USF hires Neinas to assist in coaching search
As USF athletic director Doug Woolard begins the task of finding a successor to Jim Leavitt as football coach, the Bulls have hired elite coaching head-hunter Chuck Neinas to assist in the hiring process.
Neinas, who was involved in USF's athletic director search that resulted in Woolard being hired in 2004, has been involved in some of the most successful hires in college football, including Les Miles at LSU, Urban Meyer at Florida, Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and Mack Brown at Texas.
Woolard said he will work with executve associate athletic director Bill McGillis and former athletic director Lee Roy Selmon in finding USF's next coach. Woolard said he will continue to take recommendations, nominations and applications before quickly narrowing the field and talking to candidates. "It's wide-open," said Woolard, who said he will have a diverse pool of candidates with no restrictions -- current college and pro head coaches, and well as current assistant coaches in the college and pro ranks.
This is the first football coaching search that Woolard has presided over, though he was involved in the search at Washington State in 1989 when Mike Price was hired.
College football's recruiting calendar, with national signing day on Feb. 3, creates an urgency in the hiring process, but Woolard said he isn't setting a specific timetable. The hire will be "as quick as possible, but as thorough as necessary." Woolard has a policy of not commenting on candidates or potential candidates during the hiring process.
Here's a good video clip from ESPN on Neinas and his success in identifying winning coaches.