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Bulls hire Brian Jean-Mary to head up defense under Strong

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New Bulls coach Charlie Strong has announced Brian Jean-Mary as the man to help with the heavy lifting with the Bulls.

Jean-Mary, USF’s new assistant head coach-defensive coordinator, takes over the Bulls’ defense, which was ranked No. 120 this season. Every team but North Illinois scored at least 20 on USF in their 11-2 season.

Jean-Mary is an 18-year coaching veteran who served on Strong’s staff at Texas for the past three seasons as the Longhorns’ linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator. Jean-Mary has spent the past seven seasons on Strong’s staffs, also joining him as assistant head coach/linebackers coach at Louisville from 2010-13. Jean-Mary also coached linebackers at Georgia Tech (2004-09) and was a secondary coach at North Alabama (2003).

“Brian has been a big part of assembling and coaching some of the best defenses in college football over the last 14 years and is ready for the next step to defensive coordinator,” Strong said. “He has recruited, coached and mentored numerous all-conference and future NFL players and I’m excited for him to work with our student-athletes at South Florida.”

 Jean-Mary helped assemble three top 15 ranked recruiting classes at Texas. The Longhorns’ 2014 signing class was ranked No. 15 by Scout, while the 2015 and 2016 classes both ranked in the top 10 checking in at No. 7 and No. 8 in the country, respectively.

 “I’m very excited to come to South Florida and have the opportunity to serve as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Coach Strong,” Jean-Mary said. “I have had the honor to work with Coach Strong over the last seven seasons and appreciate his confidence in me to lead his defense. We have some terrific talent at USF and in the state of Florida and I’m excited to be back in the state and getting to work building the Bulls defense.”

 A native of Apopka, Fla., Jean-Mary played college football at Appalachian State, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in 1998. Jean-Mary is married to the former Jerilyn Ardis and has two daughters, Brooke and Brittany.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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