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UMass fires head coach Charley Molnar

UMass has fired head coach Charley Molnar after two seasons as head coach of the Minutemen, the school announced Thursday.

UMass has fired head football coach Charley Molnar after two seasons. (Photo: AP)Molnar’s UMass teams one just one game in 2012 and one game in 2013 for a record of just 2-22. The Minutemen moved from FCS to the FBS in 2012.

The university will owe Molnar the $836,000 for the remaining three years on his original contract.

“We want to thank Charley Molnar for his service and the extraordinary time and energy he devoted to coaching the Minutemen as we entered competition in the Football Bowl Subdivision,” athletic director John McCutcheon said in a statement. “It has become clear, however, that we must improve our performance in several areas and move in a new direction to ensure success in the FBS.

“Going forward, we must build a strong foundation to win on the field and stimulate enthusiasm and support for the program throughout the university community.”

Molnar came to UMass after spending 2010 and 2011 as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame.

His old job is currently open as  Chuck Martin, who replaced Molnar in 2012, became head coach at Miami (Ohio) earlier this month.

Photo: AP

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Kentucky sack leader will return for his senior season

Kentucky junior defensive end Alvin “Bud” Dupree has opted return to school for his senior season.

Kentucky junior defensive end Alvin "Bud" Dupree has decided not to enter the 2014 NFL Draft and will return to school for his senior season. (Photo: Garry Jones, AP)On Friday, Dupree tweeted, “#BBN I will stay for my senior season at Kentucky!!! Clear all the confusion”.

The 6-foot-4, 252-pound Dupree led the Wildcats with seven sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss.

Dupree also had 61 tackles, one pass breakup, three quarterback hurries and two fumbles forced.

He earned second-team All-SEC honors.

Photo: Garry Jones, AP

For an updated list of college underclassmen that have declared for the NFL Draft, click HERE.

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Status quo: Mack Brown still Texas coach; Saban agrees to deal at Bama

It looks like the rumors of the end of Mack Brown’s era as Texas coach were greatly exaggerated.

Mack Brown (Photo: AP)Brown’s Friday evening meeting with school president Bill Powers and athletic director Steve Patterson came and went and, according to all reports, Brown will coach the Longhorns in 2014.

The news came roughly an hour after Alabama officials announced that Nick Saban has agreed to terms for a long-term extension.

Coincidence? Probably.

Regardless, even if Brown’s status changes in coming days or weeks, it looks like Texas’ top choice as his replacement is off the board.

This probably isn’t the end to the Texas soap opera, but it looks like the status quo will hold … at least for now.

Photo: AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Dec. 12

Yesterday reporters asked 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh about the Texas job, and Harbaugh wasn’t amused.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh responded to reporters' questions about the Texas head coaching job. (Photo: Bill Kostroun, AP)“Are you trying to be funny?” he asked.

Harbaugh, who reiterated that he doesn’t talk about jobs other than one he has, turned down USC flat a few weeks ago.

As great a job as Texas is, the Longhorns are almost certain to be met with the same cold shoulder.

The idea of Harbaugh leaving the 49ers — a team he led to to the Super Bowl last year and, at 9-4 this season, has positioned for a third-straight NFC playoff appearance — to return to college is, to borrow Harbaugh’s phrase, almost laughable.

Still, you can’t blame the UT brass for trying.

Meanwhile, Mack Brown remains the Texas head coach … for now.

School president Bill Powers, a staunch Brown supporter, met with the UT Board of Regents on Thursday where it was announced he’ll remain university president.

There were reports that Powers, Brown and athletic director Steve Patterson would meet Thursday evening, but the Dallas Morning News says that won’t happen.

Powerful Texas booster Red McCombs, a public supporter of Brown, said Thursday that Brown deserves to stay — or leave — on his own terms.

“I think that Mack has earned the right to choose whatever he wants to do, whether he wants to stay or he wants to go,” McCombs said, following Brown’s appearance at an Alamo Bowl press conference Thursday in San Antonio.

If Brown decides to leave, McCombs says that money won’t be an issue in finding his replacement.

“All the money that is not up at the Vatican is at UT,” McCombs said.

Joe Jamail, Brown’s friend and attorney weighed in again this afternoon telling the Austin American-Statesman,  “If (Mack Brown) has made a decision, he hasn’t told me, and I think he would.”

Houston Sports Radio 610 cites a source as stating that Brown will resign on Friday, and that Nick Saban will become the Longhorns coach — perhaps on the same day.

According to the source, Texas is expected to offer Saban “a contract that will pay him at least $6 million annually with performances incentives believed to be worth and extra $2 million a season.”

In addition to the salary, “Texas alums are trying to ‘pass the hat’ to collect $10-$20 million extra to give Saban as a bonus for coming to the school.”

We don’t really believe  the report. Sources confirm Saban is likely to get at least $7 million per year if he stays in Tuscaloosa. A Texas offer is likely to be much larger. Sources also tell us a deal is in place at Alabama, but Saban has yet to act on it.

While Texas remains an option, we certainly don’t believe there is an agreement in place. At least not yet. Most of our sources still believe Saban will stay at Bama, but no one seems to know for sure.

UConn officially announced Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco as the Huskies’ new head coach.

Diaco’s contract starts at $1.5 million per year, consisting of a $400,000 base salary and $1.1 million in additional compensation. He’ll receive increases of $50,000 per year over the five-year deal.

Incentives include one month’s base salary for making a bowl game, and up to $400,000 for winning the national championship. If Diaco remains head coach on December 31, 2018, he’ll get a $500,000 retention bonus.

You can read UConn’s full offer letter HERE.

TCU has formally announced the addition of Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham.

Though details of Meacham’s deal were not made public, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that he will be paid $350,000 a year.

Meacham was making $300,000 in his one season as offensive coordinator at Houston. His contract included a $90,000 buyout if he left before February 2014.

Prior to Houston, Meacham spent eight seasons as tight ends and receivers coach at his alma mater Oklahoma State. He served as OSU’s passing game coordinator from 2008-09.

“Our goal is to remain a physical football team,” Patterson said in a release. “Coach Meacham was part of an Oklahoma State system that was highly successful throwing the football, and he continued that in his one year at Houston.

“I’m real excited about the kind of person coach Meacham is and how well he fits our staff. We haven’t talked to anybody who doesn’t think the world of him as a person and coach.”

According to the Star-Telegram, TCU’s former co-offensive coordinators Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson have been offered other staff positions, but it could take more than a month for the entire makeup of the staff to be finalized.

Wide receivers coach Curtis Luper has interviewed for the head job at his alma mater Stephen F. Austin. If Luper gets that job, Burns could return to coaching receivers.

Anderson, who has been part of TCU staff since 1998 when he was a graduate assistant, also coached receivers (2001-08) before he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with Justin Fuente in 2009.

Fuente became the head coach at Memphis following the 2011 season.

Informed sources tell us Ohio State assistant Stan Drayton has emerged as a frontrunner at FAU.

Candidates for the Arkansas State job are expected to include Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, former USC assistant Ed Orgeron and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Texas A&M regents have unanimously approved a new contract for head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin’s name has been tied to the Houston Texans vacancy.

Photo: Bill Kostroun, AP 

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Mack Brown Saga

The situation at Texas is nothing short of a soap opera.

Texas head football coach Mack Brown (Photo: AP)Chip Brown at Orangebloods reported Tuesday that Mack Brown would step down as head coach. On Wednesday, he tweeted:

“My sources at the highest level of Texas have re-confirmed my report. I hope we can start talking about Mack Brown’s legacy at Texas soon.”

After the Orangebloods’ report, Mack responded by telling Horns247, “I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down.”

The Dallas Morning News says that the Texas coach and new athletic director Steve Patterson talked for about three hours Sunday and that nothing was decided.

The DMN also reports that Texas President Bill Powers’ infighting with Gov. Rick Perry over education policy and vision has led to a tenuous job status. Powers’ name and employment status are on the agenda for the Texas Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

Multiple sources tell us that Mack Brown’s firewall is Powers. Powers doesn’t like to be pushed around and apparently has no real desire fire Brown. Sources tell us that recruiting is progressing as usual and Texas coaches are still on the road. Brown was spotted at Miami Central High School last night with assistant Larry Porter.

Meanwhile in Tuscaloosa… NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reported that Nick Saban is in contract negotiations with Alabama for a salary around $7 million a year. According to our sources, ‘Bama thought the terms of an extension were pretty well all agreed to, but are now somewhat flummoxed that the situation hasn’t been resolved.

Athletic director Bill Battle was asked about Saban contract extension on Wednesday and replied, “We’re focused on recruiting and playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.”

Okay. Whatever that means.

Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reported that a “source close to Texas executive council of regents says Nick Saban will be next Longhorns coach.”

We don’t have any reason to believe that’s accurate, certainly not at this point.

Our sources tell us they believe Saban will remain at Alabama, but nobody really knows for sure what’s next.

On the Texas front, our sources are split down the middle.

Some believe that the longer Brown staying in place, the better his chances for survival. The Longhorns are scheduled host a recruiting weekend beginning Friday with several JUCO prospects on campus. They feel that there’s no way Brown hosts the weekend unless he’s returning.

Meanwhile, others seem to think Brown is staying in place until and unless Texas has a replacement lined up.

Sources Tuesday morning told us Texas didn’t want to make a move on Brown until the ‘Horns had a replacement in tow. Then, the Chip Brown story broke.

It’s seems pretty clear that Texas has no deal in place with anyone at the moment, and school officials are still trying to figure out how to deal with Brown, who refuses to resign.

In addition, Texas has a president who may not survive past Thursday coupled with a new athletic director who inherited a huge mess and leaks coming from every corner of the university from people with varying agendas.

The latest comes from Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, Joe Jamail.  He spoke with reporters late Wednesday and reiterated Brown has not made a decision as to his future. “He has not tendered his resignation and has not made a decision yet,” Jamail said. “He’ll make that decision sometime soon. “He has not decided yet. He’ll decide that on his own and all these reports are wrong.”

Our best guess as to what ultimately happens? Powers stays and they figure out a way to get Brown out the door with some sort of golden parachute. Jamail’s statement sounds as if this thing is moving toward a conclusion. However, everything could implode as well. Others think Brown won’t back down – no matter what.

Who would replace Brown? We continue to hear that Texas wants Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh or Jimbo Fisher.

However, we’re told Texas wants a coach in place quickly. If the Longhorns swing and miss on Saban, Harbaugh and Fisher won’t be available until January.

One thing is certain, something has to give.

Photo: AP

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Notre Dame's Bob Diaco named UConn coach

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco will become the new coach at UConn.

Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco is the new head coach at UConn. (Photo: AP)Diaco spent the past four seasons leading the Fighting Irish’s defense, and won the Frank Broyles Award in 2012 as the nation’s top assistant. In 2009, he was defensive coordinator at Cincinnati.

CBSSports.com reports that Diaco has agreed to deal starting at $1.5 million per year. ESPN says it is a five-year deal.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly now must replace both coordinators. On Dec. 3, Irish offensive coordinator Chuck Martin became the head coach at Miami (Ohio).

Earlier Wednesday, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi said he had withdrawn from consideration for the Huskies job.

UConn fired Paul Pasqualoni in September after he went 10-18 in two-plus seasons at the school.

Photo: David Durochik, AP

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Eastern Michigan hires Drake's Creighton as head coach

Eastern Michigan has hired Drake’s Chris Creighton as its new head coach.

Drake's Chris Creighton has been named head coach at Eastern Michigan. (Photo: Drake Athletics)Creighton has been the head coach at FCS Drake for the past six years. The Bulldogs were 47-19 during that time including a 6-5 finish in 2013.

Creighton shared the news himself Wednesday night during a radio broadcast of an Eastern Michigan women’s basketball game. A formal announcement is planned for 3 p.m. Thursday.

“I want to sincerely thank (Eastern Michigan athletic director) Heather Lyke, President Martin and the Board of Regents for entrusting me with the leadership of the Eastern Michigan University football program,” Creighton said in a press release. “It is both a huge opportunity and responsibility and I am fired up about it.

“My vision is to make playing football at Eastern Michigan one of the most incredible experiences of our players lives. I cannot wait to meet the team and start a new journey with them.”

Creighton has 17 years of head coaching experience. He coached at Division III Wabash College from 2001-07 compiling a record of 63-15 and was 32-9 from 1997-2000 while head coach at NAIA Ottawa (Kan.) University.

Photo: Drake Athletics

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