USF coach Willie Taggart promoted assistant Raymond Woodie to defensive coordinator Saturday afternoon after being notified that current DC Tom Allen accepted the same job at Indiana University.
“Tom notified me Friday that he had accepted an offer to become defensive coordinator at another program,” Taggart said in a press release. “We thank Tom for the energy and contributions he brought to our program over the last year and we wish him well as he continues his career.”
Allen, an Indiana native, helped lead USF to an 8-4 record in 2015 with his "Bull Shark" defense ranking 35th in the nation in total defense and 23rd in points per game (21.1) in one year with the program.
“It is rare to have the opportunity to return home to coach and to be close to family,” Allen said in a statement released by Indiana. “To do that in the Big Ten is even more special. I am very much looking forward to helping this program continue to grow and develop.”
This will be Allen’s seventh stop at the collegiate level and fourth as a defensive coordinator.
USF looked as if it would avoid staff turnover this offseason, but Allen's becomes the second assistant to depart in the past two weeks. Ron Dugans, USF's former wide receivers coach, left to take an assistant job at the University of Miami as part of Mark Richt's staff on Jan. 8.
As for Woodie, he's been on Taggart’s staff for the past six seasons dating back to Taggart’s turnaround of Western Kentucky. The school says he will assume the coordinator role immediately.
“It didn’t take long to identify Coach Woodie as the right person to lead our defense,” Taggart said in a release. “He has done a great job developing a strong linebacker unit over the past three years and his positive impact on our special teams was very evident last year. Woodie has tremendously strong relationships with our players, great knowledge of our system and is well prepared to lead our defense.”
Former USF husky Jamie Byrd, who thrived under Allen, said Woodie will step up for USF and be just as good if not better.
“Coach Woodie is a great coach,” Byrd said following practice at the East-West Shrine Game. “I think he’s going to step in and do the same thing.”
Byrd thinks Woodie will change up the defense, possibly switching to more of a base 4-3.