Weist named interim coach as USF begins search for replacement

USF Athletic Director Mark Harlan said co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist will be the Bulls interim coach for the remainder of 2016.

With former USF football coach Willie Taggart on his way to Oregon of the Pac-12 after being hired as the Ducks head coach Wednesday morning, USF is left to find a new head coach while still staying focused on its date with the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Birmingham Bowl on Dec. 29. 

The school released a statement Wednesday afternoon in which Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist will serve as the team’s interim coach for the upcoming bowl game. 

Harlan added that the Bulls will “work quickly, but with careful thought and discussion to find a new football coach.”

Weist, who has been a receivers coach for eight different schools in his career, was also chosen as interim coach of the UConn Huskies in 2013 when Paul Pasqualoni was fired midseason. Weist finished the season 3-5 and was replaced by current Huskies coach Bob Diaco. 

While the Bulls will wind up not winning a bowl under Taggart, a win in Birmingham would be the first postseason win for USF since beating Clemson 31-26 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in 2010. 

It will seemingly be a brief stint as head coach for Weist once again in his career, as breaking reports suggest USF is already looking into replacement candidates. 

Brett McMurphy reported Wednesday evening that sources have told ESPN that USF’s top candidates so far are Rich Bisaccia, Lawrence Dawsey, Lane Kiffin, Les Miles, Greg Schiano and Charlie Strong.