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USF will host former Bucs’ coach Lovie Smith on September 15

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The first season of new USF coach Charlie Strong will feature a familiar face.

Former Bucs’ coach Lovie Smith, now in charge of Illinois of the Big 19, vists USF on Friday, Sept. 15, in a prime-time ESPN game.

The Bulls announced their schedule Thursday, which starts with an opening game at San Diego State. The Bulls also have defending AAC champion Temple (Sept. 21), 2015 champion Houston on Nov. 4 and Tulsa, which was second in the AAC West last year. The Bulls travel to UCF on Nov. 24.

USF will host three games against 2016 bowl participants who won at least nine games last year when Houston, Temple and Tulsa come to Raymond James Stadium.

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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