Saturday, January 20, 2018
Colleges

Three linked to USF Bulls coaching job — or not linked

TAMPA — After a quiet few days with speculation focused on Western Kentucky's Willie Taggart, USF's coaching search jumped all over the map Thursday with various and even conflicting reports of interviews conducted or in the works with three other candidates:

• San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre interviewed Thursday, according to sports website SB Nation. But he declined to comment during a news conference in Washington for the Military Bowl.

• Bucs special assistant Butch Davis, the former University of Miami, University of North Carolina and Cleveland Browns coach, reportedly interviewed.

• Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris drew offsetting reports of an interview.

Confused? USF athletic director Doug Woolard isn't commenting, leaving the reports to come from the candidate end, where a wide level of interest has been established for the vacancy created by Sunday's firing of Skip Holtz.

MacIntyre, 47, who has San Jose State ranked No. 24 nationally, has ties to Florida. He was born in Miami while his father, George, started his college coaching career as an assistant at Miami. He spent 1968-69 as the University of Tampa's defensive coordinator before the Spartans dropped football in 1975.

Mike MacIntyre has a diverse resume, including five years in the NFL (four as Bill Parcells' defensive backs coach with the Cowboys). He helped recruit 49ers star linebacker Patrick Willis to Ole Miss and spent time in the Big East as Temple's defensive coordinator from 1997-98. The Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo., reported he is a candidate at Colorado after interviewing at Cal, which filled its opening Wednesday.

San Jose State went 1-12 in his first season, 2010, and 5-7 last season, prompting an extension through 2017. This year, he's 10-2. The losses came to Stanford and Utah State, currently Nos. 8 and 18, respectively.

Davis, 61, had been linked to Florida International, which fired Mario Cristobal on Wednesday. But ESPN reported Thursday that Davis wasn't taking that job amid other reports he was talking to USF and Tennessee for their openings.

Davis' success at Miami, 51-20 from 1995-2000, would make him a strong candidate, but it's unknown if NCAA violations that took place while he was at North Carolina — without his direct involvement — would concern the Bulls.

Three years ago, Morris, 44, was a high school coach in Texas, winning consecutive state titles. He ran Tulsa's offense for a season, then joined Clemson in 2011. He makes $1.3 million a year and helped quarterback Tajh Boyd become a star.

Both espn.com and the Austin American-Statesman reported Morris was interviewing, but he denied it in text messages to the Charleston Post & Courier.

Bonani honored: USF kicker Maikon Bonani was named to the All-Big East first team as voted on by the coaches. He made 18 of 23 field goals with two misses being blocked. Fellow seniors Mark Popek (guard), Cory Grissom (defensive tackle), Sam Barrington (linebacker) and Justin Brockhaus-Kann (punter) were second-teamers.

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