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USF loses 2 assistants

By ANTONYA ENGLISH

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 3, 2001


TAMPA -- South Florida offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Mike Canales and offensive line coach Scott Bruning have accepted similar positions at other schools.

Canales, 39, will become the pass-game coordinator at North Carolina State. Bruning took a position as the offensive line coach at South Dakota.

USF coach Jim Leavitt said Canales is taking a better paying job and Bruning will be closer to home.

"Me, I would never leave, but I'm different," Leavitt said. "This area is priceless to me. But North Carolina State is going to pay (Canales) a ton of money. They are like the fourth or fifth highest-paid coaches in America. And Scott grew up in South Dakota so I understand that very much."

Canales joined USF in 1996 from the University of Pacific, where he was quarterbacks and kicking-game coach. Canales replaces Norm Chow, a friend and mentor he worked with while an assistant at Brigham Young. Canales said Chow's recommendation and becoming known to N.C. State coaches while both schools were recruiting Jay Davis this season were factors in his hiring.

But it was coach Chuck Amato that sold Canales on N.C. State.

"He's won two national championships with FSU," Canales said. "He knows what it takes to compete at that level."

Canales said when he came to USF he wanted to be a part of history and planned on staying at least five years to see the first recruiting class finish. He leaves Tampa on Sunday and begins his new job Monday.

Bruning joined the staff last season, after three seasons as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Southwest Texas State.

Leavitt would like to have replacements before spring practice begins March19.

RECRUIT SIGNS: Bradenton Southeast receiver Travis Lipp signed a letter of intent with USF. Lipp, a 6-foot, 170-pound receiver, was one of four targets for quarterback Adrian McPherson, a Florida State signee. He caught 26 passes for 413 yards and had four touchdowns his senior season. Lipp also punted and was a long snapper.

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