Bulls fans express optimism ahead of Golesh-era kickoff

Bulls fans were hopeful about the upcoming season just minutes before kickoff occurred at Saturday’s game. ORACLE PHOTO/JUSTIN SEECHARAN.

Anticipation filled the atmosphere on Saturday as Bulls fans packed District Tavern in Downtown Tampa to watch USF football’s season opener against Western Kentucky.

The game marks Alex Golesh’s debut as head coach and his first time on the field since he was a tight ends coach at Iowa State in 2019.

Golesh said he hasn’t let the moment faze him, and has instead chosen to live in the moment.

“I’m honest when I say that I’ve really just tried to take this thing one day at a time. It’ll be a cool day for my family, friends and people going to be there,” Golesh said in a Tuesday press conference. 

“For our team, the most important thing, as far as I go, is just me being present and ready to roll.”

The past few years have been rough for fans to watch, as the Bulls won only four games in three seasons.

But, as the season kicks off, fans remain optimistic. Some hope the coaching change will give the team a clearer sense of direction.

Melissa Goos, a 2008 USF alum, said she remembers when the Bulls were ranked No. 2 in the 2007 AP Poll.

She said she hopes the Bulls win enough games to become bowl-eligible. However, she mostly wants to see steady improvement from the team.

“To see us get back to that momentum would be phenomenal, and to see us move in the right direction of getting back to basics and the program we were back then,” Goos said.

Alum Devin Wittcoff said hearing Golesh speak at the Bulls Block Party event a few weeks ago has him excited for what the new season has to offer.

“I think everyone’s excited to see what Golesh can do…I want to see improvement from the awful last year. I’ll be happy with four games. I just want to see the team go in the right direction,” Wittcoff said. 

Remembering last years’ 1-11 season, alum Monica Madison recalled how many close calls the Bulls had. She said the addition of Golesh, who has experience in Bowl games, could help the team overcome adversity.

“It does have a hopeful vibe… after watching the way we lost last year and adding Coach Golesh to this, I truly feel like this is the start of something big,” Madison said.

However, after watching Golesh over the past eight months, she said she is hopeful that the team culture he is trying to build will lead to more wins in the future.

“I believe in coach Golesh, the players, the atmosphere and the culture he has already built,” Madison said. “I want to have some wins under our belt to be able to show people that…this team is ready for the next step.”