Jim Leavitt reflects on life after USF

7:22 AM, Sep 10, 2010   |    comments
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Tampa, FL-- It's been 8 months since USF fired its head football coach, Jim Leavitt, for striking a player.  This past weekend, which opened the college football season, he was not on USF's sideline for the first time in 13 years.

Before a round of golf at Westchase Golf Club in Tampa, 10 News Sports Anchor Dave Wirth sat down with Jim Leavitt, and found out that the St. Pete native has been busy with the new addition to the Leavitt household.

"I'm a new dad," said Jim Leavitt.  "Sophia Alexis is 8 weeks old, and she's adoreable.  She's teaching me a lot of stuff, and it's been a lot of fun."

This past weekend, the USF Bulls played Stony Brook in the season opener.  It was the first game the Bulls ever played, with Jim Leavitt as their head coach.

"I didn't know how tough it would be, but it was tough," Leavitt admitted.  "It was hard.  I watched a little bit of South Florida, and then I turned it off.  It was kind of hard to watch, you miss it so much."

And he has not spoken at all, to receiver Joel Miller, whose charges against Leavitt led to an investigation, and his eventual firing.

"No, I haven't really spoken to any players, but I got a bunch of texts from a lot of them and they've all been great.  They're a great group, they're a neat group, and I'm really proud of them."

This Saturday, the Bulls travel to Gainesville to play the Florida Gators for the first time.  It's a game that Leavitt fought to get on the schedule, for many years.  He wanted a home and home series, but Florida never wanted to play in Tampa... at least against USF.

"And now after beating Florida State, and beating Auburn, and beating North Carolina, winning some games like that, there's no reason Florida shouldn't come to Tampa.  But I don't know if they ever will."

It becomes very clear, after talking with Jim Leavitt for just a few minutes, that he still has the fire and the passion, for coaching.

"I had some high school teams that reached out to me," said Leavitt about job inquiries.  "It was close, I thought about it, because I thought, shoot, if I just go out and coach, that's great... high school, college, or the NFL, or whatever, it's not going to be much different with the passion I have for the game."

Jim Leavitt filed suit against USF, and the USF Foundation, for breach of contract... and violation of Florida's Public Records Law.  That lawsuit is still active, so he couldn't talk about the specifics of what happened at haltime of that game in November.




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