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One on One, New SMU DC Jim Leavitt discusses career path

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One on One, New SMU DC Jim Leavitt discusses career path

Postby AfricanMustang » Wed Feb 10, 2021 5:55 pm

When Jim Leavitt was looking for a job after the 2009 season, one of the first job offers the he received was from Sonny Dykes. At the time, Dykes had just gotten his first head coaching job at Louisiana Tech.

Leavitt didn’t take him up on the opportunity more than a decade ago. Instead, he waited a year and became a linebackers coach with the San Francisco 49ers. When Dykes had a chance to offer him again just last month, this time, the pair made it happen.

“We had been friends for a long time,” Leavitt said. “And he was one of the guys in the coaching circles that I always thought very highly of. I’m going to be honest with you. That was the main reason [I took the job]. That was a big deal.”

Leavitt has taken something of the opposite route of most established coaches. At a young age, he became the head coach of a brand new South Florida program. He built it up over 13 seasons, joined the FBS, and was even No. 2 in the country at one point. He was then fired, as the school alleged he punched one of his players and hindered the university’s investigation of the incident.

And now, he’s at SMU — a school he once tried to get a job at in 1980 as the strength coach.

Leavitt’s defenses have been successful at all these stops. In San Francisco, the 49ers made three conference championships and advanced to the Super Bowl once. In his second season at Colorado in 2016 — when he was in charge of recruiting the D-FW area — the Buffaloes finished 10-4, their first winning season in more than a decade. He helped turn an Oregon team that was 4-8 the year before he got there to 9-4 in his second season.

Before what happened at the end of his USF tenure, Leavitt was one of the hottest coaches on the market. He said he had offers from Kentucky, Minnesota, Kansas State and a bunch of others in the first few successful years after the team moved to the higher end of Division I football.

He started out with a salary of just $75,000 at USF and a pool for assistant coaches of just $90,000 total. Those numbers eventually rose as the program elevated. And he started to get more legitimacy after Alabama sent him a five-year contract offer. He described a wacky back-and-forth with then-Crimson Tide athletic director Mal Moore.

Leavitt eventually declined the offer which came after the 2000 season, deciding to stay at South Florida, believing it could be built into a powerhouse program in the state, much like Florida, Florida State or Miami. He still kept the unsigned Alabama contract, though, and was reminded of it the other day when he saw it while visiting his family in Colorado.

Read more...https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/smu-m ... me-to-smu/
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Re: One on One, New SMU DC Jim Leavitt discusses career path

Postby Terry Webster » Wed Feb 10, 2021 9:01 pm

I am really excited about what he brings. A good defense will take us to the next lever.
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Re: One on One, New SMU DC Jim Leavitt discusses career path

Postby BUS » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:35 am

This could be big... Real big. But if our d gets an attitude and a few bugs up front. Whoa nellie.
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