For one of the few times, relatively speaking, since taking over at Clemson, Dabo Swinney has a hole in his coaching staff.
Monday evening, and following up on a day’s worth of speculation, South Florida confirmed that Jeff Scott has been hired as the fifth head coach in the program’s history. After getting started on his head-coaching duties for the next week or so, Scott will return to Clemson and help the Tigers continue preparing for the College Football Playoffs.
Scott replaces Charlie Strong, who was fired earlier this month after three seasons guiding the Bulls.
“Jeff is a very bright, enthusiastic and driven leader for our program and we are thrilled to welcome him to USF and back to Florida, where he was born and where he has recruited so well for Clemson for many years,” USF athletic director Michael Kelly said in a statement. “He is a young and extremely gifted offensive mind, a developer of high-level talent and an elite national recruiter who brings the experience of having played an integral role from the beginning in helping to build one of the most successful programs in college football. We are thrilled that he and his wife, Sara, and their daughter, Savannah, are joining our Bulls family and will be part of the exciting future of USF football.”
Scott, who played his college football for the Tigers, has spent the past dozen seasons at his alma mater. The wide receivers coach in each of those seasons, Scott added the co-offensive coordinator title in 2015.
Earlier this season, the 38-year-old Scott (he’ll turn 39 later this month) Scott was named as a nominee for the 2019 Broyles Award, handed out annually to the nation’s top assistant coach. Last season, he was a finalist for the honor.
“I have great respect for the USF football program and what has been accomplished in a very short time and can’t wait to get to work building on that foundation to produce a championship program,” Scott said “I am thankful to President Currall and Michael Kelly for this tremendous opportunity and their support and belief in me. It is difficult to leave my alma mater and the great program we have built at Clemson, but I believe we can do great things at USF. I am thankful to Coach Swinney and all the Clemson players and staff for the great experiences and lessons that have prepared me to lead USF football. Go Bulls!”
Below is a statement from Swinney on his long-time assistant landing his first head-coaching job:
I first want to thank Jeff Scott for a wonderful 12 years. I’m happy for him and his wife, Sara, and his daughter, Savannah, and I’m so appreciative of all their family has meant to us over the last 12 years. We’re going to miss them tremendously.
Operationally, Jeff will be serving as the head coach at USF for the next week before rejoining us the latter part of next week and remaining with us for the duration of our College Football Playoff run. Our team is excited that he’ll have the opportunity to finish our 2019 season with us.
Jeff has been with me since day one when I became interim. He’s somebody I trust immensely and he’s extremely loyal. He’s been patient for the right opportunity, and I think this is that right opportunity. He’s got a great AD in Michael Kelly. It’s a great fit for Jeff and I know that he’s well-prepared to take this next step and has all the tools he needs to be a great head coach.
It’s been a real joy to watch Jeff grow and develop and work side-by-side with him. He’s done an amazing job representing Clemson, representing the program, coaching our wide receivers and coordinating our offense. His leadership has been a big part of our success, and we will always appreciate his contribution to our program.