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Lelo Prado returning to USF

The former Bulls baseball coach will oversee all athletic fundraising efforts
Former USF baseball coach Lelo Prado (center) will serve primarily as a fundraiser in his new administrative job with the school. (Times file photo)

After a brief departure for the private sector, former Bulls baseball coach Lelo Prado is back on USF's payroll.

Prado has been named deputy athletic director for development, new vice president of athletics Michael Kelly announced Thursday. Additionally, Kelly announced the hiring of University of Oklahoma administrator Brandon Hall as chief financial officer.

The return of Prado, 55, is almost certain to buoy the Bulls' fundraising efforts. A friend of Coach Charlie Strong and popular figure within the department in his previous tenure, Prado's deep Tampa connections figure to benefit USF's quest to raise enough money for the proposed $40 million USF Football Center.

A Tampa Catholic alumnus, he'll oversee all of athletic fundraising efforts, among other responsibilities, in his new job.

"Lelo is deeply connected in the Tampa Bay community as well as to USF Athletics, and brings a unique blend of fundraising and coaching experience that will be extremely helpful to me and our program," Kelly said in a statement released by the school.

"Brandon is a rising star in collegiate athletics administration who has honed his skill set at all levels of intercollegiate athletics, and, following his time at Oklahoma, is an experienced financial administrator of major athletic capital projects."

In 26 seasons as a collegiate head baseball coach, Prado compiled an 849-639-2 record, leading the University of Tampa to consecutive Division II national titles in 1992 and '93. He posted 12 30-win seasons, including five during his eight-season tenure (2007-14) at USF.

After stepping down as Bulls coach, he served as USF's associate AD for administration and external services until '17. Most recently, he has served as assistant vice president/market development officer for Republic Bank in Tampa.

Hall, who spent the last six years at Oklahoma, will oversee USF's entire athletics business operation including financing, budgeting, processing and reporting.