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Douglas headed to UNC

Posted Feb 18, 2009 by Brett McMurphy

Updated Feb 18, 2009 at 01:38 AM

And then there were three.

University of South Florida secondary coach Troy Douglas will be the third member of USF’s coaching staff to leave in the past six days. Douglas, 43, is expected to resign today from USF to take a similar position at the University of North Carolina.

Last Thursday, USF tight ends coach Greg Gregory, demoted from offensive coordinator, resigned to become offensive coordinator at South Alabama. On Tuesday, defensive coordinator Wally Burnham resigned to become defensive coordinator at Iowa State.

Today, Douglas is expected to announce he’s heading to coach at North Carolina.

When reached Tuesday night, Douglas, 43, would not comment.

Douglas spent the past three seasons at USF, highlighted by the 2007 season when he coached standout cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Trae Williams.

The loss of Burnham and Douglas leaves only defensive ends coach Kevin Patrick and defensive line coach John Hendrick, both who just completed their first seasons at USF (although Patrick was at USF from 1996-98 before leaving coaching for 10 years), as the only defensive coaches at USF with the start of spring practice less than three weeks away.

On Tuesday, I asked USF coach Jim Leavitt if he expected Burnham to be the final loss from his staff.

“I know other guys have been pursued and are being pursued,” he said. “These guys are good. I’ve been fortunate.

“Hopefully in another week people will be tired of moving. There’s a number of people being talked about. Some guys on our staff, every year they get pursued.

“Guys are offered jobs here every year. It doesn’t matter if you pay a ton of money.”

With the start of spring practice nearing, Leavitt must replace three coaches, including both coordinators, who had spent a combined 16 years at USF.

“Why I’ve been waiting [on naming an offensive coordinator], I was waiting this long, I knew what I was going to do on different things, I’ve known about some things for a while,” Leavitt said. “I knew there would be movement.”

While receivers coach Mike Canales is expected to make a smooth transition as USF’s new offensive coordinator (still no official announcement from USF), replacing Burnham and Douglas could be difficult.

Last season, despite a sub-par Big East showing, USF’s defense still finished No. 10 in the nation, the sixth time in seven seasons a Burnham defense ranked among the nation’s Top 30 defenses.

Leavitt said there was nothing financially USF could have done to keep Burnham, who was USF’s highest paid assistant at $220,000 and the Bulls’ defensive coordinator or co-coordinator the past eight seasons.

“It [Iowa State’s offer] was so far from what we do,” Leavitt said. “We’re pretty competitive [in salaries] in the Big East, but we can’t compete with the SEC and Big 12. That’s a different world.”

WR COACH CANDIDATES? Former Kansas State offensive coordinator Ron Hudson, who worked with Leavitt for one season at K-State, has interviewed. Hudson was at K-State from 1995-2002. In 2003, he was Kentucky’s offensive coordinator but resigned in November 2004 after the Wildcats had the nation’s fourth worst offense.

Two other possibilities are former Bowling Green WR coach Stephen Bird and former Utah State WR coach Greg Stevens. Both Bird and Stevens were part of 2008 coaching staffs who had head coaching changes.

Bird was at Bowling Green in 2007-08. Before that he was Eastern Kentucky’s tight ends/wide receivers coach in 2005-06 and West Virginia’s passing game coordinator in 2001-04.

Stevens was at Utah State from 2005-08. Prior to USU, he was offensive coordinator at Stephen F. Austin from 2002-04, an assistant at Arkansas-Monticello from 1999-2001, Snow Junior College defensive backs coach in 1998, Eastern Arizona offensive coordinator from 1995-97 and Mesa State wide receivers coach from 1992-94.

Reader Comments

Por (Allen Brown) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

This should be fun.

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Por (Hector Jimenez) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Okay…now I get it!  Leavitt knew what was happening all along would not hire or interview for positions until he was certain about how many he would have to hire.  He ws not taken by surprise by anyone one them…Gregory, Burnham (can’t blame him…who would not want to work with their son as one exits stage left while the other tries to enter?) and Douglas.

One thing is certain…it will be a very busy three weeks before Spring ball and I hope we hire either young enthusiatic minds or older “i have something to prove” people - such as Croom and Nix.

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Por (gobulls32) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I hope we can do better than the no names that are listed in this article. We’re a BCS school and should seek to hire BCS caliber coaches.
Guess we’ll see just where this program is headed within the next couple of weeks. Things like this can affect our ability to build a fan base.

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Por (David M.) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

In the long term, Wally did a good job but it was going to be time to move on in the next few years, so why not sooner then later.  Maybe Coach L will spend more time on defense now and stay away from special teams.  As far as Douglas, he has been looking to leave as soon as he got here, so no real loss with him.  As far as USF goes, we have got to pay assistants more money in order to put up with Coach L.  Lets get one of Spurrier’s back up QB’s that are coaching now as pass coordinator.

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Por (USF95) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

This one is no loss.  I think we can upgrade here.  Our DBs have totally underperformed last year.  I don’t give him credit for Mike and Trae because they were four year starting fifth year seniors.  They were already fantastic corners when he arrived.  I haven’t seen the development in the younger DBs since he has arrived.  Tyler Roberts was awful last year and the rest of the secondary couldn’t hold a lead.  This is no loss at all.

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Por (USF95) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Leavitt needs to act quickly on the defensive coordinator because there are some talent out there including UC’s ex-DC who gave us fits the past four years and UC doesn’t get great talent.  This loss could work well because the new DC can help bring in a DB coach.  If we can land UC’s ex-DC then maybe we bring in UC’s current DB coach who has done a fantastic job with UC’s secondary the past three years.

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Por (Patrick O'Rourke) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I agree with the comment below by “gobulls32”—filling up these coaching slots with what amounts to warm bodies….no-name coaches…will make for a disastrous few seasons.

I’ve NEVER heard of ANY program with a coach defection rate anywhere NEAR this.

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Por (Hector Jimenez) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Why are Leavitt’s actions never questioned? 

The way I see it, and I know I am in the minority if not alone on this, Leavitt has gotten a feeling of infallibility.  When is he going to be held responsible….USF could be on the cusp of being a power but lack of discipline, coaching turnover and his belief that he is “untouchable” because he built this program are going to set USF back.

I am as a big a fans as anyone else here but I refuse to be blinded by this program’s continues faults and Leavitt’s pattern of entitlement and superiority. 

UF was good during Spurrier’s time but became better after it….USF may need that sort ot change if things don’t turn for the better in the immediate (within 5 years) future.

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Por (dj) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Patrick - actually, assistant coaching changes are rather normal. In fact, UNC has lost three assistants this week as well. What makes this unusual is that most coaching changes happen immediately after the season is over. This year, there seem to be a lot of changes after Signing Day (and before Spring Practice begins.) USF will have a challenge, but no greater than any other school.

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Por (Dan) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

This is so obvious but let’s all pile on Leavitt. USF pays NOTHING to the assistants. They can get a 50% to 100% raise to do the same job in a different conference! Recently we compared USF’s salaries to UF’s and it was not even close. The deal is this: come to USF, get your cred, then leave for a big paycheck. Wouldn’t you? It’s a young progam that doesn’t yet have the funds to attract big names or to keep good ambitious coaches.

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Por (Dan) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The good news is, since we ARE an up and coming program, there will probably be a lot of young aggressive coaches out there who would love to work at USF. By the way, $200,000 is still a lot of money to a lot of coaches out there.

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Por (Darryl) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Hector, for pete’s sake, half of the posts in this section are always calling for Leavitt’s head. To make the comments you’ve made, you obviously have never spent 5 minutes talking to the man. You have to have an ego to run a program, but Leavitt is a pretty humble guy in my opinion. He is loyal - maybe to a fault. He is ambitious and fired up, often to his own embarrassment. But he knows that 3 losing seasons would mean he is out, and these days maybe 2 would be all it takes. He wants success for this program as much as anyone else, and the AD gave him a big contract to lock him up. So your problem is with the AD.

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Por (Hector Jimenez) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Darryl…first of all, meeting him or not (which I have) has nothing to do with it.  Second, its not about the posts on this blog or any other blog which question him and his doings because what we say he here does not matter.  It is about the AD and USF’s lack of questioning which my post meant to reference and you should have undestood.

Leavitt is just as much at fault as is the AD and the USF administration in general…his “mania” as you described above is what will bring this program back a few steps before it can move forward again…and most likely without him.

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Por (David K) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Greg, I just want to say thank you for reporting the news without being a cheerleader. 

I’m concerned about all these departures so close to spring practice.  Could some of these coaching moves be in retaliation for the way Leavitt handled the OC situation?

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Por (JT) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Did you guys go to the games last season?  Our dbs STUNK.  Roberts first name is TOAST.  Thank goodness we get somebody new because our secondary was awful.  Good news.

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Por (marvin) on February 18, 2009 (Suggest removal)

hector I think you are accurate in what you say.  Leavitt is full of it when he says he knew these changes were coming down the pipe. He was contacted by ISU coach only at end of last week about Burnham and Troy Douglas going to UNC hasn’t been in the works for long. Obviously there are some issue here.I think CJL is of the thought that assistants are a dime a dozen. It is all about him! Yes there will be guys knocking down the door for these jobs. But Burnham is a huge loss. The players LOVED him and he was a dang good coach. And recruiter. That does not mean there is not an equally talented coach out there. But will they pay what it takes and will he have the same issues with CJL, whatever they may bem and I believe there are some?

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Por (Dan) on February 19, 2009 (Suggest removal)

NOBODY stays in a job where they hate their boss if they make $220k a year and get job offers to leave and make more every year. That’s the wrong story. USF doesn’t pay squat compared to other conferences. When we do, we’ll get the splash names. Or keep the talent we get. Til then, it’s a revolving door just like it has been for us and every other program that doesn’t spend the money.

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Por (Donald Ellis) on February 19, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Gregory was the #1 reason our offense tanked.  He was so over his head against Pitt and UC athat it was ridiculous.  I’d hire the UC DC in a NY minute give him 260K, keep Canales as OC and we’d be better off.  Douglas was a bum too.  His DB’s were the worst in college football.

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Por (Patrick O'Rourke) on February 20, 2009 (Suggest removal)

I agree with everything Donald Ellis said 100%.

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Por (Dan) on February 20, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Patrick, Donald Ellis, I may not agree 100% with you, BUT IT’S CLOSE! I think the only real loss was Wally, and hopefully we get some hard charger to step in and take us to the next level. After all, Wally’s D didn’t look that great at times last year, either. Maybe it was time for a change.

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