Laude, before earning his MBA in May 2010. Sloan was selected to the ECU Athletic Director's Honor Roll each semester at ECU.
A Chester, Va., native, Sloan starred at Thomas Dale High School prior to arriving at ECU.
Louisiana Tech head coach Skip Holtz has announced the addition of coaching veteran Tony Ball to the staff as the Bulldogs’ new running backs coach, the program announced on March 8, 2017.
Ball comes to Louisiana Tech with over 30 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, while also leading his respective teams to 18 consecutive bowl games from 1998 to 2015. Most recently, Ball spent the 2015 season as the wide receivers coach at LSU, while the Tennessee native split time as a running backs and receivers coach at Georgia for nine seasons prior to joining the Tigers’ staff.
Ball joins Holtz’s staff after having served as an assistant at some of the nation’s top football programs, including a nine-year stint at Georgia following eight seasons at Virginia Tech under legendary head coach Frank Beamer.
“We are excited to have someone with Tony’s experience join our staff here at Louisiana Tech,” Holtz said. “When you look at the history of the schools he has been at like Georgia, Virginia Tech and LSU, it is pretty impressive and we are excited to have someone with his energy and passion for the game on board.”
In his only season at LSU, Ball served as the wide receivers coach and assisted with special teams, while helping lead the Tigers to a 56-27 victory over Texas Tech in the 2015 Texas Bowl.
While at Georgia, Ball developed some of the top skill players in the program’s history, including first round draft picks in wide receiver A.J. Green and running back Knowshon Moreno. Ball was part of two SEC Eastern Division Championship teams while on the staff at Georgia and he was also part of two of the most prolific offenses in school history in 2012 and 2013. In nine years at Georgia, Ball helped the Bulldogs to an 84-35 overall record, including five seasons of posting 10 or more wins and six bowl victories.
Prior to his stint at Georgia, Ball spent eight years at Virginia Tech where he coached wide receivers for the Hokies. During his eight years coaching under Frank Beamer, Ball helped lead the Hokies to eight bowl games, including the national championship contest against Florida State to conclude the 1999 season. The Hokies were 78-23 overall in Ball’s time in Blacksburg.
A 1983 graduate of UT-Chattanooga, Ball began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Austin Peay in 1985 where he earned his master’s degree in health and nutrition. He served as a volunteer running backs coach at South Carolina in 1987 before returning to UT-Chattanooga in 1988 to coach receivers. Ball spent the next season coaching running backs at East Tennessee State before returning to his alma mater to coach wide receivers in 1990.
Ball spent three years coaching running backs at College of Holy Cross from 1992-94 before joining the Louisville staff as the wide receivers coach from 1995-97 prior to his eight-year stint at Virginia Tech.
During the summers of 1996 and 1997, Ball participated in the National Football League's Minority Internship Program with the Baltimore Ravens. He also interned with the Denver Broncos in 2003.