Cincinnati introduces Tommy Tuberville as head coach

Cincinnati has won the Big East Conference on multiple occasions and played in both the Orange Bowl and Sugar Bowl in recent years. But with half their Big East peers defected to the ACC, it was clear the Bearcats thought inking Tommy Tuberville as their next head coach as its ticket to the big time. 

The Saturday evening press conference, held in the basketball team's Fifth Third Arena amid raucous cheers from the assembled fans, at times felt less like an introduction and more like a coronation. 

"I'm proud to be a Bearcat," Tuberville shouted in his opening statement. "You can do a lot of things with emotion and energy, and we've got it here."

"I want to help this university go to the next level," Tuberville continued. "There have been a lot of great wins here, but there's always a next step. I want to help the Bearcat nation take the next step forward."

"We're excited where we are right now, but things are going to change," said Tuberville.

Cincinnati is getting a proven commodity in Tuberville, who carries a 130-77 record in 17 seasons as a head coach at Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas Tech. His resume is undeniable, an 14-0 season in 2004 and a 6-3 record against Top 5 teams. 

Saturday's introduction didn't delve much into specifics. Tuberville did indicate he plans to bring some of assistants with him from his Texas Tech staff, but did not speak much about what scheme he plans to implement. "My philosophy is to get the best scheme for your players," he said. 

Both Tuberville and Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock shared that the hiring happened quickly. Babcock indicated in his messages to Hocutt that if he could not lure Tuberville away in a one-day period, he would move on to his next candidate. Needless to say, he did not move on to his next candidate.

"I got my first phone call 10-12 hours ago," said Tuberville. "That's how quick things can change. This is not my first rodeo. In this business you don't have time to react. "

Babcock attempted to reach Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt twice but was unsuccessful, saying, "I'm a bit embarrassed not to talk to Kirby directly."

Tuberville did not take many questions on Saturday, and those he did were sandwiched around chants of "Tommy T!" from the Cincinnati students. After all, the red and black faithful arrived at Fifth Third Arena for a coronation. 

Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt provides update on head coaching search

Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt held a press conference Saturday afternoon hours after the stunning news of Tommy Tuberville leaving for the head job at Cincinnati. 

Needless to say, Hocutt did not see Tuberville's departure coming. Hocutt said he was at his son's soccer game at 9:15 Saturday morning when he received a call from Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock stating his intention to speak with Tuberville. Tuberville called 75 minutes later informing Hocutt of his resignation and plan to take the job at Cincinnati. 

Hocutt said that Tuberville nor his agent ever asked for an extension. Said Hocutt, "I have never talked to Tommy's agent."

"Tommy is a good man," Hocutt added. "I wish him well."

Hocutt met with the team earlier Saturday afternoon, describing them as proud and determined to beat Minnesota in the upcoming Meineke Car Care Bowl. He also met with the remaining Texas Tech coaching staff, minus offensive coordinator Neal Brown, and Hocutt anticipates they will lead the team well in the next three weeks. 

Hocutt knows he has a good job to sell. He referenced the fact that the Red Raiders have played in a bowl game in 11 of the past 12 seasons, that more than $230 million has been poured into facilities upgrades in the last decade, and an expanded Jones AT&T Stadium saw a school record for average home attendance this fall. 

Hocutt did not delve into specifics of finding Texas Tech's next head coach, but he did state on his media conference call earlier in the afternoon that his search will not be limited just to head coaches. "We will move forward as expeditiously as we can, but take as much time as we need," Hocutt added. 

"I want to bring the best leader in the country to Texas Tech, someone who knows the fabric of west Texas," he concluded. "At the end of the day we want the right leader who can bring a winning style of football to Texas Tech."

Behind the scenes video: Butch Jones' first day at UT

Quality video. Enjoy!

Willie Taggart ready to drive the bus at South Florida

Willie Taggart stated throughout his introductory press conference as the head coach at South Florida that he was going to start recruiting as soon as he left the room. That wasn't exactly true. Taggart's infectious personality and palpable enthusiasm started selling USF fans and recruits the moment he opened his mouth on Saturday afternoon.

"If you want to be a part of something special, come to USF," said Taggart. "If you're a football player from the 813, the 941, the 863, call me, e-mail me, tweet me, whatever."

Taggart knows the job that lays ahead of him. He must convince recruits to spurn in-state behemoths Florida, Florida State and Miami to come to USF to play in a Big East Conference that isn't what it used to be.  

Taggart's plan, at least as it unfolded at the press conference, was threefold. His salespitch was three-pronged: himself, his system and USF. 

"I've won all my life," said Taggart. "I won in high school, I won in college, I've won all my life. I'm a winner. Winning comes in doing all the little things right. I do believe winning isn't complicated, people make it complicated."

Coached by Jack Harbaugh and his sons John and Jim, Taggart is a firm disciple of the Harbaugh System. Under his direction, Western Kentucky boasted the Sun Belt's leading rusher in each of his three seasons at the helm, and tight end Jack Doyle was the Hilltoppers' leading receiver this fall.

"It's going to be what you see out of Stanford, out of San Francisco," Taggart said of what to expect of his team. "The exact same thing. We're going to run the football and throw the football. I'm excited to have guys that can stretch the field, and we've got to find the right guy at quarterback. Rarely will he come to the line with only one play, so he's got to be not only a great athlete but a smart kid."

The Big East may be under seemingly constant transition, but Taggart thinks the possibilities are limitless at USF. "I always said I wouldn't leave WKU unless I had a chance to win the national championship and I truly believe we can do that here," he said.

Taggart, a high school legend from Tampa, relishes his opportunity to come home. "I get to see my mom, my dad and my family. I left here in 1994 and I got to see my mom and dad about twcie a year. Now I get to see them whenever I want," said Taggart. 

As reported by Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, Taggart's contract runs for five years and will pay him a sum of $5.75 million. His pool for assistants is $1.9 million per year. 

South Florida athletic director Doug Woolard touted a wide pool of candidates inclduing college head coaches and assitant coaches on the NFL and college levels. Woolard enlisted the help of Tony Dungy in choosing the Bulls' next head coach. So what sold them on Taggart?

"Coach Taggart is young, he's dynamic, he's innovative and he's successful," Woolard said. 

We're not going to bow down to anyone," Taggart added. "We're not going to make any excuses. We're going to work."

"Now all we have to do is put everybody on the bus, put them in the right seat and let Coach T drive this bus."  

Stay tuned to The Scoop and we'll keep you posted as Taggart fills out his staff. 

The Scoop on Tommy Tuberville to Cincinnati

We have learned that Tommy Tuberville has resigned from his post at Texas Tech to accept the head coaching job at Cincinnati. 

Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock has been close with Tuberville since Babcock served as an assistant athletic director at Auburn while Tuberville was the Tigers' head coach. Babcock moved decisively and in the best interests of his University and has landed a top-tier coach. 

Tuberville brings a career 130-77 record in 17 years as a head coach at Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas Tech. Sources indicated to us that snagging Tuberville could be a key move in Cincinnati's push to join the ACC. 

Sources have also indicated to us that former Louisville, Atlanta Falcons and Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino could join Tuberville's staff as the offensive coordinator if he does not obtain a head coaching job. 

We will update with more details as they become available. 

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