The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Sunday, Dec. 22

The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Sunday, Dec. 22

USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton, who guided the Trojans to a 45-20 victory over Fresno State on Saturday in the Las Vegas Bowl, will be retained by new coach Steve Sarkisan, according to the Los Angeles Times.

USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton will be part of Steve Sarkisian's staff. (Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times)

USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton will be part of Steve Sarkisian’s staff. (Photo: Luis Sinco, Los Angeles Times)

Sarkisian has hired three former Washington assistants — Johnny Nansen, Keith Heyward and Peter Sirmon — but is still in the process of assembling his Trojans staff.

A source at USC with knowledge of the hiring process told the Times that megarecruiter Tosh Lupoi’s chance of being hired by USC was now “less than zero,” as both USC and Washington are investing whether the ace recruiter violated NCAA rules by paying for private tutoring and online classes for a recruit.

Barring a last minute change of heart, blockbuster names like Nick Saban and Jim Harbaugh appear to be off the board for Texas.

Multiple sources tell us that Jimbo Fisher has emerged as the most likely target for the Longhorns. Other coaches like Baylor’s Art Briles and LSU’s Les Miles are also garnering interest according to informed sources.

HookEm247 reports Briles, Charlie Strong of Louisville, Jim Mora of UCLA, Pat Fitzgerald or Northwestern, Al Golden of Miami and James Franklin of Vanderbilt are among the candidates that could emerge as the search progresses.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops expects his coaching staff to remain intact.

Florida has officially announced the departure of linebackers and special teams coach Jeff Choate. A former longtime Boise State assistant, Choate is expected to be heading to Washington to join Chris Petersen’s staff.

Will Muschamp added Coleman Hutzler as special teams coach on Friday.

Hutzler is a former Gators grad assistant that spent the last two years at New Mexico, where the special teams units made immediate improvements.

Sources tell us new Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson was very close to becoming the new offensive coordinator for the Gators.

Where is Muschamp now? It’s anyone’s guess.

Most of the initial names we heard (Anderson, Arizona State’s Mike Norvell, UCLA’s Noel Mazzone) have agreed to new deals. Nebraska’s Tim Beck may or may not still be on the board.

CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler reports that Ohio State co-OC Ed Warinner has interviewed for the Army job. Warinner was an Army assistant and coordinator from 1987-99.

Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Monken has interviewed, while Jets special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica was scheduled to interview this weekend.

Tampa Bay Bucs offensive coordinator Mike Sullivan, a former Army player, is also expected to interview for the job.

Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers accepted the James Madison head coaching position Friday.

Utah has hired former Wyoming coach Dave Christensen as its offensive coordinator.

Kyle Whittingham used both Dennis Erickson and Brian Johnson as co-offensive coordinators in 2013. Both Erickson and Johnson have been demoted to running backs and quarterbacks coach, respectively.

Boise State quarterbacks coach Jonathan Smith will join Chris Petersen‘s staff at Washington.

With the departure of offensive coordinator Blake Anderson, two names to watch are current tight ends coach Walt Bell and current Texas co-offensive coordinator Darrell Wyatt.

Wyatt was one of Fedora’s first hires when he first landed the Southern Miss job six seasons ago.

Texas A&M has promoted Jake Spavital to offensive coordinator and will take over play-calling duties.

Clarence McKinney, who served as the offensive coordinator, playcaller and running backs coach this past season for the Aggies, will remain on staff as the running backs coach.

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