BOCA RATON – Roughly a year ago, shortly after being hired has FAU’s defensive coordinator, Glenn Spencer wandered into Howard Schnellenberger Field only a few weeks after his Charlotte defense helped keep FAU from becoming bowl eligible.
The trek took him, once again, into the visitor’s locker room.
“I was checking out the facility, I just walked in there and my board was back there where I made adjustments at halftime,” Spencer said. “I went, Wow, and here I am.”
Spencer, it turns out, will only spend one season at FAU. On Sunday USF announced via Twitter that the Bulls hired Spencer to be their defensive coordinator.
The news comes less than 24 hours after, serving as FAU’s interim head coach following Lane Kiffin’s departure, Spencer led the Owls to a 52-28 victory over SMU in the Boca Raton Bowl.
Sources tell OwlAccess.com that FAU offensive coordinator Charlie Weis will join Spencer as the offensive coordinator on new coach Jeff Scott’s Bulls staff.
Spencer was a finalist for the FAU coaching job once Kiffin left, and players took to social media hoping to convince Florida Atlantic’s administration to hire Spencer. The Owls ultimately chose former FSU and USF coach Willie Taggart, who hired former USF coach Jim Leavitt to be the next Owls’ defensive coordinator. FAU and USF face each other on Sept. 26 of 2020 in Boca Raton.
Spencer admitted to being disappointed that FAU passed him over for the head coaching job.
“Of course,” Spencer said. “That’s easy. I’d be lying to you big time if didn’t say that. But I understand. Decisions are made. They are allowed to make the decision they want. I will support it and do the best I can to help out after that decision was made.”
Spencer couldn’t have stated his case for the head coaching job, or a position at a Power Five school, more clearly that with his success this season. He let statistics do the talking.
He turned one of the worst rated defenses in football last season into one that allowed only 22.3 points per game, No. 33 nationally. The Owls enter bowl season ranked No. 1 in turnover margin at plus 20, number that grew by one on Saturday.
The turnaround is similar to the one Spencer orchestrated the year prior at Charlotte.
Spencer hoped that if he could turn the Owls back into a Conference USA champion, this stop at FAU would finally lead to his first FBS head coaching job.
“I aspire to be a head coach again,” said Spencer, who went 28-7 as the head man at Division II from 1998-2000. “West Georgia, I was a good one when I did it. My window might be closing now, but with Lane’s name recognition and notoriety, I come down here and help have a good year, Bam!, something big is going to happen. He’s going to go and get a big Power Five job and then I might have a chance to take this thing over or go back up [to a Power Five school]. And then you kind of get around the kids and you start getting relationships and it becomes that again. But career-wise why I came here happened.”