Category: USF Bulls

John Jancek
Tennessee athletics

USF makes hiring of ex-Vols DC John Jancek official

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For the second time this offseason, Willie Taggart has added an experienced coordinator to his USF coaching staff as a position coach.

Following up on reports that had been circulating since late last week, the Bulls confirmed that John Jancek has been hired to serve as Taggart’s safeties coach.  Jancek comes to USF from Tennessee, where he spent three seasons as the Vols’ defensive coordinator before the two sides “parted ways” early last month.

“John brings a tremendous amount of experience and football knowledge to our program and our players are going to love working with him,” Taggart said in a statement. “We’re excited to add his background and input to the defensive foundation we have begun building and I look forward to his working with the very talented group of safeties we have returning.”

In addition to his time on Rocky Top, Jancek has served as a coordinator at six other college programs, including Cincinnati (2010-13) and Central Michigan (2003-05). he was also the co-coordinator at Georgia during the 2009 season.

“I am very excited for the opportunity to join the USF staff and be a part of the program Coach Taggart is building in Tampa,” Jancek said. “The future looks very bright for this program and I am looking forward to working with some very talented players in our secondary.”

A week ago, Taggart also added T.J. Weist as wide receivers coach. Weist was the offensive coordinator at UConn from 2013-14.

Two hires leaves Kliff Kingsbury with one hole to fill on Tech staff

Bulldog Football vs FIU, Saturday, 9/26/2015, Ruston, LA, photo by Donny J Crowe, Copyright:Louisiana Tech University.All Rights Reserved.(dcrowe@latech.edu) 318-257-4854
Louisiana Tech athletics
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Two down, one to go.

With three openings on his Texas Tech coaching staff at the beginning of the day, Kliff Kingsbury officially filled two of them by the end of the day with the additions of Jabbar Juluke and Kevin Patrick. The former will coach Red Raider running backs, the latter the defensive line.

Juluke spent the past three seasons as the running backs coach at Louisiana Tech. That job with the Bulldogs was his first at the collegiate level as he spent the first 18 years of his coaching career at the high school level in New Orleans.

Obviously, this will be Juluke’s first coaching foray into the Power Five world.

“We are extremely excited to add Coach Juluke to our staff,” Kingsbury said. “With his recruiting ties, energy and coaching experience, he is a valuable addition to our program.”

Patrick, meanwhile, was the defensive line coach at North Texas in 2014 and 2015. For six years prior to that, he was a defensive line coach at USF. He began his coaching career with the Bulls as an assistant in charge of defensive ends in 1996, but then left that post in 1998 and spent 11 years in private business before rejoining the program in 2008.

“We are extremely excited to add Coach Patrick to our staff,” Kingsbury said. “He has coached and developed some of the best defensive lineman in college football. He brings a wealth of experience and will be a great addition to our program.”

With the additions of Patrick and Juluke, Kingsbury now has one hole to fill on his staff, that of a defensive assistant.

USF loses DC to Indiana, stays in-house for replacement

BLOOMINGTON, IN - OCTOBER 03: Kevin Wilson the head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers runs checks the spot of the ball during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Memorial Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Bloomington, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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After guiding one of the top scoring defense in the AAC, Tom Allen will be charged with turning around a Big Ten unit that desperately needs it.

In a press release, USF announced that Allen had “notified [head coach Willie] Taggart of his intention to accept a similar role at another institution” after one season with the Bulls. Roughly three hours later, Indiana announced in its own release that Kevin Wilson has swiped Allen to be his defensive coordinator.

Allen, an Indiana native, will replace Brian Knorr, who the school announced in the same release would not be returning for the 2016 season after spending the past two years as coordinator. Last season, the Hoosiers were 116th in the nation (out of 127 teams) and last in the Big Ten in giving up 37.6 points per game; under Allen last year, the Bulls’ defense was 35th in the country and fourth in the AAC in giving up 22.9 points per game.

Prior to his one-year stint at South Florida, Allen spent three years as the linebackers coach and special teams coordinator at Ole Miss. He was the defensive coordinator at Arkansas State under Hugh Freeze immediately before that.

“I did not know Tom personally, but was aware of his background and reached out to him when we decided to make a change,” Wilson said. “We made an immediate connection. Tom will bring a ton of energy and strong leadership, and our kids will play hard. This is a positive addition as we continue to take to our program to the next level.”

With Allen gone, Taggart looked to his own staff to fill the void, promoting Raymond Woodie to coordinator. The past three seasons at USF, Woodie has held the title of assistant head coach/linebackers/special teams coach.

Woodie has been a part of Taggart-led staffs the past six seasons, first at Western Kentucky and then at USF.

“It didn’t take long to identify Coach Woodie as the right person to lead our defense,” Taggart said. “He has done a great job developing a strong linebacker unit over the past three years and his positive impact on our special teams was very evident last year. Woodie has tremendously strong relationships with our players, great knowledge of our system and is well prepared to lead our defense.”

Woodie is USF’s fifth coordinator on that side of the ball in six years.

Reports: Ron Dugan leaving South Florida for South Beach

CORAL GABLES, FL - DECEMBER 04:  New University of Miami Hurricanes head football coach Mark Richt speaks after he was introduced at a press conference at the school on December 4, 2015 in Coral Gables, Florida.  (Photo by Joe Skipper/Getty Images)
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Mark Richt is in the final stages of assembling his staff at Miami, and one of the final coaches joining him in South Florida comes from….. South Florida.

According to Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated and Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports, the ‘Canes will hire USF wide receivers coach Ron Dugan to coach the same position for the U.

“The 38-year-old Dugan, a Florida State product, is well-regarded among his coaching peers for how well he connects with his players and for his passion and teaching of the wide receiver position,” Feldman wrote.

Dugan got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, then spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Georgia Southern and Louisville. Dugan played four seasons with the Bengals and also deposited a brief stint with the Houston Texans.

Early bowl results suggest AAC may have been overhyped, but still time for redemption

Temple's Avery Williams leaves the field in the rain after Toledo's 32-17 win in the Boca Raton Bowl NCAA college football game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, in Boca Raton, Fla. (Yong Kim/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)
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Heading into the bowl season this year it seemed pretty clear there was no Group of Five conference that could go toe-to-toe with the American Athletic Conference. Four bowl games into the postseason though and the story appears to be a little different. The good news is there is still time to redeem the image of the conference in this current postseason and make up for early woes.

The American Athletic Conference has lost each of its four bowl games played to date. South Florida lost to Western Kentucky, 45-35, in the Miami Beach Bowl. Temple took a 32-17 loss in the Boca Raton Bowl against Toledo. Cincinnati was clobbered by San Diego State, 42-7, in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.On Saturday, Connecticut lost to Marshall in the St. Petersburg Bowl (16-10) and Tulsa was edged by Virginia Tech in a wild shootout in the Independence Bowl, 55-52. That is a record of 0-4 with losses to Conference USA, the MAC and Mountain West Conference included in the mix. When comparing Group of Five conferences against each other, those are not good results for the AAC. It is also strange, because the AAC was fairly good against other Group of Five conferences this season. The conference has already clinched a losing record in postseason play with three games left to play.

The question for the AAC now is whether or not three wins in the final three games can outweigh the weight of the four losses. There is no question the three games left to play are to be considered the most notable matchups for the conference, although Temple vs. Toledo was respectable as well. Navy will play Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl in Annapolis on Monday afternoon. Memphis will take on 6-6 Auburn in the Birmingham Bowl on Wednesday afternoon and Houston faces Florida State in the Peach Bowl on New Years Eve. If the AAC managed to go 3-0 in those games, the conference would regain some credibility among Group of Five conferences, but that will not come easily..

It is far from impossible to believe though. Navy is practically playing at home. Despite coaching changes ongoing, Memphis still has an offense that should give Auburn plenty of trouble (remember, Memphis beat Ole Miss, and Ole Miss beat Auburn). Houston may not be as deep as Florida State is, but its first team offense has potential to give Florida State some trouble. Can the AAC win all three? Sure, it’s possible. Is it expected? Probably not, but for a conference that was pumped up as much as it has been this season from multiple voices (myself included), the AAC needs to go 3-0 in their final games to regain its footing. The AAC is clearly not a power conference, but being the top of the Group of Five is not a bad place to sit either.