USF football pulling from the local ranks

The USF football team added another coach with local ties to its football staff Thursday.Coach Jim Leavitt announced the hiring of Bernard Clark, a Leto High School graduate, as the new defensive line coach, filling the position previously held by Earl Lane. For the last two years, Clark has been the defensive coordinator at Florida International University.

“We’re really excited about Bernard,” Leavitt said. “(For him), a chance to come back home and do what he loves to do – he’ll do a tremendous job. For us to get a defensive coordinator from another Division-I school, it’s great.”

Clark played linebacker at the University of Miami and was a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, playing for two seasons. Clark began coaching as a volunteer coach at King High School in 1996.

“I do that a lot,” Leavitt said about hiring coaches with ties to Tampa. “Because like with me, I had the opportunity to come back home, and I like to give that opportunity to other people.”

Leavitt said he received “close to 100 resumes” for both the defensive line position and the secondary coach position, which has still not been filled. As he evaluates each resume, Leavitt said he sometimes gives an edge in to a coach with local ties, which is what Clark had and what the applicants for secondary coach seem to lack.

“They’re from all over the country,” Leavitt said of the applicants for secondary coach. “That’s what’s a little bit frustrating.”