Jim Leavitt is now a free agent. He joined the staff as an analyst earlier this fall, but he was promoted to an on-the-field role as part of the overall staff shuffling following Willie Taggart’s firing in early November. The new job came with a new contract, and that contract has now expired.
The veteran, Pepsi-ed up coach is on the hunt for a new job, and sources told FootballScoop he conducted a phone interview for the Colorado State job earlier this week.
Sources say Leavitt has been eyeing the South Florida job since it became apparent it would open this fall. Leavitt was actually the first coach in USF football history, initially leading the Bulls on the field as an FCS independent in 1997. He eventually guided the program into the Big East, and in October of 2007 had South Florida at No. 2 in the country. That season ended with a 9-4 record and a Sun Bowl appearance, and in 2010 he was forced out amid allegations he struck a Bulls player in the locker room and that he had interfered into the investigation of that alleged incident.
Leavitt spent the 2010 season out of football, but got back in as the linebackers coach on Jim Harbaugh’s San Francisco 49ers staff, and he returned to college football as Colorado’s defensive coordinator in 2015. He joined Willie Taggart’s Oregon staff in 2017 as the highest-paid assistant in the Pac-12, then remained on when Taggart left and Mario Cristobal took over, an arrangement that lasted just for the 2018 season.
Along the way, Leavitt has crafted an image of a different coach than the one that left South Florida the first time around, one that is constantly filled with enthusiasm (and Pepsi).
Great staff meeting. Heading out recruiting! Be in the Tampa Bay Area. Of course stopping in to see my 94 year old mom. Go Noles!
— Jim Leavitt (@CoachJimLeavitt) December 1, 2019
Are you kidding me!! Yeah Noles! Find a way to win! Never ever ever give up! Going to have an ice cold…….Pepsi! Great team effort!!
— Jim Leavitt (@CoachJimLeavitt) September 21, 2019
While Leavitt efforts to return to the FBS head coaching ranks, he will also have options to remain a defensive coordinator at the Power 5 level, should he choose to go that route.
In the meantime, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.