Ron Cooper hired by USF, Buccaneers lose DBs coach

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have another opening on their coaching staff, as Ron Cooper leaves for a USF assistant head coaching job.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are seeing a lot of their assistant coaches heading back to college. After losing P.J. Fleck to WMU and seeing Ron Turner leave for FIU, the Buccaneers will let their secondary coach Ron Cooper leave for USF, the university has announced. Cooper will be an assistant head coach and secondary coach at USF. Cooper was hired by the Bucs as their defensive backs coach last season after a successful stint with LSU, where he coached several first-round draft picks.

Unlike the previous coaching moves, this one may have been prompted by the Buccaneers. Cooper's results in his first year in Tampa were abysmal, as his secondary gave up more yards than any other secondary. Only one defense in the NFL gave up more net yards per pass play than Cooper's. A report suggested that the Bucs would allow Cooper to "explore other opportunities" -- a euphemism for "he's so damn fired".

The Buccaneers must now fill three spots on the coaching staff: quarterbacks coach, wide receivers coach and secondary coach. The Bucs may also be looking for a new offensive coordinator if Mike Sullivan leaves to become head coach in Chicago. On that note: a dubious report suggests the Bears will hire Marc Trestman, which would likely keep Sullivan in Tampa.

The fact that so many coaches are leaving for promotions speaks to the job Greg Schiano has done to assemble this coaching staff. During three years of Raheem Morris' tenure, none of his coaches got any interviews for promotions. Morris did, however, fire both of his coordinators within a year of being named head coach. So far, at least, the Schiano era is off to a more auspicious start.

Check out Voodoo Five for all your USF news and coverage.

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