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Next Bull up? Possible Taggart replacements

Expect former Texas and Louisville coach Charlie Strong's name to be linked to the vacancy at USF.

Times file photo

Expect former Texas and Louisville coach Charlie Strong's name to be linked to the vacancy at USF.



Now that Willie Taggart reportedly is headed for Oregon, here are some names likely — and perhaps some not so likely — to be tossed around as his possible replacements. (Note: This list is in alphabetical order.)

Mario Cristobal, Alabama offensive line: A Miami native who won two national titles as a Hurricanes offensive lineman, Cristobal's south Florida ties would be priceless in recruiting. He also has head coaching experience, having gone 27-47 with two bowl appearances in six seasons at FIU.

RELATED: Reports say Willie Taggart to be named coach at Oregon

Lawrence Dawsey, FSU receivers coach: This former 'Noles All-American and Bucs receiver spent three seasons (2004-06) as Jim Leavitt's receivers coach at USF. His time in the NFL will appeal to recruits, and no one will have to remind him of the necessity of recruiting the bay area.

Lane Kiffin, Alabama offensive coordinator: For all his success on Nick Saban's staff the last three years, Kiffin's sketchy past (i.e. one season at Tennessee before bolting for USC) could scare USF administrators. We could see him doing cool things with senior-to-be Quinton Flowers, then following Flowers right out the door.

Greg Schiano, Ohio State defensive coordinator: Schiano didn't exactly endear himself to the community in his two seasons as Bucs coach, but no one can deny he resuscitated Rutgers' program (six bowl trips in his last seven years). He may have to modify his "toes on the line" approach to a degree, and we think he would.

Jeff Scott, Clemson co-offensive coordinator: Our wild-card candidate. Named the ACC Recruiter of the Year by Rivals in 2015, Scott works with the Tigers receivers, a pretty talented bunch the last time we checked. He likely wouldn't be as expensive as the others on this list, and as a nine-year member of Clemson's staff, he may be ready for the next step. Additionally, his father is former South Carolina coach Brad Scott, an alumnus of...drumroll...USF.

Larry Scott, former USF assistant: No one on this list is more familiar with the Bulls program. Scott, who became Miami's interim coach when Al Golden was fired last year, is a former USF offensive tackle who spent eight years in various capacities on the staffs of Jim Leavitt and Skip Holtz. A strong sentimental favorite if nothing else. And speaking of Strong...

Charlie Strong, Texas: Though Strong couldn't get it going with the Longhorns, he was wildly successful at Louisville (37-15 in four seasons). He also knows the state very well (four different coaching stints at Florida) and possesses some defensive chops, which USF desperately needs. It doesn't hurt that his wife, Vicki, has family in Lakeland.

T.J. Weist, USF co-offensive coordinator: We're not sure how much of a look Weist will get, but his familiarity with the Bulls players -- and vice versa -- works for him. He also did a darned admirable job as UConn's interim coach in '13. Weist took over the 0-4 Huskies when Paul Pasqualoni was fired, and lost his first five games before winning his last three (against Temple, Rutgers and Memphis). That tells you his kids kept playing hard for him.

Frank Wilson, Texas-San Antonio coach: Wilson, who has the Roadrunners in a bowl game in his first season, was named top recruiter in college football by while LSU's running backs coach in 2014. A New Orleans native, he has coached at three SEC schools (Ole Miss, Tennessee, LSU). He's young (43), energetic, African-American and a heck of a recruiter -- sound like anyone you know, Bulls fans?

[Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 11:51am]


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