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Leavitt fires offensive coordinator Gregory
Posted Jan 17, 2009 by Brett McMurphy
Updated Jan 18, 2009 at 12:39 AM
Two years after promoting Greg Gregory to offensive coordinator, University of South Florida coach Jim Leavitt fired Gregory Saturday night.
Gregory was fired less than two hours after Gregory and the Bulls’ coaching staff had dinner with about a dozen recruits making their official visits to USF. Gregory is the first assistant Leavitt has fired in 12 seasons at USF.
A 28-year coaching veteran, including 16 years as a head coach or offensive coordinator, Gregory was hired as USF’s tight ends coach in 2005. He replaced Rod Smith, who left for West Virginia.
Gregory, 50, had no comment when contacted Saturday night. He was only the fourth offensive coordinator in program history.
In Gregory’s first year as USF’s offensive coordinator in 2007, the Bulls set nine school records, including yards per game (414.1).
With 10 returning offensive starters in 2008, USF’s yards per game dipped slightly to 405. USF’s scoring also decreased from 34.7 points to 27.6 in 2008 – in part because the defense had five fewer touchdowns and forced 14 fewer turnovers than 2007.
USF wide receivers coach Mike Canales, who was USF’s first offensive coordinator from 1996-2000, is the favorite to replace Gregory. Canales returned to USF in 2007 after a three-year stint as offensive coordinator at the University of Arizona.
In an interview with the Tampa Tribune with three regular season games remaining this season, Gregory said the offense wasn’t “playing as well [as 2007]. Mistakes are what’s keeping us from scoring.”
Leavitt did not return calls seeking comment.
In a statement, Leavitt said: “Greg is an outstanding coach and I appreciate everything he has done for us. It is time for our program to move in another direction.”
So, now that Gregory is gone, who would you want as USF’s next offensive coordinator?