No one has called yet. Not a peep – just whispers of speculation.
All of that for coach Jim Leavitt, whose name has been dropped concerning the vacant coaching positions at football programs such as Miami and Alabama, both of which just fired its respective coach.
Though none of that matters, since those athletic directors have not asked permission to speak with the only coach USF has ever had. For now, it’s just speculation that Leavitt’s name is out there – and as Leavitt reiterates, which he has done numerous times before, he is not very interested in leaving.
“People know how much I love this place,” Leavitt said at Tuesday’s media luncheon. “I don’t have to keep saying that. I don’t have any interest in (leaving). I’m pretty fortunate to be here. And I’m very fortunate to have the players that we have.”
After wrapping up the Bulls’ upset of then-No. 7 West Virginia on Saturday, Leavitt has a 69-43 record in 10 seasons at USF. Leavitt adds that’s just proof as to why his name is being mentioned by national media for those high-end replacements.
“I’m glad my name is mentioned,” Leavitt said. “I hope my name is mentioned every year because that means we’re winning. If my name isn’t mentioned anywhere, then I may not be anywhere.”
This isn’t the first time Leavitt’s name has been mentioned to fill coaching vacancies. In 2002, he was offered the Alabama job but turned it down to stay at USF. And before the end of the 2005 season, after coach Bill Snyder announced his retirement, Leavitt turned down a six-year, $9 million contract to return to Kansas State, where he was defensive coordinator from 1992-95.
“This has happened before. It’s not really about Jim Leavitt. It’s about this program,” said Leavitt, whose Bulls are most likely headed to the inaugural Papajohns.com Bowl on Dec. 23 in Birmingham, Alabama. “It’s about what our players do. They’re the ones that work. They’re the ones that go out and win. When my name (is mentioned), it’s a tribute to them.”
Leavitt said he “loves this place (USF)” and hopes he “can retire from here and sit up in the stands and watch the Bulls win championships.”
“If I have the best job in the country, why would I be interested in anything else?” Leavitt said. “I just don’t have any interest going anywhere. I’ve said that all along. I’m happy here. My focus is here.”
And the main focus now that Leavitt has a bowl eligibility wrapped up and nothing but recruiting to worry about in Janurary 2007?
“I want a dining hall, bad, right now – today.”