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USF fires head football coach Jeff Scott

Man wearing hoodie sweatshirt, baseball cap, and headset looks to one side. Football players are behind him.
Michael Wyke
Associated Press
South Florida head coach Jeff Scott checks the scoreboard during a timeout in the first half of an NCAA college football game against Houston, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022, in Houston.

Jeff Scott had a record of 4-26 in just under three seasons, including 1-19 in the American Athletic Conference.

The University of South Florida has fired head football coach Jeff Scott.

Scott had a record of 4-26 in just under three seasons, including 1-19 in the American Athletic Conference.

The firing was announced Sunday, one day after the Bulls (1-8, 0-5 AAC) lost 54-28 to Temple.

Special teams coordinator Daniel Da Prato will serve as interim head coach for the final three games of the season.

Defensive coordinator Bob Shoop was also relieved of his duties. Co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Ernie Sims will take over the coordinator position.

“When Jeff came to Tampa in December of 2019, we had high expectations for where he could take our football program,” Vice President/Director of Athletics Michael Kellysaid in a statement. “While he did so many things right, including rebuilding our culture, pushing forward our Indoor Performance Facility, and engaging our community, the on-the-field results fell well below our standards. He is a tremendous person and class individual and we wish him, Sara, Savannah and Hunter all the best in the future.

“In the days ahead, I will share information about our search for a new head coach. Our focus right now is on the talented young men in our football program.”

“I would like to thank our players, coaches and staff members for all their hard work during my time as the head coach at USF,” Scott said. “I especially want to thank USF President Rhea Law and Vice President/Director of Athletics Michael Kelly for giving me the incredible opportunity to lead the football program the last three years. I will miss this team and will do anything in my power to help them in the future.

"I am disappointed that our hard work didn’t translate to more success on the field, but I am confident that we have set a new foundation. I know the future of USF football is bright and my family and I will always remember our time at USF as a very special chapter in our lives.”

Scott signed a five-year, $12.5 million dollar contract in December 2019. He also signed a two-year extension late last year.

The Arcadia, Florida native was hired after winning two national titles — as an assistant at Clemson under Dabo Swinney. He served five years as the co-offensive coordinator at Clemson, which went 70-5 over the stretch.

"I fully support Michael Kelly's difficult decision to change the leadership of our football program and move us in a different direction," USF President Rhea Law said.

Scott was excited about joining USF when he was hired to replace Charlie Strong in 2019.

“‘Let me tell you, this is one of them jobs you want. Great university, great location, great conference, great recruiting base right in your backyard, you can win there.’”

He also spoke highly of the possibility of an on-campus football stadium — one of Law's priorities as president — at the time.

“It's always about what's next - and to be honest, the whole situation with the facilities, that's one thing that made me want to come here even that much more, because there's the opportunity to grow."

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Scott's original contract called for him to be owed about $192,000, or 20 weeks of his base salary. However, that did not include any money owed by the USF Foundation.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.