Three potential candidates to coach USF football

Tom Herman, Willie Simmons and Todd Monken are each possibly desirable candidates to fill the USF football head coach job. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE [GRAPHIC: JUSTIN SEECHARAN]
With rumors arising as to who will take the throne of guiding South Florida football through yet another rebuild, many names have been passed around in recent days.

One of the biggest sore spots that will be difficult to combat in this search is the eight other head coach positions that are open across the Division I college football world, many of which are more appealing, such as Auburn, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

To whoever fills the severe gap this program holds, the pressure of an on-campus football stadium, creating a team that can survive a power five conference change and most importantly — a football team that can win more than two games in a season — rests on their shoulders.

Director of USF Athletics Michael Kelly hopes to have someone set in stone before Dec. 5 in time for the transfer portal to open and prospective players to be up for grabs. In the last hiring process, USF moved on from former coach Charlie Strong to Jeff Scott within eight days.

As many of these factors are being weighed, there are many coaches seeking to place new roots. The question is, who are some appealing candidates to fill these shoes?

1. Tom Herman

Last seen on the Chicago Bears coaching staff in 2021, Tom Herman’s career dates back to 1998 when he began as a receivers coach at Texas Lutheran.

Herman served as a wide receivers coach at Sam Houston State, followed by 10 years as an offensive coordinator under four programs, including Ohio State. His more notable positions, however, were his efforts as head coach at Houston and Texas.

When Herman was a Cougar, he kicked off his head coaching career with a 13-1 record, a Peach Bowl win and an AAC championship. By his second year, he was 22-4 overall.

After his success at Houston, Herman was then hired by Texas in November 2016. In his four years as a Longhorn, he accumulated a 32-18 record with four bowl wins, but was then fired in January 2021 after a 7-3 season.

On the same day of Scott’s dismissal, Tampa Bay Times reporter Joey Knight reported that Herman is interested.

An extensive coaching resume and winning career gives Herman a top spot as a candidate.

2. Willie Simmons

Florida A&M coach Willie Simmons presents himself as another prospective candidate with his current success of building up the Rattlers.

Hired in 2017, Simmons began his career with a 6-5 record, but made a quick turnaround with a 9-2 campaign in 2019. He has seven wins so far this season, only taking a fall to North Carolina and Jackson State.

Simmons’s name has been mentioned more than a few times on Twitter as a favored candidate from fans.

With a steady and consistent coaching career along with in-state ties on a recruiting level, he is another appealing and secure choice for the position.

3. Todd Monken

Another coordinator with little head coaching experience sounds like a bad idea on paper with USF’s track record, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an option.

Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken currently sits in his third season as a Bulldog. UGA is currently No. 1 in the country along with boasting the title of reigning national champions, showing Monken’s successful contributions.

Before residing in Athens, Monken had Tampa ties coaching for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016 to 2018 as an offensive coordinator.

Monken has also served three seasons as a head coach at Southern Miss, starting off with a 1-11 record. Two seasons later, he turned the program to a 9-5 campaign and competed in the Heart of Dallas bowl game.

Coordinators may seem like a bad string of luck, but when there is a potential candidate with a long and diverse list of experience, it is hard to pass up.