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Golesh vows to 'set the standard' and focus on recruiting as USF's new football coach

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Sky Lebron
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WUSF Public Media
Alex Golesh says his immediate focus is establishing his staff and identifying needs over the next few weeks.

Alex Golesh led a Tennessee offense that ranked first in the nation in scoring and yards per game this season, with wins over LSU, Pittsburgh, and — most notably — Alabama.

The USF football program is now officially in the hands of Alex Golesh.

At his introductory news conference Monday morning, Golesh was able to give Bulls fans a taste of what they should expect with him at the helm.

“We're gonna have a program where we enable player-driven leadership and allow the players to enrich the culture,” Golesh said. “We’ll guide them. We'll give them the blueprint. We're going to set the standard in every single phase of what we do.”

The 38-year-old has been across the college football landscape for some time, working as a student and graduate assistant at Ohio State, Northern Illinois, and Oklahoma State, before assuming larger coaching roles at Toledo, Illinois, Iowa State, UCF, and most recently, Tennessee.

Golesh led a Tennessee offense that ranked first in the nation in scoring and yards per game this season, with big wins over Pittsburgh, LSU, and, most notably, the Alabama Crimson Tide. The Volunteers earned their first 10-win seasons since 2007.

Golesh also served as the co-offensive coordinator during UCF’s 2020 season, with the Knights ranking second in the nation in yards per game.

Alex Golesh posing for a picture alongside his family, and Rocky the Bull, the day he was officially introduced as the 6th head football coach in program history.
Sky Lebron
/
WUSF Public Media
Golesh said he’s recruited players in the area at previous coaching spots, giving him a good lay of the landscape when evaluating future players.

“I promise you I'll outwork everybody in the country, to bring you the best players, the best coaches, best nutrition system, the best anything and everything we can get here. Have a little blind faith in me,” Golesh said.

He also said a primary focus will be on recruiting, especially local talent.

“When USF has been up, I've understood why,” Golesh said. “When it's been down, I haven't understood why. You're in the most talent-rich state in the United States. And you're in one of the three most talent-rich counties maybe in the country. [There’s] incredible high school coaches, and the states that surround it are as talent-rich as imaginably possible.”

Golesh said he’s recruited players in the area at previous coaching spots, giving him a good lay of the landscape when evaluating future players.

Other USF officials also spoke at the news conference to explain why they feel Golesh is right for the job.

“I've said before, that athletics is somewhat the front door of the university,” USF President Rhea Law said. “But there's so many other things that it calls attention to. It calls attention to our athletics, and it calls attention to our ability to prepare our students for greatness. This is one more step.”

Athletic Director Michael Kelly said the move is even more exciting as the college football landscape is ready to expand into a 12-team playoff format in 2024.

“With the criteria that set forth in 2024, the American [Athletic Conference] champion would have been in that role for six of the first eight years,” Kelly said.

Kelly says Golesh will help the program establish a strong identity.

"When you combine a high-octane offense and defense, a work ethic unlike any other, and then putting players first in an authentic and real way, that is indeed the identity that I expect and I was seeking for in University of South Florida football, and that's exactly what we got in Coach Golesh," Kelly said.

Goshen makes his head coaching debut next September.

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