Let’s Go! 56 Questions with head football coach Alex Golesh

By JOHN TIPTON, USF Advancement

Cheeseburger, ketchup only, large cheese fry. Chocolate brownie shake, optional.Alex Golesh’s Portillo’s order could be a trick play in his playbook. (Is it?)

We threw some rapid-fire passes at USF’s newest and sixth head football coach. We asked him 56 questions, a nod to USF’s founding year, 1956. The 2022 Broyles Award finalist delivered some surprising scoops — check out his all-time greatest trilogy! — final scores on his inspirations, favorites and what it takes to become a championship team.

Whether or not you’re a football fan, you’ll enjoy this fast and fun video introduction to Coach Golesh. Here’s an edited excerpt but, yes, you want to see it all! Watch the full video.

Let’s go!

Q: Earliest football memory?

Golesh: Playing in the schoolyard in New York on cement with a Nerf ball. Full tackle.

Q: Team slogan: Be who you say you are. What is the inspiration?

Golesh: This day and age, everybody talks a lot. All we ask our guys, including our coaches and staff, is just do what you say you’re going to do.

Q: You have any game day rituals or superstitions?

Golesh: I really don’t. But there’s nothing cooler than seeing my kiddos and wife before the game and reflecting a little on the sacrifices they’ve made for us to be where we are.

Q: Who controls the music in the locker room?

Golesh: Good players.

Q: When you control the music, what’s on the playlist?

Golesh: A combination of Jay-Z, Rod Wave, a little bit of Third Eye Blind.

Q: You have a victory song on the drive home?

Golesh: Sometimes the music is actually off and you get a chance to think. It’s about the quietest 20 minutes of the week.

Q: What does an Alex Golesh offense look like?

Golesh: Really, really fast. Really, really aggressive. A bunch of moving parts. Create a bunch of confusion and play as fast as imaginably possible.

Q: If you could go back in time, who would you meet?

Golesh: Mike Leach.

Q: In-N-Out Burger. What’s your order?

Golesh: Single, cheese and spread only. Combo. Pink lemonade. Get another burger just like it.

Q: Portillo’s. What’s the order?

Golesh: Cheeseburger. Ketchup only. Large cheese fry. And then depends on how you’re feeling about the chocolate brownie shake.

Q: Are they going to be sponsoring Bulls football because of you?

Golesh: They should be. 

Q: GOAT status … NFL coach, past or present?

Golesh: Bill Belichick or Mike Tomlin.

Q: Movie? 

Golesh: “Mighty Ducks.”

Q: One, two or three?

Golesh: It’s probably the greatest trilogy of our time, but I’d probably go with the original.

Q: TV show?

Golesh: “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Q: Book?

Golesh: “Swing Your Sword,” Mike Leach’s story. Fascinating.

Q: You’ve mentioned Mike Leach twice. Are you part of his coaching tree?

Golesh: I’m not. The thing I’ve always found fascinating about him is he did it his way. Whether you thought it was the right way or the wrong way, he did it his way.

Q: How do your parents inspire you?

Golesh: I watched them sacrifice everything for me and my brother to have an opportunity to do something like this. Watching them taught me you’ve got to sacrifice for what’s important.

Q: Who is one person who changed your life?

Golesh: Jeff Jones, who happens to be on our staff as our director of player development, was my high school offense coordinator. He gave me my first job as a high school coach and showed me what coaching is all about. You do it for the young men in your program and give more of yourself than you take. He taught me that at an early age. 

Q: What motivates you?
Golesh: One is my family. I think my kiddos seeing how I work and how I approach the day. The other thing is my dire fear of losing. I force myself to work as hard as I can to give our team the best chance to win.

Q: What is one piece of advice you’ve received that you want to pass on to your kids and players?
Golesh: I still think in every imaginable part of this profession, of being a dad, being a husband. I think you can achieve just about anything if you do the work.

Q: What is one accomplishment you’re most proud of?

Golesh: When guys you’ve mentored and coached want you to continue to be a part of their lives. If you do this whole coach-player relationship thing the right way, it should last a lifetime. The other is when guys have gotten called up to an active roster in the NFL. Those phone calls are as cool as anything else.

Q: What impact do you hope to have on USF? 

Golesh: I want to help us get to whatever the pinnacle is. I want us to become the best USF Bulls program we possibly can be. 

Q: You’re always chewing gum. What’s the go-to flavor? 

Golesh: Mint. I’m pretty particular about the gum. It’s Trident. 

Q: Are you going to have a dedicated gum supplier on the sideline on game day? 

Golesh: I can put gum in my pocket and grab it when I need it.

Q: What’s at the top of your bucket list? 

Golesh: Coaching my son would be pretty cool.