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Leavitt, Woolard to attend services for Wiren

Among the USF contingent in Oxford, Miss., today as Caroline Wiren is laid to rest are athletic director Doug Woolard and football coach Jim Leavitt, who mourn the loss of the former Sun Dolls coach.

Leavitt is especially close to the Wiren family because he played a small role in Nyle coming to Tampa to play for the Tampa Bay Storm. Leavitt had first found Wiren when he was a defensive assistant at Kansas State, and coach Bill Snyder sent him to recruit a prospect from Wichita. Wiren had shined as a running back in a wingback offense, and Leavitt convinced him to come to Kansas State, where he started at defensive end and would help create the nation's No. 1 defense.

When Wiren finished school, Leavitt put in a good word with Storm coach Tim Marcum, telling him Wiren was the toughest player he'd coached. Wiren's had a long career with the Storm, and being in Tampa allowed him to meet Caroline, who had coached USF's dance team for the last four seasons. I can remember meeting the Wirens two years ago at the Bulls' annual athletics auction. There aren't many people in the Tampa sports community whose loss could be felt so deeply by the Bulls, Storm and Bucs families.

If you have memories of Caroline and want to share, it's a good day to remember her -- you're welcome to share thoughts on the comments here. And as a reminder, if you're interested in contributing to the Caroline Still Wiren Scholarship Fund at USF, send a check to Vicki Mitchell, Associate Athletic Director for Development, at 4202 Fowler Avenue AEA 100, Tampa FL 33620.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 11:27am]


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