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Third football coach leaves USF

South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt lost his third assistant coach this week when defensive backs coach Troy Douglas resigned Wednesday to take on the same role at North Carolina.

USF officials confirmed Douglas resigned Wednesday night, though a statement hasn’t yet been released.

Douglas, who spent three seasons at USF, said he wasn’t notified of the offer until Sunday when UNC defensive coordinator Everett Withers called him. Withers and Douglas played together at Appalachian State from 1983-1985.

“It was a really good opportunity for my family, so I decided to take the offer,” he said. “The bottom line is, my wife’s family is closer to that area, and it’s a chance to work with a proven winner in (UNC coach) Butch Davis.”

Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham and offensive coordinator Greg Gregory also left the program in the last week. Burnham will take the same position at Iowa State, and Gregory, who was demoted after interviewing for the tight ends position at Florida, will do the same at South Alabama. Douglas said watching Burnham leave was tough.

“Wally and I were really close over the past three years, and I consider him a mentor and friend,” he said. “I’m happy for him — he made a decision that was best for his family, and that’s what I did also.”

Burnham’s son Shane Burnham is expected to join him at Iowa State. He said Wednesday that he’s still in discussions with ISU over a position, and that the chance to move to a bigger program is something every assistant wants. After watching Gregory be demoted, he said it could have an impact on other coaches.

“Me personally, I don’t blame Greg one bit,” he said. “I mean, you have a chance to interview at a program like Florida, he should go … There’s not a lot of job security in this business, and when you have chance to look elsewhere — like Greg did — I don’t blame him for it. But how Jim (Leavitt) wants to handle it is up to him, obviously.”

Douglas, 43, said he never questioned his job security at USF, and that Leavitt made a counteroffer for him to stay. Despite taking on the same position, Douglas will be paid more at UNC.

“Jim really handled everything like a professional,” he said. “There was never really a problem or issue through the process this week.”

Douglas said he wanted to thank USF fans for their support in the past three seasons.

“The fan support is what I will miss most about this place,” he said. “Our players, our fans and the passion that they brought to the table. They really made Raymond James Stadium a great place to play and coach.”

Leavitt could not be reached for comment Wednesday.