New coordinator could be Kansas State's Cosh
Skip Holtz's search for a new defensive coordinator could be wrapped up in the next 24 hours, and much of the latest speculation has centered on Kansas State defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, who worked with Holtz at South Carolina from 1999-2003.
Cosh was reached by phone by the Times on Monday but declined to comment when asked about the possibility of him joining Holtz's staff. Coachingsearch.com first mentioned Cosh as a possibility, writing that he had already interviewed with Holtz, and Josh Newberg at Bulls247.com reported that Cosh was in attendance at USF's postseason football banquet on Saturday night and now has an offer from Holtz.
Cosh, 52, was Lou Holtz's linebackers coach from 1999-2002, then his defensive coordinator opposite Skip Holtz in 2003, though he was fired (along with current Bulls offensive coordinator Todd Fitch) after the 2003 season. In addition to the Gamecocks, his coaching stops have included Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland and Michigan State (under Nick Saban in 1998). So there wouldn't be experience with the Big East or Florida, but certainly a familiarity with Holtz and how he likes to run a team.
Early speculation focused on Florida State linebackers coach Greg Hudson, who was Holtz's defensive coordinator for his five years at East Carolina. It's possible that Hudson -- making $335,500 this season in Tallahassee -- might be financially out of range for USF, which paid Mark Snyder $260,000 in 2011. (For comparison, Cosh made $290,000 at Kansas State.)
There are a handful of other candidates who have been mentioned -- Coachingsearch.com also mentioned former Nebraska defensive coordinator Kevin Cosgrove, who spent last season at Akron and worked with Holtz at Colorado State in 1989. Another site, Coachingtree.com, suggested two younger coaches who were graduate assistants at South Carolina during Holtz's time there -- Louisville linebackers coach Brian Jean-Mary and Nebraska defensive line coach Rick Kaczenski. Both had limited time with Holtz and do not have experience as coordinators. None of those candidates have responded to messages left by the Times.
Holtz said Thursday that he was hopeful of having a coach hired by Tuesday, which would allow him to be present for the final two weekends of official recruiting visits before national signing day on Feb. 1. Holtz said he expected to have 3-4 scholarships for uncommitted recruits, though he could sign more in anticipation of more attrition between now and August.
USF had eight recruits in for official visits this past weekend, but only three weren't already committed to the Bulls: Orlando RB Tion Green, Gainesville LB Tashon Whitehurst and Oakland Park offensive lineman Kam Davis. None committed immediately; Whitehurst enjoyed his visit and is choosing between USF and Syracuse (where he has been committed); Green, a Cincinnati commitment, also enjoyed the visit but is still visiting West Virginia this weekend and may not be able to qualify academically.