Tuesday, December 10, 2013

As the Coaching Carousel Turns: December Edition 2

There has been more movement this week, but one thing that has shocked me thus far is that there have been far fewer moves made in terms of firings are concerned. Schools like Virginia and Hawaii could very well make moves, and could make them still, but for whatever reason, they are still holding on. It makes zero sense.

Let's take a look at what's happened in the last week, and check some rumors and information that are coming across my email from multiple sources...

Wake Forest
The Deacons may have moved just a bit too quickly this week in hiring Bowling Green's Dave Clawson. There were certainly better candidates available (Pete Lembo, anyone?) Clawson's record at Bowling Green was just 31-31, with one MAC title.
Clawson's experience at schools like Fordham and Richmond wore on the decision, as Clawson had some success at private schools with academic standards, but that alone is hardly a great reason for this hire.

The Cowboys made a major splash by picking up North Dakota State's Craig Bohl, who will continue to coach NDSU through the playoffs. Bohl built NDSU into a super power in the FCS ranks, but before we get too excited about that, remember Bobby Hauck's struggles in transitioning from Montana to UNLV. It's not a lock by any means, but Bohl was a great get for a Wyoming program that is trying to turn pages from mediocrity to annual power in the northwest.

One of my best sources still believes that Norm Chow has got to go and will soon. One name he brought to my attention was June Jones, who may decide to leave SMU, and could be persuaded to return to the Islands for another go in Rainbowville. Jones is not happy at SMU, and my source mentioned the botched attempt at the Arizona State job as proof.

Pat Narduzzi and Pete Lembo have both interviewed for the job in Atlanta over the last 36 hours. Narduzzi just won the Broyles Award, and is likely now the front runner. Rob Ambrose is rumored to have interviewed at some point, but could get one more look. Narduzzi is now clearly the front runner.
Notre Dame DC Bob Diaco has now had his name attached to this job as well.
Fordham's Joe Moorhead is one candidate who is now out of the running, as he accepted an extension through 2020 to remain at Fordham.

Boise State
Dirk Koetter appears to be the front runner here. He could be offered sometime tonight, if it hasn't happened already. Justin Wilcox appears not to be expecting a shot at the job, and former assistant (and current Arkansas State coach) Bryan Harsin has dropped out of the running.
In a late note, Jeff Tedford has been rumored to have interviewed, but apparently has not. Tedford appears to be a plan B if Koetter doesn't work out.

There are conflicting reports that Mack Brown intends to step down by the end of the week. This has been confirmed, and denied, by many different sources. We are on a wait and see approach. One report had Texas ready to offer Nick Saban $100 million over seven seasons and a 1% share in Longhorn Network profits. I don't see Saban leaving Alabama, but he's hardly dependable when he denies a story (see Miami Dolphins).

The Tide is prepared to offer Saban $7 million a year to stay, so I am guessing that the $100 million rumor from Texas is way off. Saban will stay for that money.

Eastern Michigan
Jeff Wristen from Colorado State-Pueblo has interviewed for the job, but now Dino Babers of Eastern Illinois now seems to be a hot name for the job, and he has interviewed, along with Louisville RB coach Kenny Carter.

The Owls are sill spinning their wheels trying to hire a coach, and three names have dropped out of the running in Eddie Gran, Mario Christobal, and Charlie Partridge from Arkansas. Luke Fickell could still be the target, but names keep on spinning around this job.

Lehigh OC Dave Cecchini is the new head coach at Valporaiso, a place that has been a graveyard for years. This program is a mess, but this is a solid hire for the Crusaders.

Bowling Green
It's early, but the first name out is Tennessee OC Mike Bajakian. He's a guy who had some success while at Cincinnati, and could be a solid get fro the Falcons. It's possible that Dino Babers could shift his attention here as well. BGSU is certainly a better job than Eastern Michigan right now.

Southern Utah
Ed Lamb has been extended at SUU through 2020. He's a solid coach who deserved this, getting the Thunderbirds to the FCS playoffs in year one competing in the Big Sky.

Bobby Lamb has received an extension after leading the Bears to 10 years in the first season of competition for the program. His extension reaches to 2019.

More later in the week!

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