Amid the holiday weekend and bye week, speculation evolved about receivers coach and passing game coordinator Mike Canales’ future as a South Florida football coach.
Canales traveled to Logan, Utah to interview for the vacant Utah State Aggies head coaching job last weekend. The Utah State athletics department wouldn’t comment on whether an offer was made.
Canales — a Utah State graduate — is still expected to coach in Saturday’s game at West Virginia at 8 p.m.
Utah State announced head coach Brent Guy’s firing Nov. 17 after he compiled a .174 winning percentage in four seasons. It was the worst winning percentage in the program’s history.
USF offensive coordinator Greg Gregory said he would miss Canales a lot if he left. Gregory and Canales have built an offense that ranks second in the Big East in scoring.
“Our whole offensive staff works well together,” Gregory said. “There aren’t any egos in the office, and when we leave the office we have great relationships.”
Canales was part of the first USF football coaching staff in 1996. After a brief stint in the NFL and at the University of Arizona, he returned at the beginning of 2008.
Gregory said the coaching staff is still unsure about the situation.
“We have no idea what’s going on,” he said. “I mean, the last thing I said to him before the break was just wished him luck, so we’ll have to see what happens.”
Weather not a factor
South Florida may get the cold shoulder in West Virginia on Saturday.
And cold fingers and toes, for that matter, as the football team prepares to face off against the Mountaineers in what could be the coldest game of the Bulls’ 12-year history.
In 2005, the Bulls played Connecticut in 33-degree weather, but Saturday’s game will likely be even colder. The National Weather Service predicts a high of 35 degrees in Morgantown, W.Va. during the day and a low of 22 degrees that evening, with a 40 percent chance of precipitation, which could result in snow.
Despite the sub-freezing forecast, coach Jim Leavitt said weather is not a factor, and that he expects his team to handle it well.
“I never really think a whole lot about it,” he said. “I don’t do anything (different) one way or another. I don’t know really what I could do.”
Gregory said the offense is preparing for chilly temperatures.
“For us, one of the biggest things is gloves,” he said. “If a guy is going to have to wear gloves he’s going to be out here all week wearing gloves. If he’s wearing long sleeves on Saturday, he better be wearing them all week out here despite how hot it is.”
Tough test for soccer
Just 24 hours after defeating UNC Greensboro, the South Florida men’s soccer team learned it will have to face top-ranked Wake Forest in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Wake Forest, which trounced Dartmouth 7-0 on Sunday in the Sweet 16, will host the Bulls on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., and a spot in the Final Four in Frisco, Texas will be on the line.
“They’re a great team,” junior Jordan Seabrook said. “Everyone respects a team like Wake Forest, but if we were to beat them, then we’d gain that respect. That’s what we want to do.”
South Florida defeated UNCG on Saturday in penalty kicks (3-1) after tying 1-1 in regulation in overtime.