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South Florida, Syracuse coaches, players arrive ahead of Boca Raton Bowl

USF coach Alex Golesh, Syracuse interim head coach Nunzio Campanile embrace warm-weather experience
Doug Mosley, executive director of Boca Raton Bowl, with Syracuse Orange interim head coach Nunzio Campanile and USF Bulls head coach Alex Golesh, Dec. 17, 2023
Posted at 11:09 PM, Dec 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-17 23:09:51-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — South Florida and Syracuse coaches and players have arrived in Palm Beach County for Thursday night's Boca Raton Bowl.

The Bulls and Orange will spend this week preparing for their first-ever appearance in Palm Beach County's only bowl game.

First-year USF head coach Alex Golesh and Syracuse interim head coach Nunzio Campanile met with the South Florida media Sunday during an introductory news conference at the Cox Science Center in West Palm Beach.

USF Bulls head coach Alex Golesh speaks at introductory news conference for Boca Raton Bowl, Dec. 17, 2023
South Florida head coach Alex Golesh speaks during an introductory news conference, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, at the Cox Science Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Both coaches said they're excited to be playing a December bowl game in warm weather, though for different reasons.

"How cool is it that we work where people play bowl games?" Golesh said of the Boca Raton Bowl, which is played on the campus of Florida Atlantic University at FAU Stadium. "I still pinch myself. I've spent enough time in the cold that I feel fortunate that we work where people are playing bowl games."

Campanile, who led the Orange to bowl eligibility in their final regular-season game after Dino Babers was fired, said his players are "definitely excited" to be playing in Florida.

Syracuse Orange interim head coach Nunzio Campanile at Boca Raton Bowl introductory news conference, Dec. 17, 2023
Syracuse interim head coach Nunzio Campanile speaks during an introductory news conference for the Boca Raton Bowl, Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, at the Cox Science Center in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Eleven Syracuse players hail from the Sunshine State, including five from South Florida.

"Some of them get to come home and play in front of their friends and family, so that's a neat opportunity," Campanile said.

This will be USF's first bowl game since the 2018 Gasparilla Bowl. That was the same year Syracuse last won a bowl game.

The Boca Raton Bowl kicks off Thursday at 8 p.m.