Leavitt completes staff with Hendrick
Just a day before the Bulls open spring practice, USF coach Jim Leavitt has filled the last opening on his staff, hiring South Carolina State defensive coordinator John Hendrick to coach the Bulls' defensive tackles, according to Bulldogs coach Buddy Pough.
Hendrick, 48, whose interest in joining the Bulls was first reported Wednesday in the Times, worked with Leavitt at Kansas State in 1991-92. He spent last season at SCSU after four years as head coach at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., and has been a college coach since 1983, most notably in eight seasons as defensive line coach at Mississippi State.
"He's an all-around great guy, a tremendous influence on our kids," said Pough, who worked with USF defensive coordinator Wally Burnham at South Carolina in the late 1990s.
Hendrick isn't new to the Big East -- he graduated from Pittsburgh in 1983 after playing as a defensive lineman from 1979-81, with standouts Hugh Green, Dan Marino and Bill Maas among his teammates.
Hendrick is the second new hire on Leavitt's staff, and the second time Leavitt has reached back to his coaching past to reunited with a former colleague. Hendrick will work alongside former USF assistant Kevin Patrick, who was announced last week as defensive ends coach. Patrick has been out of coaching since the 1998 season at USF, working in private business.
Hendrick and Patrick will replace Dan McCarney, who left to become defensive line coach at Florida; safeties coach Troy Douglas will now coach the entire defensive secondary for the Bulls.