Decision should come quickly with Disch
USF's search for a new defensive coordinator could come to a close today, as Illinois co-defensive coordinator Dan Disch is expected to make a decision on whether to accept a reported offer from USF coach Jim Leavitt to run the Bulls defense.
The two biggest questions standing between Disch and USF? Is the 50-year-old willing to part ways with Illini head coach Ron Zook, who he's worked with for the past five years, at Florida and for the past four years at Illinois? And given that Zook has already lost three assistants, including offensive coordinator Mike Locksley, what might he do -- with bumps in pay or title -- to avoid losing a fourth assistant in the same offseason?
Disch would also be linebackers coach at USF, leaving an opening for a defensive backs coach, potentially former Rutgers assistant Chris Demarest. Disch would give USF a huge recruiting presence in his native Jacksonville, where he spent 15 years as head coach at Ed White High. It would also lessen a key recruiting rival in Jacksonville, as Disch has led Illnois's efforts there with several top signings.
Disch still has a home in Neptune Beach, near Jacksonville, and the 1981 Florida State graduate would get a chance to return home and become a solo coordinator for the first time. He's believed to be making about $170,000 at Illinois this season, so USF could give him a financial boost as well, since former coordinator Wally Burnham was making $220,000 as the Bulls' highest-paid assistant.
Leavitt had previously interviewed Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler and former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Joe Tresey for the same job; it's unclear why Leavitt has moved in another direction, though neither was reported to have been offered the position.