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Guest Post: Dr. Matt Has Some Thoughts on Doug Woolard, The Consultant.

Do not mess with Dr. Matt.

[Editor’s Note: From time to time, Dr. Matt provides our Slack with something that just needs to be written about on the site. This is one of them.]

In the interest of full disclosure, what I’m about to write is about two people I used to work for. As someone who likes my current bosses, I feel compelled to say this is out of character for me. I greatly value the privacy of my business relationships as a sign of showing mutual respect. If I have a problem with someone, I go to them in private - like an adult - and don’t say things to others unless I absolutely have to. But this biography page is so egregiously and hysterically wrong, I literally couldn’t resist commenting…

So, I am not entirely sure how I happened upon this link, but I am so glad I did. Carr Sports Consulting starts out by telling us why you - yes, you - should hire former USF Athletics Director Doug Woolard as a sports consultant! They let you know that “Doug is universally recognized for his work related to national issues and conference realignment.”

That sure is one way of looking at it!

Another way of looking at it is that the literal highlight of his tenure was making his employees vote non-stop for a national mascot contest for four straight months - presumably because he believed deep in his soul that winning the Capitol One Mascot Challenge would show the world and Florida specifically that USF had arrived as a NATIONAL BRAND. But on the very same day that he finally won his hard-fought prize, our rival school won the Fiesta Bowl, and then he got fired retired two weeks later. What rotten luck! It’s almost like pretty much anyone could have seen this coming...

(By the way... they don’t do the Capitol One Mascot Challenge anymore because an Athletic Director literally got fired for actually wanting to win it. Well, that and nobody actually cares. Nobody ever cared. Except Doug Woolard.)

Doug’s biography on Carr Sports Consulting is chock-full of flattering “facts.” Did you know: “Woolard hired several successful head coaches who led their respective programs to conference and national prominence both on and off the field of competition.” This is a thing that he alleges happened. He motivated “Several” winners to #ComeToUSF. Or is it several “winners”? I don’t know which word to emphasize sarcastically that makes it funnier. Let’s try both!



You know what? It works!

His signature hire was Skip Holtz, who took over a team that was 8-5 the previous year, and been ranked as high as #2 in the country only three years prior, and was good enough in his first year to beat a Clemson team coached by Dabo Swinney in his first year. He then beat Brian Kelly’s Notre Dame squad in South Bend. But after a 52-24 win against UTEP, he proceeded to go 4-16 and drove the program into the ground. He did this all making weird excuses along the way, like blaming a loss to UConn on hand lotion. And let’s not forget the infamous 2012 USF-Miami game, where he burned Bobby Eveld’s redshirt, only to see the poor guy blow out his AC joint. And he completely mismanaged the end of the first half, which led to this infamous GIF:

(For relatively new USF fans, I am not making that USF-Clemson game up. We won 31-26. Clemson was only a 5-point favorite, and it wasn’t really that much of an upset that USF won. Clemson fans openly wondered if Dabo was the right man for the job. We nearly cost Clemson several national titles with that win. Wow, have times changed. Skip is a genuinely nice man, but he struggled hard here.)

(Also, in Doug’s defense, one of his successor’s signature hires was Orlando Antigua for men’s basketball. Antigua went 9–23 and 7–24 in his two seasons, and then left the program in such a quagmire of incompetence and self-imposed sanctions that the program still hasn’t recovered. USF was like “we need to punish ourselves hard to show the NCAA we really didn’t condone this.” That is so rare! You know things are bad when the program suffers a very public and humiliating racial scandal and the fan base thinks “You know what? I think I’ve seen worse. Recently.” So Woolard has that going for him, which is nice.)

(Another thing in Doug’s defense. USF’s second choice was Mark Hollis, and fans felt passionately that he should have been picked over Woolard. But the horrifying Larry Nassar scandal happened on his watch. So Woolard also has that going for him, which is also nice.)

But who Doug did hire was his right-hand man—and guy who looks like a divorced dad who blew his daughter’s tuition on Blackjack AGAIN—Bill McGillis. Bill is one of the most toxic human beings I’ve ever met in my life. Here is my representative story, and other USF Athletics employees can and have shared stories that are every bit as bad, if not worse.

So I am getting a haircut at a barbershop across Fowler Avenue. They have a sign in their window saying USF students can get a discount, and they use the USF logo. Bill walks in and starts yelling at her that if she is going to use the logo, then they need to give the school something in return. He literally threatens to sue her, and then says he won’t sue her if they give away free haircuts for the first half of the next men’s basketball game (probably deliberately chose the men’s game so he could get more free haircuts). And this lady replies, “or... I can just take this sign down.” He sees me and storms out in a huff. And he never looked me in the eye after that. Like why are you avoiding me? I didn’t say anything. I minded my own business! I kept this story to myself for years. You’re avoiding me because you know what you did was wrong.

I’ll be honest, I debated whether to include this story, but what do I care at this point? He’s the one who literally went out into public and talked to the manager of a barber shop like that, not me. I’m not betraying any confidences. He’s the one to willing choose to go to another business location – presumable one with security cameras on the premises - and do that where someone can put it on film as evidence. And it’s not like the idea of Bill being a terrible boss to most of the employees at USF Athletics is some kind of secret. There have been articles on this website where his departure was celebrated. And reporters willing shared stories on Twitter saying that ”People were actually hugging and high fiving in the halls.”

And all those other posts about him have been in the public domain since 2014, and he got hired at a two new jobs since then, so it’s not like what I’m writing will hurt his career or reputation in any way. Nor do I want it to for that matter. I have made peace with my experience working for him. If he’s hurt by what I’m saying, I will go full Stephen A. Smith:

Also, talking about McGillis while making fun of Woolard is perfectly fine too, because Bill is who Doug Woolard really hired (not all these alleged “successful head coaches” he hired), and allowed that purveyor of culture to fester on his watch. Between people like Woolard, McGillis, Joe Hice, and Dr. Steven Currall (among others), I’m tired of my alma mater hiring toxic people to run the institution. If this means I’ve burned a bridge with the school that I love so much and genuinely feel can be a force for good in the world, then so be it.

Here’s another bold claim supporting Doug’s prodigiousness on this biographical page: “Woolard transitioned the University of South Florida into the Big East Conference.” You did no such thing! USF joined the conference the year before you were the Athletic Director. What actually happened is you got outmaneuvered at every turn and took us from a Power-league school to a non-Power league school in less than a decade.

Hundreds of millions of dollars gone.

To quote OutKast, that money is gone “Forever, forever, ever, forever, ever?”

“Universally recognized.” I read that “recognized” in the same way Nick Fury said “I recognize that the Council has made a decision. But given that it’s a stupid-ass decision, I’ve elected to ignore it” in The Avengers.

His last claim amused me greatly. He was “a prominent figure on several national committees,” one of which was serving as “an alternate to the NCAA Management Council.” I actually kind of admire, in a perverse way, how he claims a role where he did not do the work as experience.

Which, in a way, makes him a perfect consultant.