Strength coach McKeefery lands at Tennessee
Former USF strength coach Ronnie McKeefery, who left the Bulls after 11 seasons to take a job with the U.S. Army Special Forces, has left that position to become head strength and conditioning coach for the University of Tennessee's football program.
McKeefery was announced Monday as the Vols' new coach, less than three weeks after his final day at USF for the Bulls' win against Clemson in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
"I am very excited to be at the University of Tennessee and to work with some of the best student-athletes in America," McKeefery said in UT's announcement. "Coach (Derek) Dooley, the staff, and administration have the utmost character and integrity, and I am eager to begin working with the student-athletes and to contribute to the positive impact that the University is having in their lives."
USF has already hired McKeefery's successor in Mike Golden, who has worked with Skip Holtz in his previous coaching stints at Connecticut, South Carolina and East Carolina.
One curious note from UT's announcement -- the Vols proudly boast that under McKeefery, the Bulls "outscored opponents by a three-to-one margin in the fourth quarter during his 11 seasons." I was really impressed, but then got to thinking -- I doubt anyone in college football has a 3-to-1 margin in the fourth quarter over an 11-year span. (Oregon this year had a 123-27 edge in the fourth, more than 4-to-1, but that's one season, from a really dominant team.)
Let me be clear first: McKeefery is a great coach, adored by his players. But USF was outscored 89-62 in the fourth this past season, easily its worst quarter. And only once in 11 years did the Bulls so much as double their opponents in the fourth quarter -- that was in 2002. Over the last 11 seasons, USF has outscored opponents 916-719 in the fourth quarter -- by 27 percent, not by 200 percent. I can't take anything away from the perfect-in-overtime record though. ...