It was a week ago on Friday that former USF athletic director Mark Harlan agreed to quickly depart the Bulls for the same job at Utah just six weeks after agreeing to a new contract. Well, with the search beginning to get started, one prominent person who had been linked to the job says he won’t be a candidate.
Rob Higgins, who has been the executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission for over a decade and is a USF alum, told the Tampa Bay Times in a text message Friday that he will only be helping in the search process.
The executive director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission said he instead plans to assist his alma mater in its search for Mark Harlan's replacement. #USF @USFAthletics @TB_Times @TBTimes_Bulls @SportsTampaBay https://t.co/mVkhQ61Oin
— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) June 8, 2018
Higgins, who’s 39, was one of the immediate candidates that seemed to make sense for the school. We wrote last weekend about he and former Bucs Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks, as being primary local targets for the school to take a strong look at.
He instead wants to assist USF President Dr. Judy Genshaft, head of the search, Dr. Bill Sutton ( who runs USF’s Sports and Entertainment Management program) and former Bulls basketball player and local bank executive, Brian Lamb, who is the head of USF’s Board of Trustees.
USF also announced that they will use a search firm, similar to how they hired Harlan four years from UCLA.
An outside name that had been linked to the job is former Louisville AD Tom Jurich. Jurich, the highly successful fundraiser who also helped land them in the ACC, and basketball coach Rick Pitino were both fired in the Cardinals latest basketball scandal in September last year. The school is one of several with assistant coaches snared in the FBI investigation of “pay for play” involving Adidas and AAU coaches.
For now, former assistant AD Scott Kull, is the USF interim AD.
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