With his first hire, USF coach Charlie Strong added a hint of Texas to his staff.
Strong added offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert, who worked for him in the same capacity with the Longhorns.
Gilbert served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach under Strong at Texas during the 2016 season and previously held positions as co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Tulsa (2015), Bowling Green (2014) and Eastern Illinois (2012-13). Gilbert’s last four offenses at four different universities have posted a combined average of 505.3 yards and 36.8 points per game, producing 304.3 yards per game through the air and 200.9 yards per game on the ground.
“Sterlin has put together a tremendous track record of developing players and producing highly productive offenses that build on his players strengths,” Strong said. “He’s young and passionate about his players and the game of football. We are excited to have Sterlin on our Bulls staff and to have him working with the very talented players we have at South Florida.”
Gilbert’s Texas offense ranked 17th in the nation and second in the Big 12 in rushing, posting 239.3 yards per game on the ground, and was 16th nationally and fifth in the Big 12 averaging 491.3 total yards per game. Longhorn running back D’Onta Foreman became just the 28th player in FBS history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season. He ran for over 100 yards in all 11 games he played and ranked first in the nation in rushing yards per game (184.4 ypg), second in total rushing yards (2,028 yards) and third in all-purpose yards (191.18 ypg). Foreman earned first team All-America honors and was named the 2016 Doak Walker Award winner and the 2016 Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Year.
“I’m excited to join Coach Strong at South Florida and to get to work building on the great season they just had,” Gilbert said. “We have some very talented players, led by a dynamic quarterback in Quinton Flowers, and I am really looking forward to working with them and the great football talent in the state of Florida. Being a former high school coach, I look forward to meeting the high school coaches in the state and know they play great football here.”
Prior to Texas, Gilbert led a Tulsa offense that ranked 11th in the nation in passing (333.2 ypg), 13th in total offense (507.4 ypg) and 21st in scoring (37.2 ppg) in the nation.
Gilbert was a three-year starter and two-year captain at quarterback at Angelo State University, where he led the Rams to back-to-back Lone Star Conference South Division championships and concluded his career fourth all-time in total offense at the school. He was also a two-time All-State quarterback and 1996 District MVP at San Angelo Lake View High School, where he also earned Big XII Region All-America and All-West Texas 4A MVP honors.
He earned his degree in kinesiology with a minor in history from Angelo State in 2002.
The Bulls will play seven home games in Raymond James Stadium in 2017, hosting notable games vs. Illinois, Houston, Temple, Tulsa and Cincinnati.