Former NFL receiver Pathon interviews for Bulls job
USF coach Skip Holtz could be turning to a former NFL receiver to fill the opening on his staff, as Jerome Pathon, receivers coach at the University of San Diego the last three years, interviewed for the receivers job last week and is very interested in joining the Bulls.
"I'm excited about the possibility of becoming a part of that staff, and part of that football program," Pathon said by phone Monday afternoon. "If you take a look at the body of work they've been able to accomplish there, it's absolutely incredible, a meteoric rise to where they stand today. I know Coach Holtz is adamant about continuing that path."
Pathon, 36, was an All-American at Washington and a second-round draft pick who played eight NFL seasons, mostly with the Colts and Saints. He came into the NFL the same year as Peyton Manning, catching 260 passes in his career, including 15 touchdowns. Pathon started his coaching career working with receivers as his alma mater, then landed his first full-time coaching job at Division I-AA San Diego in 2009.
One of Pathon's Saints teammates was USF receivers coach Phil McGeoghan, who encouraged him to apply for the job when he left to become the Dolphins' assistant receivers coach earlier this month. He said he's followed the team in the last three years just to keep track of his friend and former teammate.
Pathon, who was born in South Africa and raised in Canada, lived in Fort Lauderdale for four years at the end of his playing career, and said he has long known of Holtz through NFL teammates like Jeff Burris and Lake Dawson, who played with him in Indianapolis and at Notre Dame when Holtz coached there.
Receiver should be one of USF's deepest and most talented positions in 2012, returning nearly intact from last season, with Sterling Griffin and Terrence Mitchell returning from injuries and Andre Davis, Deonte Welch and Victor Marc coming off breakout seasons. Florida transfer Chris Dunkley and freshman D'Vario Montgomery will add two more playmakers to the group.
Pathon said he's enjoyed the transition from playing to coaching, with his three years with the Toreros (bullfighters, by coincidence) showing him his football days aren't over.
"When you get a chance to work with young men at the university level, you really get to make an impact on people's lives," he said. "My days of scoring touchdowns are over, but I get the same gratification in seeing these young men take strikes and leaps into becoming men. For me, that's the most rewarding thing, being able to pass along some of that experience, to help guide them and make better decisions in life."