Possible Coaching Candidate: Jim Leavitt

University of South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt has recently been named as a prime candidate for several head coaching gigs across the country, including Miami's.

Jim Leavitt has been the USF Bulls' head coach since the inception of its program in 1996. He is responsible for literally the entire competitive history of the program.

He has managed an impressive 61-39 record throughout his tenure as the Bulls' head coach, all while advancing them through the 1-AA, 1-A independent, Conference USA, and Big East ranks. In fact, Leavitt reached 50 wins faster then all but 5 coaches in NCAA history: Bob Stoops, Phil Fulmer, Joe Paterno, John Robinson, and Lloyd Carr.

Leavitt is the hot name in head coaching searches because of the aforementioned fact that he has built a successful program from scratch, but also because his teams have had a recent tendency to pull of upset victories over ranked competition. It is no surprise that his name has become more prominent recently, as he is coming off of a nationally televised victory over (then) #7 West Virginia.

In his 10 years as a head coach, he has guided the Bulls to respectability despite recruiting against the "Big 3" Florida schools for local recruits year in and year out.

Leavitt, a defensive minded coach (who co-coordinated with Bob Stoops at Kansas State before accepting the USF job), has led the Bulls defense to a respectable top 25 ranking in total yards allowed. Meanwhile, his offense averages nearly 375 yards a game by using a (statistically) balanced spread offense attack that takes advantage of redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Grothe's athletic ability.

Many people believe Leavitt would be a prime candidate for the Miami job because they see parallels between starting a program from scratch (USF in 1996 for example) and Miami's current situation. The consensus is that Miami is a program in disarray that needs to start from the ground up. Leavitt has plenty of relevant experience in this regard, and already has ties in Florida for recruiting.

A move to Miami would instantly bring him more prestige and allow him to recruit a greater selection of athletes. The Hurricanes would benefit from his experience as a program builder. Leavitt has stated on multiple occasions that he isn't interested in leaving Tampa; however, his name has never been mentioned as a possible candidate for a job as prestigious as Miami's.

If Miami offers him a significant salary increase and the reigns to the program, no one can really predict what he will decide. The connection to Miami is definitely present though: Current coaching advisor Chuck Neinas recommended him to USF in 1995.

Should he choose to leave Tampa and head 300 miles south, odds are he'd find success

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