Wednesday, November 23, 2011

As the Coaching Carousel Turns-Volume 1 2011

It's that time of year again when we get to start speculating on who will be going where when the coaching carousel stops turning. It had been my intention to not start the carousel series up until next week, but there is just so much already going on that we had to start up ahead of schedule this season. Let's take a good look at the latest rumors, rumblings, and goings on around the country, as we receive information from our own sources, sources on the web, and you, the fans and alumni.
As we already know, new coaches have landed at New Mexico (Bob Davie) and Arizona (Rich Rodriguez). In my opinion, both hires were home runs for those programs.
Starting with Davie at New Mexico, the Lobos crushed that hire, as Davie is everything that Mike Locksley was not. He will charm the locals, he will instill discipline, and he will eventually win to a respectable level. Don't pin everything on Notre Dame on Davie, as he was taking over for Lou Holtz, who had (as he always has) left Notre Dame on probation. Davie is a solid, seasoned coach, who after 9 years as an assistant at Texas A&M, has a solid feel for the American Southwest. Davie will recruit well, and given time, take New Mexico to another level.
Rodriguez was a grand slam at Arizona. He never would have succeeded at Michigan, as he was never supported properly from day one. There were Michigan people that hated him right out of the gate, but that won't happen in Tucson, where his high energy spread offense will be a breath of fresh air. His style fits the west coast properly, and Rodriguez will build a fearsome program, much like he had at West Virginia. Arizona could not have made a better move in a million tries. This was a brilliant hire for the Wildcats and Greg Byrne. Announcing the hire on Twitter? Pure forward thinking.

Here are the latest rumors and happenings going on as the Carousel Turns...

Florida Atlantic appears to be the frontrunner for Mike Leach, according to our well placed source. Leach is seeking out his best option to run his defense at FAU so that he can concentrate on running his Air Raid offense without any distractions. Leach has been living in Key West since being fired at Texas Tech, and would have a few offers, but he seems most comfortable with this move. Short of UCLA dumping Neuheisel for him, this appears to be a done deal.

Boston College will likely fire Frank Spaziani and his staff after this weekend's game against Miami, according to our source. We have speculated this move, as Spaziani has been in the Dead Pool most of this season. Our source informs us that we can expect BC to take a look at Temple coach Steve Addaazio, who was a finalist when the Eagles stayed in house and hired Spaziani.

Akron appears to already be in the mood to dump Rob Ianello and his staff after another disaster of a season with the Zips. Sources state that Ianello will be removed, along with his entire staff, on Monday. Our own source claims that the alumni at Akron are pushing for a move at this time, which would confirm all that we have heard.

Purdue may need more than a win this weekend against Indiana to save Danny Hope. While a loss would certainly end his tenure, rumblings out of West Lafayette are stating that Hope may be out either way. No rumors yet on potential replacements, but this may bear some watching.

We have been reporting this for some time, but Joker Phillips may be running out of time at Kentucky. High profile administrators have been backing off of support for Phillips like he has contracted the plague, and finding public support from anyone of power in Lexington is about as easy as finding a living, breathing unicorn. Phillips may not survive to get one more season with the Wildcats.

We reported on Twitter that several sources had stated that Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson has already told his staff that he will not coach the Sun Devils next fall. He has publicly stated in the last two days that he is not going anywhere, but sources are now telling us that he will only stay through the bowl game, and that he will walk away after that. That is, if the alumni don't push for a move sooner, which they very well might after falling to Arizona last weekend.

Weber State is making a run for Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin. Baldwin is coming off of a rather disappointing season at EWU after winning the 2010 national championship, meaning that he may be more available to WSU due to conventional thinking in Ogden. Baldwin has never coached outside the State of Washington, having also been the head guy at Central Washington.

The name we are hearing from our source in regards to the Columbia job is Penn Defensive Coordinator Ray Priore, who is the brother of Stony Brook head man Chuck Priore. Priore has been the DC for some time at Penn, and has solid knowledge of the Ivy League, making him an attractive fit for the Lions.

South Dakota has fired Ed Meierkort and his staff as they prepare to make the move to the Missouri Valley Conference with the folding of the Great West Conference. Now word yet on potential replacements.

Texas Southern and Richmond will not be staying with their respective interim coaches, but will interview them for those openings, meaning that they stand a snowball's chance in hell of retaining their jobs.

Now word yet on potential replacements at UMass for fired coach Kevin Morris, as the Minutemen transition to the FBS and the MAC in 2012. We will report on movement as reports become available, and I fully expect to speak with the UMass athletic department on Monday.

Mike Lucas is out at Southeast Louisiana.

No word yet on the Fordham opening, but I will be speaking to them on Monday as well.

There are four openings on the D2 level, including Incarnate Word, Missouri Southern, Eastern New Mexico, and South Dakota Mines, and there will be more moves coming. I will update as we receive info on those jobs as well.

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