Carl Pelini

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

We’ve heard rumblings over the past several days that Rutgers coach Kyle Flood could be in trouble, and we added him to this week’s Hot Seat list.

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Could Rutgers coach Kyle Flood be in trouble? (Photo: Julio Cortez, AP)

Now, the Asbury Park Press reports the situation for Flood might be even worse than we thought. Athletics director Julie Hermann is already under investigation and most agree if she goes, so does Flood.

Flood would be owed $850,000 if he is fired before Feb. 1, 2014. Keep an eye on this one.

With Rutgers headed to the B1G, the Scarlet Knights may want to start with a clean slate… or an old one. Greg Schiano anyone?

Mack Brown is only a few wins away from passing Darrell Royal on Texas‘ all-time Texas wins list. In fact, he probably hits the mark next season – if he returns.

Even though UT megabooseter Joe Jamail says that Brown will decide when he retires, sources continue to tell us this is likely his last season in Austin.

If Brown goes, who takes his place? As you’ve no doubt heard numerous times, Alabama coach Nick Saban tops the Longhorns’ wish list. Earlier this week, Saban’s wife Terry told the Wall Street Journal that the couple intends to retire in Tuscaloosa, but the Sabans certainly aren’t above changing their minds.

If Saban does stay put, we continue to hear that Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong, Jon Gruden and Art Briles could all be in play.

Briles stated last week, that he “cannot envision” talking with other schools at season’s end, but sources indicate he’d still likely listen to Texas.

Another name that has surfaced is Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin last coached in college at Cincinnati in 1999-2000, where he was on staff with Jimbo Fisher. Ian Rappaport reported a couple of weeks ago that Tomlin’s job in Pittsburgh is safe for 2014.

Sources indicate Tomlin may be ready to move on – and that he’d have a keen interest in Texas.

Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy’s name is also making the rounds, both publicly and privately. Many believe he could emerge as a prime candidate at Texas.

At Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports that Will Muschamp will return as coach in 2014, but that there will be “significant changes” on the staff. Sources tell us the two most likely sacrifices are offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis.

Pease said today he believes he deserves to return.

You may remember Davis from his off-season spat with his former boss, Nick Saban.

ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reports that FAU coach Carl Pelini was fired for not reporting conduct of staff and not for using illegal drugs. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that interim president Dennis J. Crudele sent to Pelini:

“FAU did not terminate your employment because of a finding that you used illegal drugs. Accordingly to clarify these significant points … your resignation is withdrawn and your separation is converted to a termination with cause based on our finding that you failed to timely report certain conduct of a member of your staff, as required by your contract.”

We continue to hear that Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell is a serious candidate. FAU AD Pat Chun said he would like to name the Owls’ next football coach by Dec. 8.

Stephen F. Austin has fired  coach J.C. Harper.

James Madison fired head coach Mickey Mathews.

According to the Daily News-Record, “JMU might be interested in as its new coach are Oakland Raiders quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Arizona co-offensive coordinator Rod Smith and Virginia Tech tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Bryan Stinespring.”

Elon has fired coach Jason Swepson. Swepson went 10-24 in three seasons.

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Carl Pelini denies illegal drug use; seeks reinstatement

Former Florida Atlantic coach Carl Pelini has denied using illegal drugs and is seeking reinstatement.

Former FAU coach Carl Pelini denies using illegal drugs and is seeking reinstatement. (Photo: Chris O'Meara, AP)Pelini told ESPN in a statement Thursday that he told FAU athletic director Pat Chun on Oct. 30 that he did not use illegal drugs.

According to Pelini, Chun told him that it was “irrelevant” because he was “being relieved” of his duties “for failure to supervise my staff.”

Pelini indicated Chun told him at least one staff member admitted using drugs in the coach’s presence, but Pelini denied knowledge that “any staff member was using illegal drugs.”

Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis resigned last week. On Oct. 30, Chun told reporters both coaches admitted to using “illegal drugs,” which was in violation of their contracts. The former Owls coach says he offered to take a drug test.

Chun claims that Pelini initially agreed to take a drug test on Oct. 30 but that when informed it would be done immediately on site, Pelini then declined.

In the statement, Pelini said he “had recently become aware of a personal relationship between a staff member and a person close to the athletic department. The relationship, to my knowledge, did not involve illegal drug use or any other illegal activity.”

FAU defensive line coach Matt Edwards and Allison Stewart, who Chun called a “personal friend” of the coaches, both indicated in notarized affidavits that they observed Pelini smoking marijuana during a three-day coaches trip to Key West on Oct. 18-20.

Edwards stated he witnessed Pelini and Rekstis use cocaine within the past year. Stewart said in her affidavit that, on Oct. 20, she received a text message from Pelini admitting to drug use.

Chun also reiterated that Pelini “voluntarily resigned” and “refused to cooperate in the investigation.” Asked by ESPN about the possibility of Pelini’s reinstatement, Chun said “he resigned. I accepted his resignation.”

Pelini, hired in 2011 to replace Howard Schnellenberger was 5-15 as the Owls coach.

Photo: Chris O’Meara, AP

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Report: Luke Fickell interviews for FAU head coaching job

Florida Atlantic athletic director Pat Chun is moving quickly in his search to replace Carl Pelini.

Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell has interviewed for the head coaching vacancy at Florida Atlantic. (Photo: Marvin Fong, The Plain Dealer)According to the Sun-Sentinel’s Dieter Kurtenbach, Chun flew to Columbus on Tuesday to interview his top target for the position — Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell.

Chun spent 15 years in the Ohio State athletic department before becoming the FAU AD in July 2012, and knows Fickell well.

Fickell, a Columbus native, was a defensive lineman for the Buckeyes from 1993-96, and returned to the school in 1999 as a graduate assistant. He spent two years on the Akron staff before returning to Columbus in 2002, where he’s remained since.

Fickell served as the Ohio State’s interim during the 2011 season following Jim Tressel’s resigned in May of that year. The Buckeyes finished 6-7, and Fickell returned to defensive coordinator after Urban Meyer was hired.

He later interviewed for Pitt’s head coaching vacancy but was not offered the job. job after.

Fickell’s will make $600,000 this year, roughly $100,000 more than Pelini was scheduled to be paid.

Other names mentioned in conjunction with the FAU opening include Miami offensive coordinator James Coley and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Both Coley and Gran are career assistants with strong south Florida ties.

Photo: Marvin Fong, The Cleveland Plain Dealer

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Oct. 31

Pressure has eased on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen after the Kentucky win, but there is still tons of chatter. As we’ve mentioned previously, if they make a move, expect ULL’s Mark Hudspeth to get first call.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen (Photo: Kerry Smith, AP)Mack Brown’s future at Texas could hinge on the Baylor game. A bad loss could spell the end – even if the Horns finish 9-3.

It’s no secret that their top target is Nick Saban. Other early names to watch include Art Briles, Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong and Jon Gruden.

Speaking of Gruden… This year could finally be the year he returns to coaching. However, the most likely landing spot may be his old stomping ground. There’s lots of chatter Gruden could return to the Raiders with full control over the front office.

Early names at Florida Atlantic include two first-year offensive coordinators with strong south Florida ties — Miami’s James Coley and Cincinnati’s Eddie Gran. Gran was a serious candidate when Carl Pelini was hired.

Expect staff changes at Appalachian State.

If a move is made to get rid if Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, don’t be surprised if Rich Rod is a candidate to return home. It would definitely be interesting to watch the fan base’s reaction if that took place.

The Florida International job could open after just one year under Ron Turner.

There is major pressure building to oust Bo Pelini at Nebraska. He needs to win, badly. If he goes, former Husker quarterback and current Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost could be a candidate, although most think he needs a little more experience.

At USC, Jack Del Rio is still very much in the mix. Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter is also getting some attention as a fall back option.

Most believe Pat Haden’s early targets will be bigger names and will likely have NFL experience.

At Toledo, second-year coach Matt Campbell has signed extension through the 2017 season.

Campbell was promoted from offensive coordinator when Tim Beckman took the job at Illinois. The Rockets are 14-7 under his watch, including a 5-3 record and 3-1 in the MAC this year.

There are lots of rumors that Boise State’s Chris Petersen may finally be ready to finally make a move.

Photo credit: Kerry Smith, AP

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Carl Pelini, DC resign at Florida Atlantic after admitting to illegal drug use

UPDATE: Florida Atlantic athletic director Pat Chun announced that head coach Carl Pelini and defensive coordinator Pete Rekstis have resigned.

Carl Pelini resigns as Florida Atlantic head coach. (Photo: Butch Dill, AP)Chun confirmed that the resignations occurred after the two coaches were confronted about reports of illegal drug use, which Chun said both admitted to.

Police escorted the two coaches from the football facility this morning, but Chun stated that it was done as “an HR matter” and no arrests were made.

Offensive coordinator Brian Wright will serve as the interim head coach while linebackers coach Jevan Dewitt will replace Rekstis as defensive coordinator.

Chun said that a national search is already underway for a permanent replacement.

Chun released the following statement:

“On Monday, I was made aware of these concerns and I immediately reported the allegations to our General Counsel. The University acted quickly and decisively to follow up and take action that is in the best interests of our student-athletes and the University overall. I can assure you that we have no information that suggests anyone other than these two individuals engaged in these activities.

“I am personally very saddened for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. I just met with the players a few moments ago and notified them of the news. As you could imagine, the reaction was shock, dismay and disbelief. What I do know is that the FAU football team is a resilient group of young men and they will work through this, and learn and grow from this experience. It is a heartbreaking day for us all.

“I’d like to emphasize that nothing takes a higher priority than the health, safety and well-being of our student-athletes. We will work to ensure that any student-athletes’ questions and concerns are addressed. And let me reiterate, we have no information indicating any student-athletes were involved in any illegal activities.

“Offensive Coordinator Brian Wright will serve as interim head coach, effective immediately. I have great confidence in his abilities to lead this football program. When I asked Brian to take this role he accepted it without hesitation. He is surrounded by eight assistant coaches that are 100 percent committed to our program and student-athletes.”


Carl Pelini has resigned as head coach at Florida Atlantic, per multiple media reports.

FAU has a news conference scheduled for 4 p.m. Wednesday. The school has yet to confirm Pelini’s resignation, but that is the expected announcement.

Pelini succeeded Howard Schnellenberger as coach following the 2011 season, and was 5-15 in just under two seasons with the Owls.

Prior to FAU, Pelini was defensive coordinator for his brother, Bo, at Nebraska. Bo Pelini also finds himself under fire as the Huskers’ coach.

The Owls are 2-6 on the season, including a 1-4 mark in Conference USA. They are coming off a 45-10 loss to Auburn and are host Tulane (6-2, 4-0) on Saturday.

Florida Atlanta has averaged just 20.8 points per game this season, which ranks 105th in FBS.

Photo credit: Butch Dill, AP

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