TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — South Florida hired Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh as its new head football coach on Sunday.
Golesh, who came to Tennessee with head coach Josh Heupel in 2021 after the two were at Central Florida in 2019, takes over a USF program that went 1-11 this year. The Bulls finished 0-8 in the American Athletic Conference.
"This program will have an identity both offensively and defensively, and with special teams,” Golesh said in a statement. “We will be the most aggressive team in the country, both on the field and on the recruiting trail.”
Tennessee had the No. 1 offense in the country in yards per play (7.35) and scoring (47.3 points per game).
“He is a dynamic coach and recruiter who is relentless in pursuit of excellence, as evidenced by his outstanding track record of elevating numerous programs,” USF vice president of athletics Michael Kelly said in a statement. “He also happens to be one of the most creative and successful offensive minds in college football.”
South Florida fired Jeff Scott last month after he went 4-26 over two-plus seasons.
Golesh is a finalist for the Broyles Award, honoring the top assistant coach in college football.
Golesh was the tight ends coach-recruiting coordinator for Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell from 2016-19 where he helped the Cyclones turn around from a 3-9 season before their arrival to what became a run of five consecutive bowl games.
“Alex is a gifted leader of people,” Campbell said in a statement. “He is articulate, smart, charismatic, and he most importantly cares about the lives of his players.”
Golesh was born in the Soviet Union, grew up in New York and went to high school in Dublin, Ohio.
Golesh was a student assistant coach while attending Ohio State as an undergraduate and spent 2 1/2 years aiding the Buckeyes defensive coaches, and spent three seasons as a graduate assistant coach at Northern Illinois (2006-07) and Oklahoma State (2008), He has also coached at Toledo and Illinois.