Bulls lose top recruiter Scott to Hurricanes
On Saturday morning, speaking to the board of the USF Alumni Association, first-year Bulls football coach Willie Taggart talked about how excited he was that assistant coach Larry Scott, a former USF player who had been courted to join the coaching staffs at Miami and Florida State, had been convinced to stay at his alma mater.
"Guys were trying to take him away from us," Taggart said. "Larry is a diehard Bull. I wasn't going to let them have him. Larry wants to be here too. We want people who want to be here, and Larry wants to be here. ... That has me fired up."
A day later, Miami had come back and lured Scott away, as the Associated Press reported that he had agreed to join Al Golden's staff as tight ends coach, replacing Mario Cristobal, who left to be Alabama's new offensive line coach.
Scott, 36, was the only full-time assistant retained from Skip Holtz's coaching staff, but his stay at USF goes all the way back to the beginning. He played in USF's first-ever game as an offensive lineman in 1997, returning to the Bulls in 2005 as director of high school relations, then as a graduate assistant before Jim Leavitt promoted him to a full-time assistant in 2007. He worked with USF's offensive line and tight ends, then moved to running backs coach last season, and was to coach the tackles and tight ends for Taggart's staff.
He shined as a recruiter, especially in the Miami area, helping the Bulls beat the hometown Hurricanes for top prospects like Kayvon Webster, Elkino Watson, and, just this month, cornerback Lamar Robbins. He was recognized this month by 247sports.com as one of the nation's top 50 recruiters.
Scott did not return messages seeking comment. When Holtz was fired in December, Scott was emotional about his future, talking about how much it meant to him to be able to coach for the Bulls.
"Quite naturally, this is where I went to school," he said, not knowing yet who would be hired or whether he would be retained. "I've got a lot of pride. I'm just going to go to work, and whatever will be will be. I'm a big believer that there's always an ultimate plan for all of us. If it's to have an opportunity to be here, it is; if it's time to do some other things and move on, I'll adjust if I have to."
Taggart now has openings for both an offensive assistant and a special-teams coordinator, and one logical candidate is Stu Holt, his current director of player personnel, who worked in both capacities with Taggart at Western Kentucky.