How will Alex Golesh fare at USF? Tennessee Vols have some thoughts

Published Earlier today
NASHVILLE — For two years, the Tennessee Volunteers experienced what USF players have seen for two semesters: Alex Golesh’s grind, passion and uncanny ability for finding the same frequency as his players.
“I mean, he’s a great person, he has a great personality,” Vols sixth-year senior quarterback Joe Milton said late last week at SEC Media Days in downtown Nashville. “He knows how to get you better, he knows how to get you going as well. There are some coaches that can’t get you going, but he can get you going, he can get you juiced up, and he’s smart.”
Golesh parlayed those traits — connecting with players, coaxing maximum effort out of them — into a wildly successful two-year run as offensive coordinator/tight ends coach in Knoxville. He helped install Josh Heupel’s breakneck-paced offense, called plays and developed a kinship with players and peers.
Coincidence or not, Tennessee (11-2) ranked first nationally in 2022 in total offense (525.5 yards per game) and scoring (46.1 ppg), finished second in yards per play (7.23), and posted its first season of double-digit victories in 15 years. Moreover, Vols receiver Jalin Hyatt earned the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s top receiver.
To those who watched Golesh work last season and the year before, the notion of him replicating that success in his first head-coaching stint at USF is more feasible than far-fetched.
“I think he’ll be a great head coach,” Tennessee senior tight end Jacob Warren said.
“He’s one of the more hard-working people that I’ve ever been around, and he’s truly committed to his craft, and his craft is creating really good offense and loving his players. He’s got two really cool kids and his wife’s amazing, family’s amazing, so he just brings a really, really good positive energy and presence to wherever he’s at.”
Heupel, who brought Golesh with him from UCF after the pair worked one season together in Orlando, cited Golesh’s competitive nature and willingness to work when asked which attributes will benefit him as Bulls coach.
“I think those are two traits that drive you every minute of the day to continue to help your program grow. And you look at that, it’s where the starting blocks are in my opinion,” Heupel said.
“Then he’s got great ability to communicate, and he’s hired a lot of really good people. Some of them were in our building a year ago, some young staff that will be great coaches. So, I’m really excited about where he’s going to take that program.”
Three members of Golesh’s on-field coaching staff at USF — Matt Merritt (running backs), Chad Creamer (special teams) and Tyler Hudanick (offensive line) — were Vols staffers one or both of the last two seasons. In both seasons, the Vols finished in the top 10 nationally in total and scoring offense.
“I built a very, very good relationship with Coach Golesh, and I still very much appreciate him and talk to him pretty regularly, ask him how things are going,” Warren said. “I have no doubts that he’s doing really well and that those players down there are really appreciating him as a coach but also just as a person and as a leader.”

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