Expect Joe Kinnan to be on the USF football staff very soon.
He will either be the Bulls offensive coordinator or offensive specialist, with authority to call plays.
If Kinnan comes on as a "specialist" USF head coach Willie Taggart would declare himself offensive coordinator.
The deck was cleared for USF to hire Kinnan when the Bulls fired their offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and assistant head coach earlier this week, and there have been ongoing discussions between the two parties, sources have said.
This would be good for Kinnan. It would be good for Taggart, and lord knows it would be good for the Bulls' offense.
Taggart is looking for coaches who have won and have that 'it' factor. He has gone through two offensive coordinators in two years, and now knows he needs some stability.
Kinnan is more than just a hall of fame high school coach who guided Manatee to five state titles and seven state final appearances with 290 victories -- he is a resident genius that successful college coaches have sought out before.
While he was winning those state titles, Kinnan was also conducting informal study sessions for some of those highly paid collegiate coaches who wanted to pick his brain.
"Anything I say would be premature. I cannot comment on this," Kinnan said. "I was not prepared to step away from coaching at Manatee but because of my health I had to do it. I am doing much better now and been traveling a lot."
Guys like Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Nebraska's legendary hall of fame coach Tom Osborne are among those who have lauded Kinnan for his offensive mind.
The Manatee legend's finger prints can be seen on the Auburn offense that has been one of the most prolific since Malzahn became offensive coordinator and then head coach.
Taggart asked Kinnan if he was interested in joining USF in 2013, but the conversation never got any further because he was settled in at Manatee.
Times have changed.
Taggart called the plays when he was head coach at Western Kentucky, and the opportunity to do that again at USF with Kinnan at his side creates a lot of excitement.
"More and more head coaches are calling plays in college like Gus (Malzahn) and Jimbo Fisher at Florida State. It would be natural for Willie. I called the plays at Manatee," Kinnan said.
Malzahn took the spread offense with zone reads that Kinnan was running, tweaked it a little with blocking schemes, and wound up averaging 40-something points a game.
You need a smart, athletic quarterback to run it, and the Bulls might have that in freshman Quinton Flowers. If not, history says that someone in the junior college ranks just needs to be plugged in -- the two most successful quarterbacks under Malzahn were JUCO signees Cam Newton and current Tiger Nick Marshall.
Some say Flowers reminds folks of former Manatee quarterback great Tommie Frazier, who ran the option to two national titles at Nebraska.
Taggart quarterbacked Manatee to a state title and state final under Kinnan before earning All-American honors at Western Kentucky running the option under Jack Harbaugh.
He tried to incorporate the pro-style offense Jim Harbaugh used at Stanford into the USF offense, but it has been a struggle. The players he recruited seem to be more suited to run the spread.
If we are reading the tea leaves correctly from the USF administration, Taggart's status with the program beyond next year is uncertain. That could make it tough to get a highly touted offensive coordinator, but it wouldn't bother Kinnan.
The 66 year-old Kinnan coached college for 10 years and was the offensive coordinator at Eastern Kentucky when it won the I-AA national title in 1979.
He was an assistant at Arkansas where he coached with some of the game's greatest, including Joe Gibbs, Frank Broyles and Jimmy Johnson. Six guys he coached with in college went on to become NFL head coaches.
It seems every college coach wants to talk to Joe about his shovel pass. The staff members released from Taggart's cabinet were all involved in recruiting, so a decision should be made soon so those players can get acquainted with the new staff.
Time is of the essence.