USF football to hire Bell as new offensive coordinator, reports say

A report from Wednesday night claims Valdosta State coach Kerwin Bell will be named USF's next offensive coordinator. ORACLE PHOTO/SAM NEWLON 

A report from Wednesday night suggested that USF football had found its next offensive coordinator.

Valdosta State head coach Kerwin Bell led his team to a perfect 14-0 season capped off by a Division-II national championship. According to ABC 27 News in Tallahassee, USF’s deal with Bell is as good as done.

“Hearing Kerwin Bell leaving Valdosta State and becoming the offensive coordinator at South Florida is a done deal,” ABC 27 Sports Director Alison Posey tweeted Wednesday. “The contract at USF for Bell is two years. Valdosta State looking to promote from within, but some of the top candidates may follow Bell to South Florida.”

On Thursday, Posey reported Bell will bring Valdosta State Offensive Line coach Jeremy Darveau with him to USF. 

There has been no official announcement from USF Football on the reports, but, if true, Bell will replace former USF offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, who took the head coach position at McNeese State in early December. Darveau would replace former-USF offensive line coach Matt Mattox, who followed Gilbert to McNeese State as its offensive coordinator.

In Bell’s three years coaching Valdosta State, he led the Blazers to a 27-7 record and, in his most recent season, averaged 52 points per game on offense.

Bell is no stranger to football in the Sunshine State. He was born in Live Oak and played quarterback for the University of Florida from 1984-87. In his first season, he led the Gators to their first SEC title — which was later taken away due to 106 coaching violations found by the NCAA — and was tabbed as the SEC Player of the Year.

Bell was named a “Gator Great” in 1997 and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame.

Coach Charlie Strong was a graduate assistant at Florida from 1983-84, which could mean the two first crossed paths in the historic Gator season.