A new face is coming to USF in the form of new running backs coach Autry Denson. Denson is replacing former coach Telly Lockette, who left the Bulls to take the same job at Oregon State.
Denson grew up in Lauderhill — an hour north of Miami — before heading north to South Bend, where he would become Notre Dame’s all-time leading rusher. Denson rushed for 4,318 yards to accompany his 43 touchdowns for the Irish before being selected in the 7th round of the 1999 draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Denson played in the NFL from 1999-2003 for the Bucs as well as the Dolphins, Bears and Colts.
In 2010, Denson served as the head coach of Pope John II High School in Boca Raton before taking the position of running backs coach at Bethune-Cookman, where he coached from 2011-13.
Denson led the Wildcats to a 10-3 record and the NCAA playoffs in 2013, with 2,179 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns.
At Bethune-Cookman in 2012, Denson helped junior Isidore Jackson eclipse the 1,000-yard mark for the first time since 1997. Denson also saw four players rush for more than 400 yards, which could help with Taggart’s running-back-by-committee approach.
Denson most recently spent time as the running backs coach at Miami University before coming to USF.
Along with his coaching expertise, Denson’s South Florida ties will help fill the void in recruiting left behind by Lockette’s departure.
Lockette played a significant role in attracting potential recruits from the Miami-Dade area.
Denson fills the last void for USF in an offseason that has seen four coaching changes, including a new offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator, secondary’s coach and now running backs coach.