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Report: Leavitt makes offer to Illinois' Disch



USF coach Jim Leavitt has offered his defensive coordinator job to Illinois assistant Dan Disch, a top recruiter and longtime Jacksonville high school coach, according to the Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette.

Disch, 50, who has been Illinois' co-defensive coordinator the past two seasons, is expected to make a decision on Leavitt's offer within the next day, according to the report. Disch has been at Illinois for four seasons, after following coach Ron Zook from his staff at Florida in 2004. Disch's background in Jacksonville -- he was head coach at Ed White High from 1988-2003 -- has helped Zook land several key recruits from the area. He coaches the linebackers at Illinois and would likely handle that position for the Bulls if hired.

After a disappointing 5-7 season in 2008, Zook reportedly attempted to hire Penn State assistant Larry Johnson to be his defensive coordinator last month, offering him a salary in the $400,000, though Johnson opted to remain at Penn State. That may factor in Disch's willingness to leave Illinois to return to his home state.

Leavitt has previously interviewed Nebraska linebackers coach Mike Ekeler and former Cincinnati defensive coordinator Joe Tresey for the opening created when Wally Burnham resigned to become defensive coordinator at Iowa State last week. Former Rutgers secondary coach Chris Demarest has also interviewed to be USF's defensive backs coach, as a potential replacement for Troy Douglas, who resigned last week to take the same job at North Carolina.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:01pm]


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