USF needs to be smart in naming its new coach

by Gary Shelton on December 4, 2019

in general

Charlie Strong was fired by USF./TIM WIRT

Wednesday, 3 a.m.

Sometimes, when a program is lost, when it has no early idea where it is headed, the only thing to do is to remind itself of where it has been.

For the USF Bulls, that would be a mistake.

Hey, no would blame the Bulls for dumping head coach Charlie Strong. Strong had lost all direction of this program. The Bulls were getting worse by the year, and they had lost any momentum. They would have been worse next year than this one, and worse the year after. Better to try to find some energy from somewhere while it was possible.

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But for those who whisper that it's time to return to Willie Taggart? No.

For those who say aloud it's time to go back to Jim Leavitt? Double no.

And, hey, I like both Taggart and Jim. I was convinced Willlie would make it at FSU (oops). I spent most of a week with Jim at a recent Super Bowl when he was with the 49ers. I hope both of them succeed.

But you can't build the same bridge twice. Both of them had their successes with the Bulls, but the cook only movs one direction.

For USF, it's time to move forward.

Too much time has passed for either man. If Taggart goes into a recruit's home these days, he's going to be "the guy who failsd at FSU" not the guy who dazzles at FSU. Leavitt is going to be the "guy who left in a controversy" not the "guy who built the program."

It's time for the next chapter.

You know who this team needs? It needs a Josh Heupel, a Scott Frost. It needs someone who can see tomorrow. It needs someone who can close the gap with USF, who can compete in the American Conference, who can make USF look fast and hungry again.

I'll say this for Leavitt. He believed. With every fibre of his soul, he believed the Bulls could be a force. The Bulls need some of that.

Taggart? He knew that when he got his kind of athlete, his team could play. And it could.

I never saw that kind of conviction from Strong. He was a good man, a principled man. But he didn't have the same passion they have at UCF.And his team was never going to be as good.

Look, this is only partially about the new coach. This is also about the guys in charge of hiring him.

Be smart. Be careful.

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