Ex-FSU, NFL star Buckley among USF applicants
Just spent an hour sifting through a large stack of applicants for USF's assistant coach openings, and one of the names that popped out immediately is former Florida State and NFL cornerback Terrell Buckley, who has worked at his alma mater for the past year as a strength and conditioning coach.
"I want to be a coach," Buckley said Friday afternoon. "I just finished school to get my degree, and that's the idea now."
Buckley, 37, said he has not heard back from USF coach Jim Leavitt, but is familiar with the program, through former FSU teammate and current FSU coach Lawrence Dawsey. When Dawsey was USF's receivers coach from 2004-06, Buckley visited USF's practice and talked with Bulls defensive backs, including Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams. Buckley said he has enjoyed his work as a strength coach, working with FSU's football players, but would like to start coaching on the field. He said working at Florida State as a graduate assistant is another possibility for this fall.
I'm not going to post a full list of applicants, but there's some recognizable names that have indicated an interest, including former head coaches at BCS schools, a former NFL head coach and other former NFL players. Buckley, who had 50 interceptions in a 14-year NFL career that ended in 2005, has as strong an NFL resume as a defensive backs coach could likely boast, but has no on-field coaching experience.
I've spoken with several of the more prominent applicants today -- former Cincinnati defensive backs coach Ernest Jones, who was head coach at Alrcorn State last fall; former Oklahoma State head coach Bob Simmons, most recently an assistant at Washington; former Syracuse defensive backs coach James Salgado, who recruited south Florida for the Orange; former Patriots coach Rod Rust, who is 80 and coached most recently in the CFL, former UCF coach Mike Kruczek, who was QBs coach of the Arizona Cardinals from 2004-06, and former Minnesota coach John Gutekunst. All confirmed they had applied for openings at USF, but none said they had been contacted by Leavitt or anyone at USF in response.
-- Former USF quarterback Grant Gregory, granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA, has decided he will play at Division I-AA Eastern Kentucky this fall. Gregory had also strongly considered Towson, but said he was drawn to EKU's sports management program, which would allow him to finish a master's degree in just three semesters and be done with school by next spring. EKU's first game this fall is Sept. 5. against Indiana, where Gregory started his college career, redshirting in 2004 before coming to USF.