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Here’s what you need to know and what’s really important after two weeks of college football.
The names on the Texas coaching search board appear to be dropping quickly.
If recent reports are to be believed, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is off the table. Now Baylor’s Art Briles and UCLA’s Jim Mora have both stated publicly that they are not interested in the job and are not candidates.
Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio signed an extension. The news was announced Wednesday night just before Sparty’s Rose Bowl win over Stanford.
The school reportedly plans to make Dantonio one of the three highest-paid coaches in the Big Ten, and his assistants will become one of three highest-paid staffs in the conference.
If those names are gone, where does Texas athletic director Steve Patterson turn?
Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin are the other names most prominently linked to the job.
According to an Orangebloods.com report, Patterson has already interviewed both Strong and Franklin.
Despite the recent announcement of Fisher’s contract extension, sources continue to tell us that Fisher is not out of the mix at Texas. In fact HookEm247 believes that Fisher is likely the favorite to land the job.
Speaking of Fisher’s new deal, the Tallahassee Democrat reports that FSU built in an overall salary increase of 17 percent for the Seminoles’ nine assistant coaches. It’s up to Fisher to decide which assistants receive raises and how much.
The Gazette reports former Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple will interview for the UMass job next week, perhaps as early as Tuesday. UMass fired Charley Molnar on Dec. 26.
Penn State AD Dave Joyner says the school could have a new head coach “in a matter of days rather than weeks.”
Longtime Nittany Lions defensive line coach Larry Johnson has been named the interim head coach. PennLive reports wide receivers coach Stan Hixon set to join Bill O’Brien’s staff with the Houston Texans.
Lions247 reports five names have risen to the top of the early list of potential interviewees: Miami head coach Al Golden, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Johnson.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Caldwell interviewed for the Redskins head coaching vacancy Wednesday, and is also expected to interview for the Lions head job.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean reports that Titans coach Mike Munchak is still in limbo. No decision has been made on his future as coach. Munchak is thought to be a candidate for the Penn State job.
The Cleveland Browns are focusing largely – but not entirely – on college coaches. Jason La Canfora reports they are very interested in interviewing Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s Franklin for their head coaching vacancy.
Sources close to Malzahn indicate that, while he might have an interested in moving to the NFL at some point in the future, he’d be likley pass on Cleveland now.
Tony Softli reports that Oklahoma head coach and Ohio native Bob Stoops may have the inside track on the Cleveland Browns opening.
ESPN reports that an NFL source insists Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is open to coaching a select professional team or two.
A source close to Sumlin tells us otherwise.
“That’s 100 percent not true, and it has no chance of happening. Zero.”
Sumlin has passed on several inquiries and job opportunities from NFL and high-profile collegiate jobs, including USC, sources said.
Sumlin is committed to coaching Texas A&M until the school finishes its $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. The renovation, which also has been labeled a redevelopment, is being done in three phases, with the grand opening set for August 2015.
Former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford will be offensive coordinator at Tampa Bay.
Sources indicate that FSU quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders could be a candidate to replace Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator at Duke. Sanders and Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe have a long history dating back to Tennessee.
Sources also indicate Blue Devils offensive line coach John Latina could be in play to be the offensive line coach at Florida.
DuckTerritory reports that Randy Shannon and Clancy Pendergast are among the possibilities for the defensive coordinator job at Oregon.
Secondary coach John Neal was believed to be a serious candidate, but it now appears head coach Mark Helfrich is intent on bringing someone in from the outside.
Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville has fired defensive coordinator Art Kaufman and defensive tackles coach Fred Tate, according to reports.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]outh Florida running backs coach Larry Scott will be a Hurricane after all. According to the AP, he has accepted the tight ends job at Miami (Fla.).
Scott interviewed with Al Golden last week, but, as we reported Thursday, it appeared that he would remain at USF.
Scott will replace Mario Cristobal, who left last week to become offensive line coach at Alabama.
A member of USF’s original recruiting class in 1996, Scott returned to his alma mater as director of high school operations in 2005. He was a graduate assistant in 2006 before joining the staff full time in 2006. Scott has coached a variety of offensive positions, including tight ends, offensive line and, most recently, running backs.
Scott is considered an ace recruiter in south Florida’s Dade and Broward counties. He was also a potential target to join Jimbo Fisher’s staff at Florida State.
He earned $136,000 last year.
[dropcap]M[/dropcap]iami has hired Hurlie Brown as running backs coach.
Brown served as the Hurricanes’ senior football operations coordinator for the past two years, working off the field with high school coaches and the recruiting process. Contract details are being finalized and an announcement is expected this week.
Prior to coming to Miami, Brown coached defensive backs at Lousisana-Lafayette from 2007-11 and at FIU from 2001-06.
Terry Richardson, Miami’s running backs coach the past three years, left last Thursday to join Gus Bradley’s Jacksonville Jaguars staff.
Brown was a standout safety for the Hurricanes from 1988-1991 and was part of two national championships.
Other finalists for the position were three prominent south Florida high school coaches; Miami Central’s Telly Lockette, Oakland Park- Northeast’s Donnell Bennett and Ft. Lauderdale- University’s Roger Harriott.
As we reported last night, Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley had an offer on the table for the same role at Miami.
Today, Coley, who had strong ties to both Miami and Florida State (he’s from Miami and graduated from FSU), made the decision to become a member of Al Golden’s staff.
Contract details have not yet been released, but the offer was reportedly for $500,000/year. Florida State was apparently willing to match Miami’s financial package, but sources close to the situation indicate FSU couldn’t match the Canes on two other fronts. The first – and most important – of those being the ability to call plays. Coley was intimately involved in FSU’s game-planning, but on Saturdays, it was Jimbo Fisher’s show.
That same source says the second thing working in Miami’s favor was the ability for Coley to now try and “lock down” the prime south Florida recruiting region working for the hometown school. Coley was already a dominating recruiting force in the area, and he believes that will only be magnified when he’s entering schools wearing orange and green. South Florida kids love The U, and as good as he was before, odds are that he’ll be even better convincing them to head to Coral Gables.
Two good examples of hometown Miami recruits where the weight of Coley’s switch could be felt immediately are Booker T. Washington High standouts Matthew Thomas and offensive tackle Denver Kirkland. Thomas, a five-star linebacker, and Kirkland, a four-star offensive tackle, were both thought to be the Noles’ to lose before Coley’s move. (Coley already had a teammate, defensive back Michael Johnson, committed to FSU.) Both Thomas and Kirkland were strongly considering Miami before Coley’s switch, and his departure may be enough to push the pair the Hurricane’s way.
From Florida State’s perspective, Fisher has a history of hiring talented, hard-working recruiters, and there’s no way FSU will concede anything to Miami and there new offensive coordinator. But make no mistake, Coley is a huge get for Golden and the Hurricanes any way you slice it, and his flip will only add more fuel to an already intense rivalry in the halls of south Florida’s high schools and beyond.
[colored_box color="blue"]Update: Several media outlets, including the Miami Herald, are reporting that Coley has accepted the offensive coordinator position at Miami. We will have a full story on Coley and Florida State later today.[/colored_box]
Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley has a decision to make.
According to Noles247.com, Coley has an offer on the table to become Miami’s offensive coordinator. Miami would reportedly pay him a $500,000 salary and coach Al Golden would give him full control of the Hurricane offense.
FSU is currently paying Coley $335,500 per year and head coach Jimbo Fisher is responsible for calling plays. Coley is deeply involved in game-planning but coaches from the press box on game day.
Sources indicate that, at present, Coley is torn on the decision and it could go either way.
Coley has strong ties to both Miami and Florida State. Hy graduated from Florida State, but he’s a Miami native who got his coaching start at Miami High back in 1997 and spent two seasons on Nick Saban’s Dolphins staff in 2005-06.
Coley has been at Florida State since 2008 when he returned as tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator on head coach Bobby Bowden’s staff and was named offensive coordinator two seasons later.