USF Bulls hire top ‘headhunter’ in search for new football coach

TAMPA — As USF athletic director Doug Woolard begins the task of finding a successor to Jim Leavitt as football coach, the Bulls have hired elite coaching headhunter Chuck Neinas to assist in the hiring process.

Neinas, who was involved in USF’s athletic director search that resulted in Woolard being hired in 2004, has been involved in some of the most successful hires in college football, including Les Miles at LSU, Urban Meyer at Florida, Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and Mack Brown at Texas.

Woolard said he will work with executive associate athletic director Bill McGillis and former athletic director Lee Roy Selmon in finding a coach. Woolard said he will continue to take recommendations, nominations and applications before quickly narrowing the field and talking to candidates.

“It’s wide-open,” said Woolard, who said he will have a diverse pool of candidates with no restrictions — current college and pro head coaches as well as current assistant coaches in the college and pro ranks.

Neinas specializes in helping schools get in touch with coaching candidates and vice versa.