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Will Iowa State provide USF’s DC?

Posted Feb 26, 2009 by Brett McMurphy

Updated Feb 26, 2009 at 06:12 PM

In ironies, of all ironies, the University of South Florida could be looking for its next defensive coordinator from the Big 12 and, you guessed it, Iowa State.

Nope, Wally Burnham is not returning to Tampa from Ames, Iowa, but Iowa State secondary coach Chris Ash has emerged as a distinct possibility. Rumblings throughout the coaching ranks indicate that Leavitt has been asking individuals for their opinions about the 35-year old Ash.

Ash could not be reached for comment.

Ash was hired at Iowa State in December after a two-year stint as secondary coach at San Diego State. Before that he was at Iowa State from 2000-2006, serving as ISU’s recruiting coordinator his final season. He worked with former USF defensive line coach Dan McCarney at Iowa State and went to San Diego State after McCarney was fired at ISU.

At ISU, the Cyclones led the Big 12 in interceptions in 2005 and ranked seventh nationally with 35 turnovers.  In 2004, ISU ranked 20th nationally in pass efficiency defense. He reportedly was next in line to become ISU’s defensive coordinator if Burnham had remained at USF.

In Ash’s first stint at Iowa State, he recruited the Tampa Bay area and was instrumental in getting USF LB Tyrone McKenzie to ISU from Michigan State.

“He’s one of the reasons I went to Iowa State,” McKenzie said. “He’s a good guy, he knows his defense. His knowledge of the game is remarkable. I think he would be one heck of a defensive coordinator. He’s young, he’ll be around for years. He relates to the players, not just as a coaching figure, but someone the players look up to. He’s very passionate.”

Ash is a graduate of Drake. He was a graduate assistant at Drake in 1996 and 1997, working with the secondary in 1997 (so USF trivia buffs, he was on the Drake staff that handed USF its first-ever home loss: 23-22 on Sept. 20, 1997). He spent 1998 as a defensive assistant at Princeton before returning as defensive coordinator at Drake in 1998 and 1999.

Reader Comments

Por (GRowler Bull) on February 26, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Despite all the petty stuff your write, seemingly to get under USF’s fans skin… still have a knack for breaking a story.

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Por (Brett McMurphy) on February 26, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Growler Bull, believe it - or is it Bull-lieve it? - or not, I don’t write to “get under USF’s skin.”

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Por (Steve) on February 26, 2009 (Suggest removal)

There’s obviously something to the “Tribune vs. USF” thing. Only a blind reader couldn’t notice the animosity from both parties.

At any rate, interesting story, and very lame on our part if it becomes true. Basically, we’d get their sloppy seconds that they’d only have promoted if they didn’t get our DC? Fantastic!

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Por (gobulls32) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Brett, i have know idea what these guys are talking about. I think your coverage is excellent.
If this is the best we can do or attempt to do for a DC, then we’re gonna take the slow road to try and compete with the top teams. I guess I can blame it on the fact we still just don’t have the cash to draw anyone big to USF. Maybe in time.
If we get this guy, hopefully he’ll be one of those rare finds. But his resume doesn’t seem to indicate that so far.

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Por (GLEN) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

“I’ve talked to a handful of current coaches, some at BCS programs, who have indicated interest in joining USF’s staff, sent in resumes and everything, but they haven’t heard from Leavitt, and I don’t want to out them here and damage their situations with their current coaches. There were significant names with BCS experience interested in the offensive coordinator job as well, which speaks to Leavitt’s confidence and trust in Canales.” (from another column) YEAH, RIGHT, NO ONE WANTS TO WORK AT USF OR FOR LEAVITT! PUT THAT CRAP TO REST! GET OFF LEAVITT’S BACK!

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Por (Hector Jimenez) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

The Times is reporting that some “BIG” names have sent in resumes for both the OC and DC jobs, if that is so why do we go after such “small” names? 

As fans and supporters to the program we should ask why these “BIG” names don’t get an interview or a return phone call or why one of them is not hired.

Is Leavitt so caught up in his own power as HC that he doesn’t want a big BCS name alongside him?

This year from August to know has proven one thing USF is not there yet as a team, a staff, as an administration and as a fan base.

And I agree with gobulls32…the Tribs coverage is excellent.

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Por (Patrick O'Rourke) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

This search for a defensive coordinator has passed discouraging and is beginning its descent to pathetic.

Not only are we not bringing in big names, but now the “little names” are turning us down right and left.

How about we start a search for a new HEAD COACH?

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Por (GrowlerBull) on February 27, 2009 (Suggest removal)

Easy solution to this problem:

— if fans are so concerned about the low salaries we can offer our assistants, perhaps they can donate more to the Athletic program, and agree to pay more for tickets. After all that is how most other BCS programs support their athletic departments.  USF does more with less better than any program in the country. It’s time some ‘fans’ figure this out and instead of looking for any reason to bash the program, they should look for ways to increase support, i.e. showing up to home games for football and basketball would be a GREAT start.

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