Friday, December 3, 2010

Coaching News 12/3

It's been a couple of days since I was able to post as I was on the road. I am back, and ready to get this thing fired back up. Let's get caught up with what has transpired since last Tuesday night...

The process is still ongoing. Several candidates bailed out on the Gophers, which means to me that they are now down to about choice number 4. Navy HC Ken Niumatololo has interviewed. Mike Bellotti has been contacted by the search firm twice, according to He is not talking to Minnesota. They still are not talking to the guy that they should approach, Mark Trestman (Montreal HC, CFL), who won the Grey Cup. Jeff Jagodzinski and Randy Shannon appear to be on the radar as well, as is Houston HC Kevin Sumlin.

Texas State
It is being confirmed in several circles that Dennis Franchione is in the mix. He would by my front runner to land the job. TCU ST and TE Coach Dan Sharp is under consideration as well.

Bill McCartney is a little bit bitter right now. He is definately not in the running, and I believe that he was a candidate for his own mind...nobody is a better self promoter than this guy. He is swearing from the mountain top that Jon Embree has been hired as HC, and Eric Bienemy is the OC. Embree and Bienemy worked together at UCLA. Hiring Embree as HC would basically be the same thing as throwing in the towel. It's a hire on the cheap, if it is indeed done. The only other candidate is Alabama OC Jim McElwain, who did indeed interview day before yesterday. Air Force HC Troy Calhoun has pulled out of the race.

Al Golden is out of the mix, as is Gus Malzahn, who is holding out for a better gig. Randy Shannon is definately in the mix and Stanford assistant Greg Roman has interviewed. Jeff Bower and Tommy Bowden are also pushing to get into the mix here.

Arkansas State
While I was away, Michael Oher's high school coach, Hugh Freeze, was hired to replace Steve Roberts at Arkansas State. Freeze was the OC at ASU this past season, and has an intriguing weapon in QB Ryan Aplin, who will be a junior in 2011.

Ball State
The search seemingly has narrowed to Stanford ST Coach Brian Polian, who obviously has the backing of his father, Colts President Bill Polian. San Diego State Rb Coach Jeff Hecklinski has a ton of backing from other sources. Don Treadwell is hanging in as well.

This seems to be the most talked about job outside of Miami right now. Toledo HC Tim Beckman is on the radar, as are Air Force HC Troy Calhoun, Wisconsin OC Paul Chryst, Southern Miss HC Larry Fedora, Temple HC Al Golden, Miami (Ohio) HC Mike Haywood, Brady Hoke, Jerry Kill of Northern Illinois, Glen Mason, Harvard HC Tim Murphy, Bilbo Baggins, Bruce Willis, Mickey Mouse, Prince (and the Revolution) and probably me (I'd talk to them if they call).
Being serious, it seems to have been narrowed down for now to Chryst, Don Treadwell, Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson, and Murphy as the dark horse. Murphy really does deserve a shot at a solid job.
Late additions are Tulsa HC Todd Graham and Penn State Assistant Ron Vanderlinden.

Kent State
Paul Chryst shows up on this list as well. Dana Holgorssen is still on the list and remains as a viable candidate. Don Treadwell would be a solid choice here if he did not land the Indiana job. Mike McQueary of Penn State, Chuck Martin of Notre Dame, and UTEP DC Andre Patterson are the outside candidates.
I learned a bit about Chuck Martin, and I was a little off about him not having head man experience. He took over for Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State, and did quite well there, but one has to wonder why he did not land a job as a head man rather than joining Kelly at Notre Dame as an assistant?

Solid list of names here with Joe DeForrest, Mark Hudspeth, Garrick McGee, Ed Orgeron, Carl Pelini, Frank Scelfo, and Mike Sewak. Add to this list Georgia Southern HC Jeff Monken. Monken would be a solid favorite of mine, along with Orgeron and Hudspeth, the former HC at North Alabama. Tom Dienhart is reporting that Sewak, DeForrest, and Monken are the focus right now. But expect Carl Pelini to get deeper into the picture after this weekend.
And according to friend of the site Kaiser Koon, ESPN Radio in Lafayette, LA is reporting that Gary Crowton of LSU, Gunter Brewer of Oklahoma State, and Burton Burns of Alabama are all on the list as well.

Jon Gruden is out of the mix. My theory is that he used this opening to set the bar as far as what he is looking for in the NFL (financially) and his sights are firmly set on the NFL and always have been.
That being said, the search turns to Dan Mullen of Mississippi State. He is the number one choice at this time. After that, consider Mike Leach, Tommy Tuberville, Kevin Sumlin, and and Mario Cristobal as the fall backs. Still on the outside is Brent Venables, even though he says that he is not interested in a job as anything other than Oklahoma's DC.

There have been rumors about OC Greg Davis, but nothing has been decided according to the AD.

New Mexico
As was called by Keith Harding last week, Mike Locksley has been retained.

Bob Toledo has been retained for the 2011 season.

North Texas
Only Mike Canales and Mike Nelson will return to the staff for 2011 to work for Dan McCarney.

Neil Callaway is apprently considering Memphis assistant Mike DuBose for the DC spot.

Northern Colorado
Our friend Kaiser Coon is also reporting that Derek Frazier (OC, Fresno State), a former alum and 4 year letterman at UNC, is a name that is heating up in Greeley. A sticking point would be assistant salaries.

North Carolina A&T
LC Cole is now interested in the job. Cole is an HBCU vet.

Delaware State
According to unnamed sources, HC Al Laven has been dismissed.

Steve Patton has been fired as HC, according to

More news over the weekend...

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