South Florida has made another addition to their coaching staff, hiring former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek as Safeties coach. Head coach Willie Taggart spoke of the new addition to his Bull Shark defense on Monday:
"John brings a tremendous amount of experience and football knowledge to our program and our players are going to love working with him," Taggart said. "We're excited to add his background and input to the defensive foundation we have begun building and I look forward to his working with the very talented group of safeties we have returning."
In an official statement, Jancek seemed thrilled about the chance to come to Tampa and join the Bulls staff:
"I am very excited for the opportunity to join the USF staff and be a part of the program Coach Taggart is building in Tampa," Jancek said. "The future looks very bright for this program and I am looking forward to working with some very talented players in our secondary."
With the departure of Tom Allen to Indiana, USF is going back to the well of hiring a highly respected former SEC defensive coach, which could prove once again to be a savvy move.
The coaching staff is setting up to be a perfect blend of former Taggart contemporaries from Western Kentucky, guys like new WR coach T.J. Weist with 25+ years of coaching experience, and guys with straight up connections to Florida who can recruit.
A former all-conference defensive lineman at Grand Valley State, Jancek has 25 years of defensive coaching experience, serving as defensive coordinator in a wide range of places spanning from Wayne State to his alma mater Grand Valley to Georgia to Cincinnati.
Most notably, his recent stop in Knoxville as Tennessee's defensive coordinator brought him to prominence and on the Bulls' radar once he was let go.
Arriving in 2013 along with Butch Jones from Cincinnati, Jancek helped elevate the Vols on the defensive side of the football as the rebuilding effort under Jones commenced. He took a unit that finished 81st in defensive S&P+ in 2012before he arrived and drastically improved their production, finishing 46th in his first season, 12th in 2014 and 18th this past season.
Player development wise, in three seasons, Jancek had five players earn All-SEC honors and three named All-Freshman SEC. In particular, rising beast defensive end Derek Barnett broke out during his first season in 2014, breaking Jadeveon Clowney's SEC sack record on his way to becoming a Freshman All-American.
However, the Vols' 2015 campaign was most noted for their defensive collapses against Oklahoma, Florida, Arkansas,and a near fall to South Carolina. Despite holding their own against eventual national champion Alabama and finishing the season 9-4, Jancek served as the proverbial sacrificial lamb and was let go by Jones on January 6th following the Vols' Outback Bowl victory over Northwestern.
What To Expect
It is still unknown if new defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie will continue the 4-2-5 scheme Allen ran this past season, a question that will be answered once recruiting ends and the coaching staff switches gear to prepping for spring practice.
Whatever the scheme, Jancek enters a prime opportunity to further develop an immense amount of talent at the safety position which includes three-year starter Nate Godwin, Devin Abraham, Khalid McGee, and potentially 4-star class of 2016 commit Craig Watts.