USF Bulls add former Bucs defensive backs coach to staff

TAMPA — USF coach Willie Taggart made a second key addition to his defensive staff in 36 hours, announcing Friday morning that Bucs defensive backs coach Ron Cooper was hired as the secondary coach and assistant head coach.

"He has recently worked with some of the top secondaries and defensive backs in college football, which will serve us greatly both on the field and in recruiting," Taggart said.

Cooper's secondary was a weak spot for the Bucs, who were left with a makeshift lineup after Aqib Talib was traded to the Patriots and Eric Wright was limited by injuries and a suspension.

Cooper is the third assistant to Bucs coach Greg Schiano leave for a college job. P.J. Fleck and Ron Turner departed to become the coaches at Western Michigan and Florida International, respectively.

Cooper, 50, has a resume that includes a stint as Louisville's coach and working as defensive backs coach at LSU from 2009-11. Cooper was the position coach for two winners of the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back, Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne, as well as All-American Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu.

Cooper's son, Tristan, played football at Plant High and is being recruited by Division I-A programs, with visits planned to Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee State.

FSU hires LB coach

TALLAHASSEE — Charles Kelly, the interim defensive coordinator at Georgia Tech during the last half of the 2012 season, joins Jimbo Fisher's Florida State staff as linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, the school announced.

Kelly, who spent seven years with the Yellow Jackets, gets a three-year deal with a starting salary of $275,000.

Fisher, who has lost five assistants, still needs two after hiring Jeremy Pruitt from Alabama as defensive coordinator and Sal Sunseri as a defensive assistant.

'Bama exodus to draft: Alabama running back Eddie Lacy, cornerback Dee Milliner and right tackle D.J. Fluker announced they are entering the NFL draft. "I appreciate what they've done for the University of Alabama, but … these guys are making good decisions about their future and what they can do," coach Nick Saban said. Milliner was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back, and a unanimous All-American. He likely is a first-round pick. Lacy ran for 1,322 yards and 17 touchdowns but was not completely healthy until the BCS title game against Notre Dame on Monday. "We don't have a lot of years to play this position, so you have to go while you can," he said.

Texas: Defensive tackle Brandon Moore said he is leaving early to enter the draft.

Iowa State: Quarterback Jared Barnett will transfer, the school said. Barnett beat then-No. 2 Oklahoma State in 2011 but lost his starting job in 2012.

Nevada: The state Board of Regents approved a five-year contract for new coach Brian Polian worth more than $2.8 million.

Ohio State: Despite a 12-0 record and a No. 3 final ranking in the Associated Press poll, coach Urban Meyer made it clear he does not believe his Buckeyes are remotely close to competing with the nation's elite teams. "The SEC, right now, the quantity (of great players) is far greater than the quantity at the upper-level Midwestern schools," Meyer said. "It's up to the Big Ten to change that. There's one way to do that: Go out and recruit and get some more depth."

Syracuse: New coach Scott Shafer, the defensive coordinator under Doug Marrone, who left to coach the NFL's Bills, said at his introductory news conference he would build a foundation based on attitude, effort and enthusiasm as the Orange prepare to leave the Big East and join the ACC. "It's those three pillars that we will always point back to," he said.

UCLA: Coach Jim Mora agreed to a one-year contract extension through 2017.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

USF Bulls add former Bucs defensive backs coach to staff 01/11/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013 12:25am]

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