Manhattan coach Steve Masiello has emerged as a serious candidate to replace Stan Heath at South Florida, multiple sources told CBSSports.com on Saturday.
Masiello just completed his third season at Manhattan.
The 36-year-old former Rick Pitino assistant took the Jaspers to this week's NCAA Tournament, where they pushed Pitino's Louisville Cardinals to the final minutes before losing in the Round of 64 on Thursday. Masiello is widely considered to be an elite recruiter and rising star in the industry. Sources told CBSSports.com that among those supporting Masiello's candidacy is Chris Sullivan, a co-founder of Outback Steakhouse and influential Tampa resident who is close with Pitino.
USF finished 12-20 this season, 3-15 in the American Athletic Conference.
Pitino was asked about Masiello and USF after Louisville's win over Saint Louis on Saturday. Pitino told the Tampa Bay Times that Masiello had asked him about the job on Friday, and, per Pitino, "I said, ‘For you, it's a grand slam.'”