Former Tennessee defensive coordinator John Jancek will be the new safeties coach for South Florida coach Willie Taggart.
It’s a savvy move by Taggart in hiring Jancek, who lost his job with the Volunteers earlier this month despite overseeing a defense that was 16th in the FBS this past season in scoring defense (20 points per game). Jancek will be an asset to new South Florida defensive coordinator Raymond Woodie, who was promoted to his position earlier this month when Tom Allen left for the same job at Indiana. It’s the first time that Woodie has been a collegiate defensive coordinator.
This past season was Jancek’s third as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator.
Prior to that, he spent three seasons at Cincinnati, the first two of which were as co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach before he was promoted to defensive coordinator his final year. The Bearcats were among the FBS’s top 20 in scoring defense his final two seasons.
Jancek was at Georgia from 2005–09, initially as linebackers coach before also adding co-defensive coordinator duties his final season. He was Central Michigan’s defensive coordinator and defensive line coach in 2004 following a season coaching the program’s defensive linemen.
He was defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at his alma mater, Grand Valley State, from 1999 through 2002 (winning the NCAA Division II championship his last season under then coach Brian Kelly), Hillsdale’s defensive coordinator from 1996–98 and Wayne State’s defensive coordinator from 1992–94. He briefly was Central Florida’s defensive tackles coach in the winter and spring of 1996.
A Muskegon, Mich., product, Jancek got his start in coaching in 1991 as a graduate assistant at Grand Valley State. He was a defensive lineman at the school from 1988 through 1990.
Jancek joins Taggart, who led South Florida to an 8–5 record this past season capped by a Miami Beach Bowl appearance, the program’s first bowl bid since 2010. It was the best season in Taggart’s three-year tenure with the Bulls, which has been marked by steady improvement.
South Florida won two games in 2013 before doubling that to four in 2014 and again doubling that this season.