Will USF's assistants get raided again?
If USF lost four assistant coaches to other schools after last season, when the Bulls weren't even ranked, how hard will it be for Jim Leavitt to keep his staff together after this season?
We've already shown you speculation linking defensive line coach Dan McCarney to Northern Illinois, and because of Mac's history as a head coach, he's probably the Bulls assistant in best position to leave for a larger position at another school. But this weekend brought out another name: the Terre Haute Tribune-Star in Indiana, writing about the upcoming coaching search at Indiana State, mentioned USF offensive line coach Mike Simmonds as one of four ISU alums on college or NFL coaching staffs.
Keep in mind that Simmonds is in his first year as a full-time college assistant, and his second year of college coaching. He's had great success as a high school coach, but it'd be a big leap to make to a head coaching job, even from a BCS program to a winless I-AA program like Indiana State.
Still, it shows the interest in USF football -- receivers coach Mike Canales took a pay cut after losing his job as offensive coordinator at Arizona, so he too could be in line for a bigger position elsewhere after this season. Recruiting coordinator Carl Franks, having overseen the compilation of the players at the heart of USF's success, could draw interest as well. That's not to say any of these assistants wants to leave, only that it stands to reason that other programs may try to pluck away coaches from USF again in the off-season.
And leaving USF doesn't always mean moving on to greater success. Consider the four assistants who left the Bulls after last season: Rod Smith and Greg Frey went to West Virginia, which is ranked No. 6 but lost to USF in Tampa last month; Bernard Clark is now at Florida International, which has lost 19 straight; Lawrence Dawsey is at Florida State, which is 4-3 and still has three road games against teams ranked 11th or higher.