USF defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer has been fired by head coach Jeff Scott, one day after the Bulls surrendered 501 yards to a one-win Tulane squad in an embarrassing 45-14 defeat.
Scott informed his players during their Sunday night team meeting. A school news release indicated he’ll provide an update on the staff’s defensive roles for Friday’s season finale at UCF during his weekly press conference on Tuesday.
Spencer’s unit — or scheme — has been the focal point of fan criticism during the Bulls’ 2-9 season, the program’s third consecutive sub-.500 year. The Bulls rank 125th out of 130 Division I-A teams in total defense (489.3 yards per game) and are one of only eight allowing more than 7 yards per play (7.13).
“He brought a great deal to our coaching staff and his desire and effort were unquestioned, but ultimately I felt a change was needed as we move forward,” Scott said in the news release.
“I continue to believe we are headed in the right direction as a program and are building a foundation for success here at USF.”
A former Georgia Tech defensive tackle, Spencer was one of the first two on-field assistants hired by Scott, arriving with a sprawling — and mostly sparkling — coaching resume.
Just before his arrival in Tampa, he oversaw a staggering transformation of the Owls unit in his lone season with Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic. The 2019 Owls led the nation in total takeaways (33), interceptions (22) and turnover margin (plus-21); and improved more than 40 spots in 10 defensive national rankings.
He spent the 2018 season at Charlotte, helping mold a run defense that ranked fourth in I-A (88.5 ypg). Before that, he spent a decade (2008-17) at Oklahoma State, serving as co-coordinator for the 2011 Cowboys team that finished 12-1 and captured the Big 12 title.
But he couldn’t replicate that type of success at USF, which has allowed at least 45 points in each of its last three contests.
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