The soft, mellow voice belies the 260-pound frame of NFL Hall of Famer and USF Athletics Director Lee Roy Selmon. The football great seems to do everything with that easy, relaxed attitude.
Which is what may be his biggest drawback as the leader of Bulls sports. Although Selmon talks about patience and allowing the process to work itself out, his is a position that demands action. The Bulls currently sit without a complete football schedule or a basketball coach because Selmon can’t seem to pull the trigger.
Baylor and Eastern Michigan dropped USF from the schedule two months ago, and nothing has changed. Instead of embracing the opportunity to play a barnstorming schedule against some of the nation’s best, the Bulls are content to sit at home hoping that Nicholls State and a couple of Division I-AA teams will make the trip to Tampa.
Seth Greenberg took his act to Virginia Tech a week ago, and yet Selmon has only really talked to two candidates, neither of whom has a day of head coaching experience at the collegiate level. The resumes, e-mails, faxes and calls keep coming in. However, Selmon hasn’t had contact with anyone else.
He even termed his sessions with Grant and Zimroth more of a shaking hands and seeing faces encounter than a formal interview for the position. Candidates who have submitted resumes, such as Florida Atlantic coach Sidney Green and Georgetown assistant Ronny Thompson, can’t get to talk with Selmon.
Other candidates, such as Holy Cross’ Ralph Willard, haven’t spoken with the USF AD nor has Selmon made any attempt to speak directly with them.
Butler’s Todd Lickliter — no contact.
Kent State’s Jim Christian — not a word.
Even if he wanted to discuss the opening with these candidates, he would have to get permission from their ADs, which he hasn’t done yet.
Selmon talks about gathering interest, but it seems like all the interest is coming from one direction. If he has a wish list of candidates, he’s keeping mum.
And while Selmon says he’s keeping all options open, allowing the process to gradually progress to ensure he doesn’t overlook anyone, USF’s finances would seem to dissuade many candidates, such as high-profile coaches Steve Lavin or Matt Doherty or successful mid-major coaches (Lickliter, Christian). Therefore, the next Bulls coach almost certainly will be a long-time assistant coach looking to bust through to a head job, regardless if the salary is less than average.
“You talk about the financial side, and maybe someone won’t require those big numbers,” Selmon said. “Maybe it’s not what that person over there is getting or maybe it’s not what I want to make, but I can’t pass up this opportunity because it’s a great one.”
The reality, however, is that USF is an opportunity, but not a great one.
Perhaps Selmon will add a great opponent to the football schedule or make the perfect hire for the basketball team, but as each day passes, it seems less and less likely.
Contact Anthony Gagliano at email@example.com