Football Rumor Mill Staff

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Jim Mora will remain at UCLA

Scratch Jim Mora’s name off the list of potential candidates for the Washington job.

UCLA football coach Jim Mora Jr. will remain with the Bruins. (Photo: AP)Mora will remain at UCLA, and the school announcing Tuesday that he had signed a six-year contract extension.

“Jim Mora has established himself as one of the preeminent coaches in all of college football,” UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said in a statement. “Under his guidance, UCLA football has garnered national recognition for its success on the field, in the classroom and in the community.

“We are excited about the commitment Jim has made to our student-athletes and this University and feel this extension further demonstrates UCLA’s commitment to building a championship-caliber football program.”

According to the Los Angeles Times, Mora has also been promised a raise for his assistants and improvements in UCLA’s infrastructure.

“I want to thank Dan Guerrero and Chancellor Gene Block for their tremendous support,” Mora said. “This further commitment the University has made is crucial as we continue in our pursuit of excellence. From day one our goal has been to win championships, and with our tremendous staff, our incredible student-athletes and our dedicated administration, UCLA will win championships.

“We’ve only just scratched the surface of our potential, and as a Bruin fan, I’d be chomping at the bit just to see what UCLA football is going to do next.”

Photo: AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Dec. 3

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement reaffirming his support of head coach Dana Holgorsen.

West Virginia AD Oliver Luck (AP Photo)

West Virginia A,D. Oliver Luck says he believes in Dana Holgorsen. (Photo: AP)

In the statement, Luck said, “I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.”

In reality, there are 11.3 million reasons that Holgorsen’s job is safe — as in the amount it would cost the school to buy out his contract. Holgorsen should get his agent a nice Christmas present this year.

Miami (Ohio) has hired Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin as head coach.

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has fired longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and second-year quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, multiple sources confirmed to Lions247.

GatorBait.net reports that while former USC coach Lane Kiffin had a strong interest in the Florida offensive coordinator job at, but says that the Gators are unlikely to hire him. Mike Mularkey, Clay Helton and Blake Anderson are among the names we continue to hear. Arizona State’s Mike Norvell and UCLA’s Noel Mazzone are other names being mentioned.

According to AP writer Mark Long, Muschamp plans to scrap the pro-style system and switch to up-tempo an offense in 2014.

Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has resigned.

Sources tell us Ball State’s Pete Lembo, Rice’s David Bailiff, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and Tulane’s Curtis Johnson could be candidates for the job.

Multiple sources feel it’s likely June Jones will either leave SMU on his own accord or be fired. The national media is starting to report some chatter as well.

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz are expected to be among the candidates to fill the job should it open.

Sources tell us that Hawaii head coach Norm Chow is weary of the job already and that the school might be happy for him to move along. There are strong rumors June Jones could return.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson “has worked with the Tulane Board to reconfigure football coach Curtis Johnson’s contract, as well as those of his assistants.”

Auburn’s Jay Jacobs plans a raise for Gus Malzahn.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says that Brady Hoke will lead the program “well into the future.” We assume that means he’s in no danger of losing his job (not that we ever thought he was).

Hoke says he has no plans to make any staff changes, even though many think he should.

According to the Tampa Tribune’s Joey Johnston, “USF coach Willie Taggart says he doesn’t anticipate any changes to his coaching staff.”

RealDawg reports that Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was “blindsided” by Steve Sarkisian’s move to USC and that defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, once thought to be next in line, is now unlikely to land the job.

Jim Mora would have been a candidate if he had wanted to be, but he reports indicate that he has agreed to a six year extension to stay at UCLA. Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are also rumored to be strong candidates, along with Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Vandy’s James Franklin.

The Seattle Times reports that Sarkisian’s buyout of $1.5 million is due within 30 days. the Times also reports that Wilcox would owe “$1 million, according to his contract. That penalty is triggered only if Wilcox leaves early ‘to take a position at another Pac 12 school, with the exception of Head Coach.'”

Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would owe $410,000 if he were to leave.

Sports Radio KJR reports that Wilcox is headed to USC with Sarkisian.

Sources tell us that a loss to South Florida this weekend could mean the end of Kyle Flood’s tenure at Rutgers.

Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino says he won’t “deal with speculation” when asked if he was a candidate for other jobs.

Air Force’s Troy Calhoun is keeping quiet on possible staff changes.

We continue to hear that Florida International’s Ron Turner could go back to the NFL.

UNLV has given Bobby Hauck an extension.

At USC, Ed Orgeron has resigned and offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the Trojans bowl game.

Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage has again voiced his support for his embattled head football coach.

“I firmly believe that Mike London is going to be successful here at the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said.

In other words, London and his big buyout are safe for another year.

Sources tell us that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini still might not be 100% safe.

An ugly bowl performance could make things dicey. In other words, nothing is certain. He probably makes it, but this is still one to watch.

ESPN reports that Pelini will have to pay for his latest rant:

“The Big Ten Conference on Monday issued a public reprimand of the Cornhuskers’ head coach and fined the university $10,000 for Pelini’s comments about the officiating in a loss to Iowa last week. University spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the money will come out of Pelini’s compensation.”

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Source: Notre Dame OC Chuck Martin to be named Miami (OH) head coach

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin has reportedly been offered the vacant head coach job at Miami (Ohio) and is expected to accept, according to sources at both schools.

Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin is expected to named Miami (Ohio) head coach. (Photo: AP)The Redhawks fired head coach Don Treadwell and offensive coordinator John Klacik following an 0-5 start.

Martin, who served as the Irish’s offensive coordinator the past two seasons, came to Notre Dame following an impressive run as head coach at Grand Valley State. In six seasons leading the Lakers, he was 74-7 and won two Division II national championships.

Martin was defensive coordinator for Brian Kelly at Grand Valley State before becoming head coach. Kelly initially hired him at Notre Dame to work as defensive backs coach in 2010 and 2011 before moving to offense in 2012.

Miami finished 0-12 this season after going 4-8 the previous year.

Photo: AP

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Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe resigns

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe stepped down on Monday after 13 seasons coaching the Demon Deacons.

Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has resigned after 13 seasons. (Photo: Chuck Burton, AP)Grobe was chief architect of the most successful run by Wake Forest football in the ACC era. He finished his career tied with Peahead Walker for the most victories at the school with 77.

Following a 23-21 loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday, the Demon Deacons finished the year 4-8, their fifth consecutive losing season.

Grobe was 77-82 at Wake, including 42-62 in ACC games.

In 2006, Grobe coached Wake Forest to its first ACC title since 1970 and second ever. The Deacons beat Georgia Tech 9-6 in the conference championship and before losing to Louisville 24-13 in the FedEx Orange Bowl.

Grobe was named national coach of the year by the American Football Coaches Association, The Associated Press and other organizations.

Photo: Chuck Burton, AP

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Names to watch: Washington Huskies

Steve Sarkisian’s exit to USC has left Washington searching for a new head coach.

Vanderbilt's James Franklin could be a good fit for the Huskies. (Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin could be a good fit for the Huskies. (Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)

Though Sarkisian was only 34-29 during his time in Seattle, he inherited a program that had gone 18-53 in the six seasons prior to his arrival.

In short, Sarkisian left the program in much better shape than it was prior to his arrival.

With upgrades to Husky Stadium and other facilities, a strong alumni and solid recruiting bases, and a talent-filled roster, the Washington job is a much stronger draw than it might appear on the surface.

That in mind, here are a few early names to watch:

James Franklin (Head coach, Vanderbilt)

Though Vanderbilt claims that Franklin was never contacted by USC, he looks like a better match for Washington anyway. Franklin loves Nashville and has done a nice job both selling it for recruiting and getting the city behind the program. There’s little doubt he could do some serious damage with the city of Seattle and the Husky program at his disposal. Franklin’s turnaround with the ‘Dores has been nothing short of remarkable, and Washington appears to be a more natural fit with much higher upside than his present situation.

Jim Mora, Jr. (Head coach, UCLA)

While Mora, Jr. might seem like a stretch, he was a walk-on defensive back for the Huskies and and served as a GA there in 1984. There’s also the draw of being coach at a “football school,” which Washington is — despite some recent success on the hardwood — and something that UCLA will never be. Add the lure of being the city/state’s main college team — which, again, UCLA simply won’t ever be — and it doesn’t seem so unlikely.

Doug Nussmeier (Offensive coordinator, Alabama)

Nussmeier is a West Coast native (from of the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego), and was the Huskies’ offensive coordinator from 2009-11. After winning a national title in his first season at Alabama, Nussmeier directed a Tide offense that scored 38.8 points per game in 2013. If Washington doesn’t hire Wilcox but decides to target an up-and-coming assistant, he’s likely to get a long look.

Chris Petersen (Head coach, Boise State)

Living in Los Angeles and the USC fishbowl would be a lot of for anyone, and was almost certainly too much for Petersen given his son’s health situation. But Seattle and the UDub seems like a much more natural transition. The chatter has long been that this would be the year Petersen finally makes a move from Boise, and there simply aren’t many jobs that make more sense for Petersen and his family — both in terms of football and family — than Washington.

Gary Pinkel (Head coach, Missouri)

Pinkel is a Don James disciple and two-time Huskies assistant (first in 1976 and then again from 1979-1990), so athletic director Scott Woodward won’t have to sell hard to convince him of Washington’s potential. Despite Pinkel’s success in Columbia, Washington is a better job than Missouri and the idea of competing year in and year out in the Pac-12 is undoubtedly less stressful than the SEC. Did his time on the hot seat last year leave Pinkel with enough bad feelings to make a move westward?

Justin Wilcox (Defensive coordinator, Washington)

Though it’s been reported that Wilcox is “likely” to join Sarkisian in Pasadena, that’s only if he doesn’t land the Washington head job. Wilcox is an Oregon alum that was defensive coordinator at Tennessee in 2011-12 before joining Sarkisian’s staff. If Wilcox doesn’t get the job and winds up at USC, expect assistants and ace recruiters Peter Sirmon and Tosh Lupoi to follow.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Dec. 2

Boise State coach Chris Petersen was in play at USC, but has reportedly withdrawn his name from the search.

Boise State coach Chris Petersen has withdrawn his name from the USC job. (Photo: AP)ESPN’s Joe Schad reports that Petersen withdrew his name “after mutual interest.”

FightOn247 reported on Sunday that Ed Orgeron or Vanderbilt’s James Franklin would likely next in line should Petersen decline, while ESPN reported that the Trojans were down to Petersen and Franklin.

According to ESPN L.A.’s Arash Markazi, Franklin and Petersen have been on Pat Haden’s short list for awhile with Franklin in the lead. Markazi also reports that USC is prepared to make Orgeron the highest paid assistant and an associate head coach.

ESPN L.A. also reported that Washington coach Steve Sarkisian interviewed with Haden over the weekend, but Sarkisian says that no interview took place.

Wyoming has fired head coach Dave Christensen. Sources tell us that Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz is considered a serious candidate to replace him.

Oakland Raiders assistant and Wyoming alum Ted Gilmore is also rumored to be a candidate.

Should Fritz head to Wyoming, look for Texas co-OC Darrell Wyatt to get serious consideration to replace Fritz.

Texas A&M and head coach Kevin Sumlin have agreed to a six year deal worth $5 million per year. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports that Sumlin has agreed to not pursue any NFL jobs as part of his new contract.

We continue to hear Kyle Flood is in serious jeopardy at Rutgers. Flood says he’s not at all concerned with his future.

If Flood is fired between now and Feb. 1, he is owed an $850,000 buyout.

Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope have been let go.

We continue to hear that the situation at Texas remains very fluid. A win at Baylor and the Longhorns gain at least a share of the Big 12.

Would Texas force Mack Brown out after a 9-3 campaign and a Big 12 Championship? Most of our sources don’t think so. However, a bad loss to Baylor and it could be time to turn the page.

At TCU, multiple sources tell us to expect major changes on the offensive side of the ball.

Florida Head coach Will Muschamp fired offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

We’ve heard all sorts of names over the past few days. Possibilities at offensive coordinator include Mike Mularkey, Lane Kiffin, Clay Helton and James Coley, among others.

Offensive line candidates are rumored to range from Neil Callaway to Stacy Searles to Joe Wickline.

New Mexico State fired defensive coordinator David Elson.

Another Ohio State assistant is rumored to be a candidate for the FAU job.

It was reported a couple of weeks ago that Buckeyes defensive coordinator Luke Fickell had interviewed for the job. At the time, Urban Meyer said he didn’t, but Fickell’s name has been hot ever since.

Now, sources indicate Buckeyes assistant head coach and running backs coach Stan Drayton could be a candidate.

FAU athletic director Pat Chun has told associates he wants to hire someone who can recruit Florida (a smart move), and Drayton has had recruiting success wherever he’s been.

Chun spent almost his entire career at Ohio State and apparently that’s all he knows. He has even enlisted  Meyer and A.D. Gene Smith to assist in his search.

So, Drayton fills two requirements: He works at Ohio State and he was a Florida with Meyer. Two boxes checked. Could he be the guy?

Luke Stampini of 247Sports reported Monday morning that Western Kentucky offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm could interview for the the FAU position.

Georgia’s Mark Richt has confirmed that defensive coordinator Todd Grantham will be back next season.

Charlie Weis‘ job at Kansas is safe. Athletic director Sheahon Zenger is confident that Weis has the program moving in the right direction.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas tells WCIA Channel 3 TV that Tim Beckman will return next season.

UCLA has fired running backs coach Steve Broussard. Sources indicate that USC running backs coach Tommie Robinson could be on UCLA’s radar.

Photo: Otto Kitsinger, AP

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Iowa State's Paul Rhoads fires two assistants

After posting a 3-9 record in his fifth season at Iowa State, it was pretty much a given that some heads on Paul Rhoads’ staff would roll.

Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads has fired offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope. (Photo: AP)On Sunday, we found out who that would be.

Rhoads announced that offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope have been let go.

It not surprising that the staff changes came on offense. Iowa State ranked 96th in total offense at 363 yards per game and 91st in scoring offense with just 24.8 points per game.

The Cyclones had to win their last two just to finish 3-9, including a 52-44 win over West Virginia on Saturday.

Both Messingham and Pope were hired by Rhoads in 2009 and have been members of his staff all five years of his tenure in Ames.

“I want to thank both Courtney and Kenith for their service to Iowa State,” Rhoads said in a statement. “They have great character and work ethic, and have been excellent ambassadors for the university and community.

“They worked hard to help elevate our program and have been an important part of the success we have had in this program the last five years.”

Now the search begins for a pair of assistants, and Rhoads himself will enter 2014 positioned firmly on the hot seat.

Photo: Charlie Neibergall, AP

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