He led the No. 1 offense in the country at Tennessee, and now former offensive coordinator Alex Golesh has been appointed as USF football’s next head coach — just one day before the transfer portal opens.
Golesh has a long history of coaching dating back to 2004, and at a number of programs. The new coach has gone from Ohio to Oklahoma State, and shows his Florida ties through his brief time at UCF.
However, his most notable and best coaching year has been with SEC powerhouse No. 6 Tennessee (10-2, 6-2 SEC). His Volunteers offense has recorded 6,457 yards with 74 offensive touchdowns and 538.1 yards per game this season.
During his career, Golesh has also assisted in paving the way to 12 bowl game appearances with his most recent being the Music City Bowl in 2021 where Tennessee fell 48-45 to Purdue, and the 2020 Boca Raton Bowl where UCF lost 49-23 to BYU.
Not only does he coach collegiate talent, but the future of the NFL too, with five of his former stars having been drafted in 2021 and 2022.
Former Volunteers wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. and offensive lineman Cade Mays were picked in the 2022 draft by the Chicago Bears and Caroline Panthers, respectively. With the pair, former Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens.
In 2021, Golesh’s former Central Florida wide receivers Jacob Harris and Tre Nixon were drafted by the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, respectively.
Though the new Bull has a lengthy and successful track record, there has been a vast amount of backlash on social media after many teases by USF and top coaching prospects slipping out of USF’s fingers.
I don’t get the hire. You go 3 years losing. Most of your best players hitting the transfer portal. Then you go hire someone with no HC experience, and no one from Florida knows him..?
— Vincent Jackson Jr. (@VMJacksonJr) December 4, 2022
However, just before Golesh’s arrival in 2021, Tennessee was in the same boat South Florida is in now. The Volunteers finished their 2020 season 3-7 and its total offense was ranked No. 109.
After two years of working with the Volunteer offense, UT has skyrocketed its performance stats with a 17-8 overall record over two seasons. In Golesh’s era at Tennessee, he has helped lead the team to be the only program to average over 300 yards passing and 200 rushing in college football this year.
For everyone complaining about the new hire, I say we give him a fair chance. At the end of the day, this man is coming in here to do the best job he can to turn this around. No prejudice, just because the last guy we hired was a coordinator doesn't mean they are the same.
— Alex Golesh Warrior (@BasesOnBulls) December 4, 2022
Although Golesh is a similar hire to former coach Jeff Scott, who ended his tenure at USF with a 4-26 overall record, because neither had head coaching experience before taking the job, Scott didn’t produce the same results at his previous school on the scale Golesh has.
The only unprecedented challenge that may fall into Golesh’s lap is the undoubtedly fresh start. Since Nov. 9, nine Bulls have officially announced their entrance to the transfer portal, including wide receivers Jimmy Horn Jr., Christian Helms, Holden Willis and Omarion Dollison, linebacker Antonio Grier, running back Jaren Mangham, cornerback Daquan Evans, safety Vincent “Smoke” Davis and kicker Spencer Shrader.