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My see-you-later blog; thanks for stopping by

My favorite recent “goodbye column” was penned – well, actually keyboarded I’m sure – by one of my all-time favorite baseball writers, ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian, who writes here about saying goodbye to clipping out baseball box scores from the newspaper.

Goodbye columns have long been a staple of the writing business, a way to tell readers that soon, someone else will be occupying this space. Or that someone or something is about to change.

Some goodbyes are touching, emotional (i.e. Sweet Lou’s recent goodbye), cheesy, or just plain silly. I’m not really into goodbyes myself. I prefer a see-you-later and slap on the shoulder.

Of course, sometimes a goodbye column truly is goodbye, such as the one by famed columnist Art Buchwald a few years ago. This column was written by Buchwald almost a year before his death but not published until after he was gone at his request.

One of the most famous goodbyes since I’ve been around was uttered in a favorite movie from my childhood: “May the force be with you.’’ That was from Obi-Wan Kenobi in “Star Wars.” Old Mr. Kenobi had a way with words.

As you’ve probably guessed by now, I’m saying see you later. Actually, if you’re going to be at the USF-Florida game in a week, stop by and say hello. I’ll be at The Swamp covering the Gators but with more knowledge of the Bulls. It will be a strange day for sure.

My last assignment for The Tampa Tribune and is Saturday night’s USF-Stony Brook game. The next day, I’m packing up some belongings for the short drive up to Gainesville to start a new job as senior writer for, the official website of the University of Florida Athletic Association.

And before you ask, no, Gators coach Urban Meyer isn’t calling every hour to see if I can slip him some inside dope on the Bulls. He usually only calls every other day (yes, Bulls fans, that’s a joke).

My second stint in Tampa was short compared to the first. I expected it to be much longer. But sometimes life tosses you a surprise you don’t see coming, and so off I go.

I enjoyed my time back here covering USF. I can promise you it was never boring considering all that has happened in the past 10 months.

Before I go, I want to say thanks to the regulars who checked out my “Shootin’ the Bull” blog here on TBO, and to the many who often e-mailed questions or comments.

In a few days, you’ll see another face at the top of the blog. I don’t know who it will be, but I can assure you the Tribune and will continue to provide in-depth coverage of USF athletics as the Bulls continue to grow locally, regionally and nationally.

As with every beat I’ve ever covered for the Tribune, the people are what I remember most. Former Rays manager Lou Piniella remains probably my all-time favorite. He is old-school, and so am I in a lot of ways. The Lightning’s Martin St. Louis and Florida State’s Bobby Bowden are certainly at the top of my list, and USF’s new football coach ranks right there, too. 

The way I see it, USF hit a home run when it hired Skip Holtz, and I fully expect the Bulls to win their first Big East title during B.J. Daniels’ career. USF fans have a lot to be excited about.

The football program gets most of the headlines, but there is more. Stan Heath has revived the men’s basketball program, and baseball coach Lelo Prado will eventually win big here. Women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez is a reporter’s dream, and I’m glad to see softball coach Ken Eriksen finally getting a stadium to match his considerable coaching ability.

My favorite USF student-athlete during my brief stint covering the Bulls? Dominique Jones.

I love Jones’ I’ll-prove-them-wrong attitude. I can’t wait to watch him in the NBA next season. I’m no NBA scout, but I’ve got a hunch he is going to exceed expectations in that league because of that attitude of his.

I’ve rambled enough, so there you go. That’s my see-you-later column…hmm, I mean blog. May the force be with us all.

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