Friday, January 8, 2010
What's next for South Florida?
By Brian Bennett
South Florida has called a 12:30 p.m. news conference in which the school will officially announce that Jim Leavitt has been fired. The results of the investigation into allegations of abuse by Leavitt against walk-on player Joel Miller will be made public just before the news conference.
While we wait for that, let's take a quick look at where the Bulls might turn next.
South Florida has a few challenges in hiring its next coach.
As a young program with little history, it doesn't have much of a coaching tree to call upon. There aren't a ton of former Bulls assistants or players out there in the coaching field. It's also already Jan. 8, giving South Florida a late entry into the coaching market. With signing day fast approaching, the school needs to act fast if it wants to hold this year's class together.
And as we've mentioned, this isn't an athletic department with unlimited resources, so throwing $2 million at a proven coach isn't going to happen. The perfect guy for this job might have been Charlie Strong, who was Florida's defensive coordinator before taking the Louisville job. But the Bulls were obviously too late to make that move.
So who are some realistic candidates? Here's a quick look at three names that will be prominently mentioned early in the process:
- Calvin Magee: The Michigan offensive coordinator/associate head coach has some connections that other candidates can't match. He has a graduate degree from South Florida and was a Bulls assistant from 1996-2000. He also spent seven seasons at West Virginia as an assistant, so he knows the Big East intimately well. As Rich Rodriguez's offensive coordinator, he has a strong background and should bring an exciting style of play.
- Dan McCarney: McCarney has an impressive résumé that includes head coaching experience -- he was the Iowa State coach from 1995-2006 -- and time in Tampa. He spent 2007 as USF's defensive line coach and has been credited with turning George Selvie into a star. He is now the assistant head coach/defensive line coach at Florida, so he knows the Bulls' recruiting ground well.
- Tommy Tuberville: The former Auburn coach has been mentioned with just about every opening the past few weeks and has made no secret of his desire to get back into the game. He obviously knows how to recruit Florida from his time in the SEC, where he was incredibly successful. And the affable Tuberville would bring a completely different personality to USF than the sometimes standoffish Leavitt.