Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh has been named the next head football coach at South Florida, the school announced on Sunday. Golesh, 38, is one of five Broyles Award finalists after helping transform Tennessee into one of the nation's top offenses in 2022.
"I am thankful to Chairman Weatherford, President Law and Michael Kelly for their support and belief in me to bring the USF program back to the top of college football," Golesh said in a statement. "I'm excited to be back in the state of Florida and work with the great high school coaches in this state. This program will have an identity both offensively and defensively, and with special teams. We will be the most aggressive team in the country, both on the field and on the recruiting trail. I am humbled by the opportunity, and I appreciate the commitment from this University and Bulls Nation to hiring the best staff in the country. My family and I can't wait to get going."
Golesh came to Tennessee as Josh Heupel's offense coordinator in 2021 after spending a year with Heupel at UCF. While Heupel called plays, Golesh was an integral part of Tennessee's transformation into a top-10 team behind quarterback Hendon Hooker. The Volunteers led the nation with 538.1 yards and 47.3 points per game during a breakout 10-2 campaign.
The second-year coordinator played a key role in coaching tight ends. Seniors Princeton Fant and Jacob Warren combined for 32 catches for 385 yards and four touchdowns in Tennessee's dynamic offense. Heupel's Tennessee and UCF squads went a combined 23-12 in three seasons with Golesh on the coaching staff.
South Florida had a wide-ranging coaching search that included Jackson State coach Deion Sanders; however, Sanders is expected to accept the Colorado job instead of returning to his Floridian roots. Instead of leaning on a pure recruiter, Golesh is a bet on a schematic whiz who has been around impressive program-builders during a lengthy career for an assistant under 40.
While Golesh is now best known for his stint under Heupel, he has deep roots coaching under program-builders across the Midwest. Golesh was hired as recruiting coordinator from Matt Campbell's staff at Iowa State and also worked under Tim Beckman at both Illinois and Toledo.
Golesh replaces Jeff Scott, who was fired less than three full seasons into his stint. Scott, a former Clemson offensive coordinator, posted just a 4-26 record, including a 1-26 mark against FBS competition. The job could get even more difficult as rival UCF moves up to the Big 12, while in-state program FAU joins the AAC as an expansion candidate in 2023. The Owls just hired former Texas coach Tom Herman.