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Roger Harriott has change of heart

It was a job that most football coaches dream about. But in the end, it wasn't the perfect fit for Roger Harriott.

In the last week of January, while Syracuse University was putting the final touches on its 2010 recruiting class, the Orange reached out to the University School head coach, and within 24 hours, the former St. Thomas Aquinas product was in New York as the running backs coach for a program that was just starting to turn the corner in the competitive Big East.

The job was one that Harriott was eager to accept, and one that he had been looking forward to.

As he moved his wife and four girls to upstate New York to begin the always busy and on the road life as a college coach, Harriott began to see a future that perhaps would put his family on the back burner. That was enough for him to reach a decision.

This past weekend, while the rest of the country got ready for the Super Bowl, Harriott decided to resign his brief, but very impressive career at Syracuse and head back to South Florida to take his job back with the Suns as head football coach and athletic director.

"It was a decision that came down to me wanting to put my family first," Harriott said. "I have children and a wife that need me to be there for them."

Indeed, the life of a college football coach is filled with long hours and being away from the family a good portion of the year. While he was more than qualified to coach at that level, Harriott was not ready to give up the role of being a father and husband.

"I cannot say enough about Coach (Doug) Marrone and the staff at Syracuse," Harriott pointed out. "That is a program that will definitely jump into the national picture very soon. It is a first class organization with tremendous coaches, administration and fans."

Harriott comes back to a program that he started at University School. The Suns sent a number of players to college this year, and will be expected to do the same again in 2011.