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Texas Tech, South Florida Hires Could Have SEC Ties

In case you haven’t seen it, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt — who built that program from the ground up — has been fired today.  Leavitt allegedly struck a player in the Bulls’ lockerroom earlier this year.  The coach says the claim is “absolutely false.”

Either way, USF and Texas Tech are now both open due to coaches’ alleged off-field behavior.

South Florida is mentioned here because former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer has strong ties to the Tampa area.  At 59, Fulmer has been largely ignored by schools with coaching vacancies this season, but USF might be a good fit.  A school going through a controversial firing like this could do worse than bring in a coach who has a national championship on his resume.

If the Bulls do decide to make an outside hire and do set their eyes on Fulmer, the ball will be in the coach’s court to decide whether or not he can coach for less than $2 million dollars per year he was making in Knoxville.

Assistant coach Carl Franks has taken over the program in the interim.  Other potential candidates for the USF job include Tommy Tuberville, Terry Bowden (North Alabama), and Larry Fedora (Southern Miss).

Also, Florida’s defensive line coach and assistant head coach Dan McCarney is expected to be on the list as is Tampa Bay Buccaneers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia, who reportedly has an offer on the table to join Tennessee’s coaching staff.  In other words, the carousel hasn’t stopped spinning in the SEC.

As for Texas Tech, Tuberville made his case for the job when he interviewed with Tech officials earlier this week.

The former Auburn and Ole Miss coach believes that he can salvage the Red Raiders 2010 recruiting class thanks to his name recognition, his experience and his championship pedigree.

It was thought that Tuberville and Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill were the two top candidates for the job and that the school would make a hire by the end of the week.

However, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is now in the mix as well.  ESPN Dallas reported yesterday that Smart would interview with Tech shortly after last night’s BCS Championship Game.

Meanwhile, Georgia fans continue to wait to see if Smart might return to his alma mater as Mark Richt’s defensive coordinator.  Smart didn’t rule out that possibility earlier this week.

If Smart doesn’t wind up in Athens, Dallas Cowboys assistant Todd Grantham appears to be the Bulldogs’ next choice.

And so the carousel spins…



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