Live updates: Alex Golesh’s new hires for USF football staff

Golesh is bringing many new faces to USF as he continues to structure his staff. UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE ATHLETICS PHOTO

Coach Alex Golesh is expanding his staff in preparation for the 2023 football season. With many changes ahead, here is a look into who the coach is planning to bring on board.

Todd Orlando

Todd Orlando, who will be serving as the Bulls’ (1-11, 0-8 AAC) defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach, left Florida Atlantic to join USF’s staff. He served as the Owls’ (5-7, 4-4 C-USA) defensive coordinator for less than a year.

Before coaching at FAU, Orlando was the defensive coordinator at six different schools. He served the position at Southern California from 2020-21, Texas from 2017-19, Houston from 2015-16, Utah State from 2013-14, FIU from 2011-12 and UConn from 2005-10.

Orlando’s coaching history assures a step in the right direction for the Bulls, Golesh said.

“Defensively, we’re going to be the most aggressive group in the country,” Golesh said. “Todd is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. I’ve coached against and schemed against his defenses, and I am beyond excited that I don’t have to any more. He’ll be aggressive, he’ll be intense, and we’re going to have a blast on defense.”

Orlando will be taking over the position from Ernie Sims who filled the role after former defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was fired alongside Scott.

USF’s defense continued to perform poorly this season under Shoop, who only worked at USF for 11 months. The Bulls are currently ranked last nationally in total defense, but the Owls are only positioned 24 spots higher at No. 107 out of 131 schools.

The Bulls allowed an average of 516.6 yards and 41.17 points per game. They also allowed a total of 494 points to be scored against them during the season.

Kevin Patrick

Kevin Patrick will be stepping into the defensive line coach position.

He also previously held a position at FAU as an outside linebackers coach. Patrick has a rich history with USF, serving as the defensive ends coach from 1996-98 under former head coach Jim Leavitt.

Patrick returned to USF in 2008, and served multiple positions such as defensive line, ends and tackles coach until 2013.

Following his time at USF, he worked as a defensive line coach for three other universities – North Texas from 2014-15, Texas Tech in 2016 and NC State from 2017-19.

He was appointed one of the top 25 recruiters in the nation by Rivals during his time at USF in 2009, and the top recruiter in the Big East Conference.

Golesh said Patrick would be vital to the program’s success given his prior experience with the Bulls.

“Kevin was a big piece of bringing the energy that got our program into the top 10,” he said. “He’s a key cog in getting back to that point. Defensive line play is a key piece to competing at a high level and his ties to the state of Florida are going to be a big part of what we are doing in recruiting.”

Tyler Hudanick

Tyler Hudanick was announced Friday as the Bulls’ offensive line coach.


This isn’t the first time Golesh and Hudanick have worked together. Hudanick’s previous position was as a graduate assistant at Tennessee. He worked with the offensive line on Josh Heupel’s staff and for Golesh, who was the offensive coordinator at the time.

Hudanick joined UCF’s staff almost immediately after his final season as a player in 2018. He started 28 games with the Knights (9-4, 6-2 AAC) on the offensive line, and then served as a volunteer quality control assistant for the 2019 season. In 2020, he worked as an offensive graduate assistant for the Knights.

Golesh, who was the co-offensive coordinator/tight ends coach for the Knights at the time, worked with Hudanick for the 2020 season. During that season, UCF ranked second in FBS football in total offense (568.1).

The pair’s experience working with one another allowed Golesh to have full confidence in his decision.

“Tyler played in the state of Florida and I have worked with him at two places,” Golesh said. “He brings the same approach to coaching as he did to playing – incredible leadership and toughness. He is a highly intelligent young offensive mind, an elite teacher and a detail-oriented person.”

Joel Gordon

Golesh announced Joel Gordon is the Bulls’ new quarterbacks coach.

Gordon spent seven seasons at Iowa State from 2016-22 as an assistant head coach. He worked alongside Golesh for four of those seasons from 2016-19. The Cyclones reached five straight bowl games during that time frame, including a Fiesta Bowl berth in 2022.

The Cyclones’ offense reached historic heights during Gordon’s tenure and he helped foster three of the most productive offensive seasons in the program’s history from 2019-2021. In the 2020 season, ISU shattered records in total offense (444.3), touchdowns (53) and points (418).

This past season, USF finished second to last in the American conference in passing yards per game with 192.8. Due to injury, three different quarterbacks started under center for the Bulls in 2022.

George Courides

George Courides was announced as head strength and conditioning coach by USF football via Twitter.

Before heading to the sunshine state, Courides served as the associate head strength and conditioning coach at Iowa State for six seasons.

Courides also worked for the New York Jets as a full-time intern during the 2015-16 season. He assisted with nutrition and weight training regiments.

Golesh worked with Courides at Iowa State from 2017-19, where he said Courides helped make lengthy strides in the team’s improvement.

“I’ve admired George’s rapport with student athletes and his ability to maximize their potential both physically and mentally since our time together at Iowa State,” Golesh said.

The Cyclones made five straight bowl appearances from 2017-22, including a Big 12 Championship in 2020.

He joins Joel Gordon as another former Iowa State coach to join Golesh’s staff.

Andrew Warsaw

Golesh announced Andrew Warsaw will be filling the role of associate athletic director and football chief of staff.

Warsaw and Golesh worked together for two seasons at Tennessee, where Warsaw was the director of football operations from 2020-22. In this position, he managed the program’s budget and coordinated operations of the football building.

Before working at Rocky Top, Warsaw served as the assistant athletic director for football operations at Mississippi State from 2018-19. He owns 11 years of collegiate and NFL operations experience.

The credible past experience Warsaw possesses is something that excited Golesh – especially since he witnessed it first hand.

“Andrew and I worked closely at Tennessee and he has established himself as one of the very best in the business in the internal operations of a football program over the last decade,” Golesh said.

Matt Birkett

Recently signed on is James Madison cornerbacks coach Matt Birkett. Birkett will take on the same role at USF.

Birkett helped the Dukes finish within the top ten in total defensive yards in each of his four seasons at JMU.

His contributions to James Madison’s defense helped it transition from the FCS to the FBS in 2022. It finished 8-3 (6-2 AAC) and placed first in the eastern division of the Sun Belt conference.

Matt Merritt

Though it has not been announced by USF, Georgia Southern running back coach Matt Merritt is expected to join Golesh’s staff as an associate head coach/run game coordinator and running back coach, according to ESPN senior writer Pete Thamel.

Merritt has 11 years of experience working at the collegiate level and previously worked with Golesh at Tennessee prior to Georgia Southern as a senior analyst in the 2021 season. The Volunteers won four more games than the season before and earned a berth in the Music City Bowl.

In Merritt’s lone season at Tennessee, the offense finished third in the SEC in total offense and second in points per game. The Vols also became one of the elite rushing teams in all of college football. They totaled 218 yards per game, which was 90 yards more than the season before Merritt signed on.

Jack Taylor

Though not yet confirmed by USF or Golesh, Jack Taylor, an offensive analyst for the Vols (10-2, 6-2 SEC), is expected to join Golesh’s staff as a tight ends coach, according to multiple reports.

Taylor also recently changed his Twitter handle to include USF.

Current staff updates

Former interim coach Daniel Da Prato announced his departure from USF via Twitter and will now serve as the special teams coordinator and associate head coach at Texas State.

He has worked as the special teams coordinator for the Bulls since 2019. Following the firing of former coach Jeff Scott, Da Prato temporarily took over Scott’s position for the final three games of the 2022 season.

Rumored to depart from the Bulls is offensive coordinator Travis Trickett. He is believed to be the front-runner for the offensive coordinator position at Coastal Carolina, according to Football Scoop.

Trickett joined South Florida in early January as a part of former coach Jeff Scott’s staff and helped lead the Bulls to the fourth best rushing offense in the American conference in 2022.

This is a developing story. Stay with The Oracle for updates