Derek Mason

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Friday, Jan. 17

The Vanderbilt head coaching search is coming to an end.

Pep Hamilton reportedly turned down the chance to be Vanderbilt's head coach.  (Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)

Pep Hamilton reportedly turned down the chance to be Vanderbilt’s head coach. (Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)

School officials had a plane ready to go pick up Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, only to be turned down. Now, the Commodores are set to hire Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

Sources tell us that Cardinal linebackers coach Lance Anderson could join Mason at Vanderbilt as defensive coordinator.

At Florida State, several sources tell us that linebackers coach Charles Kelly is a serious candidate to replace Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator. Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins could also become a player.

Virginia Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has accepted the same job at LSU. Grimes was a member of Gene Chizik’s Auburn staff and was at Colorado before that.

Sources tell us that Indiana offensive coordinator Seth Littrell has emerged as a serious candidate to replace Blake Anderson as OC at North Carolina.

The North Texas board of regents unanimously approved the parameters for a contract extension for Dan McCarney.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini announced that he has tabbed Air Force associate head coach and defensive coordinator Charlton Warren will be the Huskers’ new secondary coach.

Warren replaces Terry Joseph, who left to join the Texas A&M staff earlier this week.

New Texas head coach Charlie Strong has completed his coaching staff.

Darrin Chiaverini, an NFL veteran and fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Colorado, has been named special teams coordinator at Texas Tech.

DuckTerritory reports longtime Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal has been given additional responsibilities as the defense’s passing game coordinator.

Neal’s name was mentioned for the UAB head coaching vacancy, and he was an assistant with the Blazers previously.

Speaking of UAB

School officials are expected to interview former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe and current Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark on Friday.

Sources tell us that Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran could be a serious candidate, and Atlanta Falcons’ tight ends coach Chris Scelfo is also scheduled to interview.

Former Syracuse and UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni has been hired as the Chicago Bears new linebackers coach, according to the “Mully and Hanley” Show on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago.

The Washington Post reports Maryland has hired three new assistant coaches.

Keenan McCardell, a two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been hired to coach the Terrapins’ wide receivers. Dave DeGuglielmo, a 22-year coaching veteran with nine years of NFL experience, will coach Maryland’s offensive line while Chad Wilt comes from Ball State to lead the defensive line.

ESPN reports Doug Woolard is being replaced as the University of South Florida athletic director, but he will be allowed to remain at the school in an unspecified role until his contract expires next year, sources said.

The decision to replace Woolard of his duties stems from “wide-ranging dissatisfaction” with the Bulls football and men’s basketball programs, according to sources.

NC State coach Dave Doeren has hired George Barlow as the Wolfpack’s cornerbacks coach. Barlow joins the Pack after two seasons at Vanderbilt.

Western Michigan running backs coach Charles Huff has left the Broncos to join James Franklin’s staff at Penn State.

The Miami Herald reports FIU has filled out its staff with the hirings of running backs coach Kenny Dixon, last year a running backs assistant at FAU; linebackers coach Rob Harley, last year a graduate assistant at Michigan State; and special teams coordinator Shannon Moore, a longtime assistant at South Dakota State.

Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Steve Shankweiler will be the offensive coordinator. Last year, head coach Ron Turner acted as his own offensive coordinator.

Following just one season at SMU, Hal Mumme is headed back to the small college ranks as a head coach.

Mumme will be named head coach at NAIA Belhaven Univeristy in Jackson, Miss.

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Report: Stanford DC Derek Mason to be named Vanderbilt coach

Vanderbilt is expected to name Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its head coach, according to media reports.

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason will be named head coach at Vanderbilt. (Photo: AP)Mason, who was believed to be the favorite all along, will replace James Franklin, who earlier this month left for the Penn State job.

A finalist for the 2012 Broyles Award, Mason directed the Pac-12’s top-ranked scoring defense (19 points per game) and rushing defense (89.4 yards) in 2013. The Cardinal also led the Pac-12 in those categories in 2012, allowing 17.2 points and 97 rushing yards on average.

Stanford appeared in to consecutive Rose Bowls in 2012 and 2013, and compiled a 46-8 record during Mason’s four seasons at the school.

Mason had coaching stints with the Minnesota Vikings (defensive backs, 2007-09); Ohio University (wide receivers, 2005-06); New Mexico State (wide receivers, 2004); St. Mary’s (co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, 2003); Utah (wide receivers and special teams assistant, 2002); Bucknell (defensive backs, 1999-2001); Idaho State (running backs, 1997-98); Weber State (wide receivers, 1995-96); and San Diego Mesa College (wide receivers, 1994).

Franklin, who was 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt, was introduced as replacement for Bill O’Brien at Penn State last Saturday.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Jan. 14

It looks like Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason has emerged as the favorite to replace James Franklin at Vanderbilt.

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Multiple sources tell us that Mason is the leading candidate for the job, and CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler reports an interview is scheduled.

Alabama has hired Texas assistant (and former Crimson Tide assistant) Bo Davis to coach defensive line.

Sources tell us to expect even more movement on Nick Saban’s staff. Multiple sources indicate secondary coach Greg Brown is likely to move on. We’re also told there could be one to two other changes.

SI.com’s Pete Thamel reports longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson could join Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State.

The 61-year-old Johnson, a PSU assistant since 1996, told PennLive on Monday night he met with Franklin twice and was offered the opportunity to continue as defensive line coach at Penn State.

But, after considering the offer, LJ decided to move on. He said he has not retired and plans to continue coaching.

OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel joined Bill O’Brien’s Texans staff.

Speaking of the Buckeyes, Adam Caplan reports should Jim Caldwell wind up getting the Lions head coaching job, he could add former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to his offensive staff.

The Seattle Times reports Washington’s eight new assistant coaches are guaranteed a combined salary north of $3 million in their first year on Chris Petersen’s staff, making them among the highest-paid staffs in the Pac-12 Conference.

Hot names for the UAB head coaching job include Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Hoover High School head coach Josh Niblett and former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

Texas‘ new football coach, Charlie Strong, will be paid $5 million for the 2014 season and the school will pay Strong’s $4.375 million buyout to Louisville, according to financial terms approved Monday by the university system’s board of regents.

Sources indicate offensive line coach Joe Wickline and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson are likely to run the Longhorns’ offense together.

Horns247 reports Les Koenning Jr., Joker Phillips and Mike Groh are the three leading contenders for the wide receivers position. The receivers job is the last vacant spot on the Longhorns’ staff.

Dawgs247 reports Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as the leader to replace Todd Grantham as Georgia’s defensive coordinator.

DuckTerritory reports that Oregon will hire longtime assistant Don Pellum as its new defensive coordinator and that the Ducks will look to hire Philadelphia Eagles assistant Erik Chinander to fill out the staff.

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Petrino to be named Louisville coach Thursday

The stage is set for Bobby Petrino’s return to Louisville.

Western Kentucky coach Bobby Petrino will be named the new Louisville head football coach on Thursday. (Photo: Hans Pennink, AP)The former Cardinals coach is expected to officially be named as Charlie Strong’s successor at a Thursday press conference.

The school told media Wednesday that the athletic department’s Personnel Committee would a hold a special meeting in the athletic director’s suite of the football stadium. A press conference is scheduled roughly a half hour later.

Petrino landed at Western Kentucky after scandal cost him his job at Arkansas in 2012. Following a motorcycle accident that spring, it was discovered that Petrino was riding with his mistress, Jessica Dorrell, who he had hired for a position within the football program.

When Petrino’s personal and professional relationships with Dorrell became public, Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long abruptly fired Petrino, despite a 34-17 record.

Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich interviewed seven candidates for the job, including Colorado State coach Jim McElwain, Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason, and Strong’s two coordinators – Vance Bedford and Shawn Watson.

Petrino was coach of the Cardinals from 2003-06, and compiled a 41-9 record.

Photo: Hans Pennink, 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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