New name surfaces in USF search: Mike MacIntyre
For about 48 hours, you've had Western Kentucky's Willie Taggart drawing much of the speculation for USF's head coaching job, with the underlying question of who else Doug Woolard is talking to as he whittles down the list of potential candidates.
On Thursday afternoon, a new name emerged as another option for the Bulls, one with more local ties than you might realize: San Jose State's Mike MacIntyre, who has made the WAC's Spartans a ranked team with solid wins against future Big East teams like San Diego State and Navy.
MacIntyre, 47, is interviewing for USF's opening today, according to SB Nation's Steven Godfrey. San Jose State is ranked No. 24 and 10-2 on the season, closing the year strong with wins against BYU and Louisiana Tech; they opened the season with a 20-17 loss at Stanford. He has a diverse resume, with five years in the NFL, including time under Bill Parcells in Dallas, and the last three years as head coach in San Jose.
Local ties? He was born in Miami, which his father George was just starting his coaching career at the University of Miami, where he played. George MacIntyre spent two years (1968-69) as defensive coordinator at University of Tampa, then went on to be head coach at Vanderbilt in the 1980s. Mike played at Vanderbilt and later at Georgia Tech, and his resume is mostly in the Southeast, with a brief Big East stint as Temple's defensive coordinator in 1997-98. He actually has coached on both sides of the ball, with some impressive recruits along the way, including helping get linebacker Patrick Willis to sign with Mississippi.
Much of the last two days has been establishing that USF would be like a dream job for Taggart, but it's unknown if he's the top target on USF's list. Taggart has done a stellar coaching job in leading Western Kentucky to its first bowl game, but few of his career wins have come at a level comparable to the Big East he'll coach in. MacIntyre likely wouldn't benefit nearly as much from local ties as Taggart would, but he's pulled off an impressive turnaround at San Jose State.
The Spartans went 1-12 his first season, their only win against a I-AA school, and then they improved to 5-7 in 2011, with a win against Navy and the school's first win against rival Fresno State in 24 years. He earned an extension through the 2017 season in January, then continued the improvement with this year's 10-win season.
MacIntyre was a contender for the head coaching job at Cal, which ultimately went to Louisiana Tech's Sonny Dykes -- who lost to MacIntyre this season. MacIntyre's name has also been mentioned for the opening at Colorado, so USF would likely still be competing with other major-conference programs for his services.
And there's another name that could be moving to the forefront -- Bulls247.com's Josh Newberg reports that he's hearing former Miami coach Butch Davis is interviewing for USF's job. He's already in town as an advisor to the Bucs, and ESPN's Joe Schad reported Thursday that he's not going to fill the opening at Florida International, as had been speculated Wednesday when the Panthers fired Mario Cristobal.