The USF is looking for a new football coach after the sacking of Jeff Scott on Sunday. So who’s next for the bull?
Let’s talk about some real-life candidates and some long shots:
Jackson State coach Dion Sanders
We’ll start here because many USF fans (And at least one former playerThey raised the legend of Florida State and the NFL. He will be a dynamic recruiter and will bring the needs of the bustling USF to stand out in a professional market. He’s also 24-5 (9-0 this year) in three seasons at Jackson State. But we can’t see him leaving the HBCU for anything other than the Power Five job.
Former Houston/Texas coach Tom Hermann
The Bulls have already failed with a former Longhorns coach (Charlie Strong), but Hermann is interesting and thinks he’s interested in the job. His 22-4 assignment at AAC in Houston included a Peach Bowl victory over FSU. He is working as an analyst for CBS Sports this season.
Former NFL coach Jim Levitt
Part of the Bulls fan base will demand Levitt, who coached the program from its first game until its controversial exit after the 2009 season. He took the Bulls to five ball games and second place in the country in 2007, but it’s hard to see the USF returning to that well. He has not been a head coach since the Bulls fired him after concluding that he had hit a player and interfered with the school’s investigation.
Scott Frost, former UCF/Nebraska coach
Like Hermann, he failed at the Power Five but dominated AAC. Just ask the riders what national title they have been claiming since 2017. The idea of training Frost on a UCF competitor is interesting.
Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken
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The former Bucs assistant helped the Bulldogs win them all last year and took over the Southern Miss from 1-11 to 9-5 as their head coach. Does this job interest him?
Indiana coach Tom Allen
No, we can’t imagine Allen leaving the Big Ten job for the Bulls. But if things go south in Indiana – he’s 3-6 this season and 1-5 in the Conference – he might go south to the USF. He was the defensive coordinator for the Bulls in 2015 and began his coaching career in Hillsborough County at the defunct Christian high school, Temple Heights.
Oregon offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham
The former FSU assistant has ties to the state and is seen as a rising star in the profession. We expect the Arizona native to be in the mix for a Sun Devils job, although he may need to start his main coaching career in the Group of Five.
Florida State Attack Coordinator Alex Atkins
Like Dillingham, Atkins is a promising young assistant linked as a future head coach after rebuilding a historically poor offensive streak. His name was mentioned in Charlotte’s research, but the USF would be a step ahead of that.
Tennessee Offensive Coordinator Alex Golish
Golesh was involved in one of the best crimes in years, helping volunteers with a breakthrough season. He was also the joint offensive coordinator for Josh Heupel at UCF in 2020, so he has some history in the state and in the conference.
Penn State defensive coordinator Manny Diaz
He was the 2017 Miami defensive engineer but was fired after leading 21-15 in three seasons as the head coach of the Hurricanes. The Miami native and FSU graduate have connections across the state. Will it generate enough buzz and win for the Bulls that need both?
Former Florida coach Dan Mullen
We don’t expect Mullen to stay in his role as an ESPN analyst for long. We also wonder if his eyes are on bigger jobs.
Former Memphis and Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente
Like Frost and Hermann, Fuente succeeded at AAC (19-6 in his last two years with one conference title) but failed at the Power Five. Unlike Frost, he does not have any obvious relationships in Tampa or Florida.
Toledo Joint Offensive Coordinator Robert Weiner
He has trained Plant High in four state championships, so he is well known among area coaches. He’s in his third season with the Rockets (who finished October with one of the top 25 goal-scoring offenses in the country) and is considered one of the best recruits in the Mid-America Conference. Weiner also briefly took a job on the USF team in 2013 before changing his mind.
Howard coach Larry Scott
The Sebring native was a member of the Bulls’ inaugural recruiting class, worked at Tampa Freedom High and Wharton High, and was an assistant to the USF from 2005-12. He was also an assistant coach for the Gators and temporary Miami in 2015, so he’s well established in the state. But he is only 6-16 years old since he took over Howard in 2020.
Former Florida coach Urban Mayer
Mandatory inclusion because we were asked about the three-time national champion. It seems highly unlikely that the Bulls would hire him after a turbulent period with the Jacksonville Jaguars or that his ego would allow him to take the job.
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