USF Bulls Head Coach Charlie Strong Completes 2019 Coaching Staff

(via USF Communications) - University of South Florida Head Football Coach Charlie Strong has completed the Bulls’ coaching staff, officially adding one offensive coach and three defensive coaches to the staff for his third season at the helm.

On the offensive side of the ball, Strong announced the addition of Jeremy Darveau as offensive line coach. Darveau rejoins new Bulls offensive coordinator Kerwin Bell as the pair helped lead Valdosta State to an NCAA Division II national championship with the highest scoring offense (52.0 ppg) in the division last season. Also joining USF from the Valdosta staff are Kade Bell and Andrew Robustelli, who were both standouts playing under Bell at Jacksonville University and will serve as quality control analysts for the offense at USF.

On the defensive side of the ball, Strong announced the promotion of Bryan Hill to safeties coach.Hill served the last two seasons on the USF staff in a quality control position for the defense. Strong also announced the addition of Steve Ellis as defensive backs coach and Paul Spicer as defensive line coach as well as a positional change for current assistant coach Sean Cronin, who will now coach outside linebackers. Ellis joins the USF program from Middle Tennessee State, where he served as cornerbacks coach/recruiting coordinator last season and previously served as co-defensive coordinator. Spicer joins USF from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he served as assistant defensive line coach for the last four seasons.

Strong also announced the promotion of Albert Boone to director of football operations, replacing Clifford Snow, who departed to pursue opportunities outside of football. Boone had previously served as director of on campus recruiting.

“I feel very good about our coaching staff and the energy and ability they will bring to our program as we head into the 2019 season,” Strong said. “I expect our new coaches will connect very quickly and very well with our players, bring their own perspectives and ideas and will help us excel on the field and in recruiting. We are very excited for this upcoming season and are going to work.”


Darveau brings 12 years of coaching experience to USF after working the last four seasons at Valdosta State (2015-18), the last three under new Bulls offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Kerwin Bell. The pair helped lead the Blazers to the 2018 NCAA Division II championship with the nation’s No. 1 ranked scoring offense in the division (52.0 ppg).

Darveau helped lead the Blazers to a 36-10 record, three Division II playoff appearances and conference and national championships during his four seasons. The 2018 VSU offense led the nation in scoring (52.0 ppg), ranked second in first downs (341) and was fourth in total offense (523.9 ypg), red-zone offense (.901) and pass efficiency (167.37). The Blazers scored 728 points on the year, the most in NCAA Division II history, as they posted 7,334 yards (3,676 rushing/3,658 passing) and 7.9 yards per play on the year. Senior offensive linemen Jeremy King was the runner-up for the Gene Upshaw Award, presented to the most outstanding Division II lineman, and three offensive linemen earned first team all-region and all-conference honors.

Darveau began his coaching career in 2008 at Southwest Missouri State, where he served as a tight ends and running backs graduate assistant coach for two seasons (2008-09) while earning a master’s degree in business administration. He was promoted to offensive line coach/run game coordinator at SMSU in 2010, serving in that role for three seasons (2010-12) before being promoted again to offensive coordinator (2013). Prior to joining the Valdosta State program, Darveau spent the 2014 season as an offensive quality control coach at the University of Florida.

Darveau, from Dodge City, Kan., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology from Louisville, where he lettered in the 2004 and 2005 seasons as a 6-7, 322-pound offensive tackle on teams coached by Bobby Petrino. Following his collegiate career, he went on to play with the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe and the Tampa Bay Storm in the Arena Football League.


Ellis comes to USF after 10 seasons at Middle Tennessee State (2009-18), where he coached cornerbacks during his entire tenure and also took on defensive coordinator duties (2011-14) and the recruiting coordinator role (2015-18). He helped the Blue Raiders reach seven bowl games, including each of the last four seasons, and guided five all-conference players. During his stint as defensive coordinator, MTSU improved 48 spots in the national rankings in scoring defense in 2012 and in 2013 ranked fifth in turnovers gained, 17th in red zone defense and among the best in scoring defense.

Prior to his tenure at MTSU, Ellis began his coaching career at Nichols State (2003-8) where he served as safeties coach (2003), linebackers coach (2004-05) and defensive coordinator (2006-08). His 2007 defense led the Southland Conference in total and pass defense and interceptions, while his 2006 defense ranked No. 19 in the nation in total defense. He coached seven first team all-conference honorees, three All-Americans and a defensive player of the year.

Born in Mississippi, Ellis graduated from Nichols State University with a B.S. in education in 2003. He was a three-year starter and three-year all-conference honoree for the football team and served as a team captain. He posted over 200 career tackles and five interceptions.


Hill has spent the last four years as part of Charlie Strong’s staffs at Texas (2015-16) and USF (2017-18). He has served the last two years as a defensive quality control assistant at USF and was a graduate assistant at Texas, working with the linebackers and defensive ends.

Prior to his time at Texas, Hill spent two seasons at Midwestern State University (2013-14) as a graduate assistant working with the defense and special teams. He also spent two seasons at Wayland Baptist University (2011-12), starting his tenure as a graduate assistant before being promoted to defensive backs and strength and conditioning coach. Hill began his coaching career as a strength and conditioning intern at the University of Texas (2011) and worked as a student assistant in the Texas football video operations department (2006-08).

Hill graduated from the University of Texas in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in supply chain management. He earned a master’s degree in history from Wayland Baptist University in 2015.


Spicer comes to USF after serving the last four seasons as assistant defensive line coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2015-18). The Bucs totaled 38 sacks in 2016 and ranked 14th in the NFL with 41 in 2018, led by former USF standout Jason Pierre-Paul with a team-best 12.5. 

Prior to Tampa Bay, Spicer spent two seasons as assistant defensive line coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2011-12).

Spicer had an 12-year professional career as a defensive end, spending the bulk of that with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2000-08). In 11 NFL seasons with Detroit (1999), Jacksonville and New Orleans (2009), he posted 252 tackles and 28.5 sacks, and was part of New Orleans’ Super Bowl XLIV winning team. He totaled 7.5 sacks for Jacksonville in 2005 as the Jaguars reached the AFC playoffs.

Spicer was a JUCO All-American linebacker at College of DuPage (Illinois) and helped lead the Chaparrals to 24 straight wins. He went on to Saginaw Valley State where he was a two-year starter under coach Jerry Kill and was named the 1998 MVP of the Great Lakes Invitational Conference Association after posting 16.5 sacks.

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

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