Monday, November 28, 2011

As the Carousel Turns 2011-Update

Sources are confirming for us tonight that Los Angeles billionaire Casey Wasserman is going to foot the bill for UCLA's new head coach and for the staff as well. Wasserman, one of LA's power brokers, is not denying this story tonight, which means that UCLA's days of hiring on the cheap and not going after their main target may be over. Mike Leach would be considered as the lead candidate as he met with middle men in October during an LA book signing. It can only be assumed that those middle men were representative of Wasserman and his interests.

I spoke to senior members of the Weber State administration today, and any list of candidates that is floating about is premature. There is no list as of yet of candidates that Weber State intends to interview. When I asked if Paul Wulff would be considered (former Big Sky ties as HC at Eastern Washington) if he was indeed cut loose at Washington State, I was told that it was probable that Weber State would contact him. Washington State will have an announcement at 12 noon PST tomorrow (Tuesday) to announce Wulff's fate.

I also spoke with the Eastern Illinois administration today, where I was given a final 4 list of candidates who have or will interview in the coming days. The list includes Mark Hutson, the current interim coach at Tulane, Jeff Choate, Special Teams Coordinator at Boise State, Randall McCray, Special Teams/LB Coach at Pittsburgh, and Dino Babers, Outside Receivers Coach at Baylor. There was no clear favorite amongst the 4 candidates, and the Panthers expect to have an announcement on or around December 8. When asked if there were any possible late additions to this group, I was told there would not be unless any of the current candidates declined an interview, or dropped out for any purpose, and that was no expected to be the case.

I spoke with the administration at Southeastern Louisiana today. There are no current candidates to replace fired coach Mike Lucas as of yet, but the search committee was scheduled to meet tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon. I expect to hear from the school tomorrow after that meeting has commenced.

According to our main source, former Kentucky, New Mexico State, and Southeastern Louisiana coach Hal Mumme has surfaced as a candidate at D2 Incarnate Word. The Cardinals have committed fully to the program, and according to our source, many feel that Mike Santiago got a raw deal because the school wanted to go with a bigger name to take the school to the next level. Mumme is currently the coach at D3 McMurry.

Fordham has an opening, and names our source has sent us are former Nebraska intern Joe Moglia and current Stony Brook head man Chuck Friore. Friore is currently headed to the 2nd round of the FCS Playoffs after defeating Albany 31-28 in the 1st round to give Stony Brook their first ever FCS post season win. I will be speaking with the Fordham administration tomorrow.

Richmond has an opening as well, and I currently await a call back from their AD. One major name that has been handed to us by our source is John Shoop, currently the OC at North Carolina. Shoop has long term interest in the Richmond job, which would be great to stop the rotating door that this job has become. With a rabid fan base and major administrative support, Richmond is one of the better jobs in FCS football.

Columbia is working on replacing fired coach Norries Wilson, but a rumor reported by the Roar Lions Roar blog that Jim Margraff of Johns Hopkins being the lead candidate appear to be false. Our source has worked many times with Margraff, and we are told that he is a Hopkins lifer and will likely retire there. I spoke with several administrative people at Columbia today, and will do so again tomorrow.

According to our guy, nobody wants the UAB job. After making a dozen or so calls to his sources, the only name that appeared was John Neal, secondary coach at Oregon who has SEC ties. Certainly not a sexy hire, Neal has area roots, which could bode well, as he worked there under Watson Brown. Some feel that this is a negative fact, as Watson Brown seems to be a lightning rod name in split camps.

It would seem that June Junes is a primary candidate at both Arizona State and UCLA. Our source tells us that Jones would want to bring his entire staff with him to either location. The only reason that Jones did not wind up at UCLA in 2007 is because UCLA insisted on keeping DeWayne Walker on as DC, which wound up killing the deal. There will be no such issues this time around.

More information tomorrow, As the Carousel Turns!

Updated at 11PM PST

Emerging names at this hour are as follows:

Tulane: Saints WR Coach Curtis Johnson
UCLA: Mike Martz, Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin
Ole Miss: Mark Hudspeth, Hugh Freeze
SE Louisiana: Ricky Bustle (will confirm this tomorrow)
Akron: Wayne State (MI) HC Paul Winters, Jim Tressel, Luke Fickell

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