Jose Fernandez might be the best women's college basketball coach in America.
If you haven't followed his South Florida program, you wouldn't know it. But the evidence is there.
When you break it down, his accomplishments are more impressive than Geno Auriemma's.
Laugh and scream about that and when you're done take a look.
Fernandez took over a USF program in 2000 that was mired in racial strife and had only three winning seasons in the 20 years prior to his arrival.
It needed a sociologist or psychologist more than an Xs-and-Os guy, and he has proven to be all of that.
The stands during game days resembled an oasis.
So, fast forward to 2016.
The USF women will be making their third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years and fourth overall (all under Fernandez). The Lady Bulls are the third seed in the Bridgeport Regional and will face Colorado on Saturday night at UCLA.
There were more fans at their selection party than you could've found in the stands when Fernandez took over the program.
He started as the interim head coach, and you could count on one hand how many people expected him to get the job full time.
Fernandez proved resilient and a person of high character, which in the beginning was the most im
portant ingredient needed to run the program.
In his first game as head USF coach, the Bulls lost by 35 points. They finished 4-24 that year and two seasons later were 7-20.
The administration kept him on, perhaps because no one wanted the job as badly as he did.
He has proven to be a relentless recruiter who can spot talent in ninth-graders and sticks with them as he did with Shantia Grace, the Sarasota Riverview product, who played a key role in USF winning the WNIT in 2009, which jump-started the program to a another level.
Fernandez has now strung together four straight 20-win-plus seasons. He made the program's success personal last October when he and his wife created the Jose and Tonya Fernandez Women's Basketball Scholarship, which was the first endowed scholarship for the program that has made 11 postseason appearances in the last 12 years under Fernandez, who is in his 16th season as the Bulls head coach.
In the not-too-distant future, the USF softball team could be looking like Manatee County North.
Five Manatee County softball players have either signed or verbally committed to USF and will join Braden River graduate Kenya Yancy now with the Bulls.
The list includes LaShara James and Miriam Schmoll (Bayshore); Kinsey Goelz and Maddie Koczersut (Lakewood Ranch); and Bethany Keen (Braden River).
The USF football team made an incredible improvement in its offense last season, but head coach Willie Taggart is not content.
Taggart and some of his staff members are visiting Baylor this week to learn more about the high-powered offense that ranked first in the country last year (FBS) under Art Briles.
Ray Woodie, the Bulls defensive coordinator and former Palmetto/Bayshore head football coach, recently attended the NCAA and NFL Coaches Academy, which in many ways is a precursor for becoming a college head coach.
Alan Dell, Herald sports columnist/writer, can be reached at 941-745-7056. Follow him on Twitter @ADellSports.