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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.