The Jeff Scott era in Tampa was never able to get off the ground and has now come to an end.
USF fired its head coach on Sunday after nearly three full seasons with the program. Scott posted a 4-26 record with the Bulls, going an abysmal 1-26 against FBS opponents. The final straw for the Bulls head coach was getting blown out in a 54-28 loss at Temple on Saturday.
The University of South Florida Makes Leadership Changes in Football Programhttps://t.co/tFSNkiVmtp— USF Athletics (@USFAthletics) November 6, 2022
Spending most of his coaching career as an offensive assistant at Clemson, Scott played a large role in helping the Tigers emerge as a national title contending program in the 2010’s. He was officially hired as the South Florida head coach in December of 2019 and charged with rebuilding the team following the disastrous end to Charlie Strong’s tenure.
Scott was immediately put behind the eight-ball as the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020 prevented him from holding spring practice. The lack of continuity became apparent that fall with USF going 1-8 in his first season, the lone victory coming over FCS The Citadel. The Bulls fared only marginally better with a 2-10 record in 2021, losses ranging from one-score contests to full blown blowouts. Questions over his game-management skills started to arise in the close losses while the team would flat out struggle to be competitive against teams with a talent advantage.
Several changes were made prior the 2022 campaign, including the hiring of new offensive and defensive coordinators. Scott and staff also reached into the transfer portal to fortify several positions with Power Five transfers, most notably Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon. The results stayed the same, however, with the team getting dominated by BYU at home to open the season. Facing a ranked Florida team on the road two weeks later, the Bulls nearly pulled off a shocking upset in the Swamp and provided some hope for USF fans that things had finally turned the corner.
Those hopes were immediately dashed as a mounting list of injuries and still porous defense proved too much to overcome. Following the UF game, the team suffered an embarrassing 41-3 loss at Louisville the following week and were clobbered bu ECU 48-28 the week after that. As the losses continued to pile up, the patience in Tampa wore thin with each passing week and the school’s administration’s hand was finally forced to make a change.
USF will now look for a head coaching candidate that can elevate the team back to respectability. The program has taken a hard nose dive since the Willie Taggart/Quinton Flowers era and its reputation nationally has been badly damaged as a result. However, recent facilities investments and an impending on-campus stadium project could make this job enticing to potential suitors. We’ll see who steps up to the challenge.