Bob Diaco

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Dec. 18

Orangebloods.com reports that former Super Bowl champion head coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden is open to hearing from the Texas athletic department about its football head coaching vacancy.

Could Jon Gruden have an interest in the Texas job? (Photo: Brian Blanco, AP)

Could Jon Gruden have an interest in the Texas job? (Photo: Brian Blanco, AP)

Our sources confirm that report is true. Texas’ interest in Gruden is unknown.

The Gainesville Sun’s Pat Dooley reports that Charlie Strong would not be interested in the Texas job, but our sources indicate that’s not necessarily so.

On the record, Strong gave the typical “coach speak” response.

“I don’t even think about it,” he told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “I don’t even worry about it. I have a good job here. … The only thing I can control is what’s happening right here.”

There are lots of rumors that Arizona State head coach Todd Graham could be a backup candidate at Texas — despite a legal agreement AD Steve Patterson signed when he left Arizona State for Texas that he wouldn’t hire any ASU coaches.

The guess is the two sides could come up with some sort of compensation for Graham should the ‘Horns get that far. We doubt they do.

Ex-Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe told CBS Charlotte that he’d be interested in Army job.

“Absolutely, mainly because I love the academies,” Grobe said. “I spent eleven years at the Air Force Academy with Fisher DeBerry and those kids are in my heart. I have not talked to them, so whether that’s something they would want, it’s certainly something I’m interested in.”

Sources indicate former USC offensive coordinator Clay Helton has emerged as a very strong candidate to replace the fired Brent Pease at Florida. We’re told head coach Will Muschamp is getting a lot of “not interested” as he calls around.

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Rutgers coach Kyle Flood filled one of the three vacancies on his staff today, naming 34-year coaching veteran Mitch Browning as the team’s new offensive line coach.

Arizona State announced Wednesday morning it has promoted offensive coordinator Mike Norvell to role of Deputy Head Coach.

Sources indicate Norvell had been a top target to be the new offensive coordinator at Florida.

Arkansas State is interviewing a whole slew of candidates, so nobody seems to know where the search will end. Sources indicate they feel really good about Arizona State’s Norvell and UNC’s Blake Anderson.

CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman reports that Red Wolves officials spoke to Butch Davis but that he was not interested.

New UConn head coach Bob Diaco confirmed to the Hartford Courant that only offensive line coach Mike Foley had been retained.

Mike Szvetitz of the Opelika-Auburn News reports that other than the initial terms of Auburn coach Gus Malzhan’s new contract extension, no other details have been finalized – including the buyout.

Arkansas coach Brett Bielema isn’t in any hurry to hire a defensive line coach to replace Charlie Partridge, who left to be the head coach at FAU.

“I have half a dozen names that have come across my desk in the last 48 hours that are very intriguing that I’m definitely researching,” he told ArkansasNews.com. “I probably won’t bring anybody in until after the first of the year.

“I might talk to about half a dozen guys by phone, kind of off the record, and see where it’s at.”

Former Wake Forest defensive coordinator Brian Knorr joined the Air Force coaching staff on a retreat Tuesday and the is in talks to join the Falcons as a defensive assistant.

New Miami (Ohio) coach Chuck Martin has announced three additions to his coaching staff: Co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach George Barnett, co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Eric Koehler and tight ends coach Pat Welsh.

Barnett and Koehler were at Illinois State last season while Welsh was a GA at Notre Dame.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman announced that offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has agreed to a one-year contract extension that includes an increase in annual salary to $500,000 per year and keeps him on the Fighting Illini sideline through the 2015 season.

GigEm247 reports that Texas A&M co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Marcel Yates will be defensive coordinator on Bryan Harsin’s Boise State staff.

Yates has been part of Kevin Sumlin’s staff for two seasons. He played his college ball at Boise and was defensive backs at his alma mater for nine seasons from 2003-11.

New Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson announced on Monday that Kevin Higgins, the head coach at The Citadel, will be joining the Demon Deacon coaching staff.

Higgins will serve as the assistant head coach and will coach a yet to be determined position on offense.

“I am extremely excited that Kevin Higgins has accepted our offer to join our football staff at Wake Forest,” said Clawson. “Kevin has wealth of football knowledge gained as a head coach and also through his experience in the NFL as a quarterbacks and wide receivers coach. He will be a great addition to our staff.”

Higgins was a 99-83-1 record in 16 years as a head coach. He was the head coach for seven seasons at Lehigh from 1994-2000, leading the Mountain Hawks to 56-25-1 record and three appearances in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

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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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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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