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Bob Shoop hired as defensive coordinator for USF Football

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Shoop brings over 33 years of coaching experience, including 17 as a DC, and an accolade list that’s long.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 17 Arkansas at Mississippi State Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A few weeks after the late-season firing of former defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer, USF football has announced Bob Shoop will be the defensive coordinator for USF football in a pivotal third year for Coach Scott.

Shoop comes to Tampa by way of Miami, where he spent the 2021 season as a defensive analyst under Manny Diaz. Shoop’s prior experiences include stops at Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Penn State, and Vanderbilt. During those stops, he’s racked up many accolades to his resume, including being a Broyles award finalist in 2018 to highlight his 17-year defensive coordinator resume.

The 2018 Mississippi State defense has been touted as one of the best in the school’s history and ended up in the top 10 in four major statistical categories: total defense (263.1 yards per game), scoring defense (13.2 points per game), rushing defense (95.8 ypg), and pass defense (168.0 ypg). Shoop’s guidance also paid off for three Bulldogs as Jeffrey Simmons, Montez Sweat and Jonathan Abram were all selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Six of the last nine defenses lead by Shoop as the defensive coordinator resulted in a Top 25 in the national total defensive rankings. Most importantly, Shoop understands the importance of tailoring his defenses around the players, rather than trying to fit the players into a scheme. He was quoted during his time at Mississippi state saying:

“It is going to be personnel driven, rather than scheme driven…You try to tailor your scheme to what your players can do. The analogy I use is Lebron James in basketball. What position does he play? Well, he plays them all. If you have Lebron James on your team, you are going to use him differently than how you might use a different player.”

Shoop begin his defensive coordinator career at William and Mary in 2007, where after three seasons, he was hired away to become the defensive coordinator under James Franklin at Vanderbilt in 2011. Despite the daunting task of being Vanderbilt in the SEC, Shoop was able to command a defense that finished in the Top 25 in total defense in all three seasons in Nashville.

From there, he and James Franklin moved to Happy Valley to coach at Penn State, where the 2014 Nittany Lions ranked seventh in total defense and seventh in scoring defense. Shoop was named Defensive Coordinator of the Year by 247Sports. He joined the Tennessee Volunteers staff under Butch Jones in 2016 and in 2018 had moved on to Mississippi State for two seasons.

After head coach Joe Moorhead was fired from Mississippi state in 2019, he was then hired by Michigan to be their safeties coach in 2020. Although the 2020 football season was riddled with COVID-19 cancelations and odd changes, Shoop moved into an off-field role within the team during the season, before quite making his way to Miami after the season as a defensive analyst.

Shoop will have the responsibility of turning around a USF defense that was continuously ranked as one of the worst in the country during the 2021 season, both in scoring and yards given up. He’ll have some help though, as a wealth of transfers and recruits along the defensive side of the ball should bode well for a new, more aggressive style of defense that Shoop touts.