Ed Orgeron

Tag Archives: Ed Orgeron

The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 20

Sources indicate the heat is rising on Illinois coach Tim Beckman.

Smiles have been been tough to come by lately for Nebraska's Bo Pelini and Illinois' Tim Beckman. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Smiles have been been tough to come by lately for Nebraska’s Bo Pelini and Illinois’ Tim Beckman. (Photo: Nati Harnik, AP)

Athletic director Mike Thomas has been noncommittal about his future. That was before Beckman almost came to blows with OC Bill Cubit on the sidelines Saturday.

Beckman is 5-17 in his second season at the helm. Thomas fired former coach Ron Zook after he led the Illini to back-to-back bowls. (Those Illini teams won back-to-back bowls for the first time in program history).

We’re hearing that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is likely to be safe if the Huskers finish 9-3. That is, unless they give up 70 in the bowl game ( a la last year’s Big Ten title game).

Frank Solich was fired after going 9-3, but sources say current AD Shawn Eichorst probably isn’t likely to be as quick on the trigger as Steve Pederson.

Oklahoma State handed Mack Brown his worst home loss as Texas head coach on Saturday, beating the No. 24 Longhorns, 38-13. It was Brown’s eighth straight defeat against a ranked team at home.

The reality is that Brown likely needs to beat Texas Tech and Baylor (and have Baylor beat Oklahoma State). That scenario would give the Longhorns the Big 12 title and a BCS bowl berth.

Anything less than that and it’s probably over.

In an interview with Steve Hartman and Pat O’Brien, LA Daily News writer Scott Wolff says Ed Orgeron has a 50% chance of landing the USC job on a permanent basis. If the Trojans beat UCLA, that could increase to 75%.

Former Ole Miss Chancellor Robert Khayat says he’d give Orgeron another shot.

“If Mr. Haden asked me that question, given the performance, the 180-degree turnaround — if I’m the president or chancellor, I would recommend that we give him a shot at it,” Khayat said. “[Orgeron] knows what it’s like to be hired, fired, to win and lose.

“I’ve probably said more than I should — I should answer this as a hypothetical. But I would want to see him have the opportunity to be a head coach.”

There’s been some speculation privately – and now publicly – that FIU coach Ron Turner could leave on his own accord and head back to the NFL. Sources indicate there’s a growing movement to dump both him and athletic director Pete Garcia.

Southern Miss coach Todd Monken announced a change in the Golden Eagles coaching staff Tuesday afternoon. Graduate assistant Grant Garner will replace veteran assistant Pete Perot as offensive line coach for the final two games of the season.

Rhode Island head coach Joe Trainer has been released from the final year of his contract, athletic director Thorr Bjorn announced.

Read More

News and Rumors: USC coaching search update

News surfaced over the weekend that Broncos defensive coordinator and interim head coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC job during Denver’s off week. We’d been hearing rumors, but nothing confirming the interview until Sunday.

Is Ed Orgeron's success making things tough on Pat Haden? (Photo: Ed Rubalcava, CalSport Media via AP)

Is Ed Orgeron’s success making things tough on Pat Haden? (Photo: Ed Rubalcava, CalSport Media via AP)

Another story surfaced citing sources close to the search claiming the Trojans might be willing to pay as much as $6 million per year to the right coach.

At the same time, interim coach Ed Orgeron is out actively campaigning for the job.

“I want to be the head coach at USC,” Orgeron said Monday during an appearance on ESPNU’s “CFB Daily.” “I love being a head coach. I think that it’s something I’m able to do, and do well. And I want to be the head coach at USC when I get the chance.

“I think I can perform on a very high basis to do what the Trojan family wants me to do.”

Current players are also weighing in saying they’d like to see Orgeron get the permanent gig.

“We absolutely love him,” USC quarterback Cody Kessler said Saturday night. “We’d run through a brick wall for him. He has that look in his eye that you can tell that when he talks to you he really does care.

“I gave him a hug after the game, and I don’t know if he’d want me saying this, but I saw his eyes water up. It’s awesome when you play with someone who has that same passion.”

Then there was a report last week that Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin had emerged as the top candidate for the job.

Our analysis?

Orgeron has done a phenomenal job. However, the two leaks over the past week suggest the Trojans are looking in other directions – at least for now. There was no reason for the Del Rio interview to leak – unless it was to quell the growing excitement of USC fans about Orgeron.

And USC certainly isn’t going to pay Orgeron, who was 10-25 at Ole Miss, $6 million per season.

Now, there’s a big difference in coaching at USC and Ole Miss. USC is probably the best job in the Pac-12. Ole Miss is among the bottom bottom four in the SEC. And Orgeron seems more at ease, more mature and more comfortable in his own skin this time around. That doesn’t mean he’s getting the job.

What about Sumlin? We don’t buy it. At least not yet.

Pick a name associated with the USC coaching search – Del Rio, Jon Gruden, Jeff Fisher, Lovie Smith, Mike Riley… Almost every name associated with the job has an NFL background. Even Orgeron spent time with the Saints.

From the outside looking in, it seems USC athletic director Pat Haden is looking for a coach with a certain profile. Sumlin doesn’t seem to fit that profile.

What happens? We’re not sure yet. But this one is far from over.

Read More

Jack Del Rio interviewed for USC job

Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC head coaching vacancy on Nov. 1, according to multiple reports.

Denver Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC coaching job on Nov. 1. (Photo: Gregory Bull, AP)Del Rio, who played linebacker at USC during the early 1980s, met with athletic director Pat Haden during Denver’s bye week.

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed that Haden asked permission to interview Del Rio. The interview took place one day before news surfaced that Denver head coach John Fox needed to undergo heart surgery, which elevated Del Rio to the interim job.

Del Rio was 68–71 in nine seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Trojans assistant Ed Orgeron became USC’s interim coach after Lane Kifin’s firing and is a candidate to become full time coach. The former Ole Miss head coach has led USC to a 5-1 record, including a 20-17 upset win against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday night.

Other names mentioned in conjunction with the USC opening include Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

Photo: Gregory Bull, AP

Read More

Report: Kevin Sumlin emerges as USC's No. 1 target

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s name is one of several that have been mentioned to replace Lane Kiffin at USC.

According to an LA Daily News report, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin has emerged as the top target to fill USC's coaching vacancy. (Photo: Dave Martin, AP)But according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, not only is Sumlin a target, he’s emerged as Pat Haden’s top target.

As we mentioned in Thursday’s Rumor Mill, we’ve heard from a couple of sources that there is a growing rift between Sumlin and A&M athletic director Eric Hyman. Obviously, that’s just chatter, but if he is considering the USC job, that could be one of the reasons.

Sumlin, who makes $3.1 million a year at Texas A&M, has won 30 games the past 2 1/2 seasons at Houston and Texas A&M. According to Wolf, USC could potentially double that salary.

Haden’s search is still in the early stages, but he hopes to make a hire in December.

Most of the other names mentioned in connection with the SC job have NFL ties, including Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio. According to sources, Haden contacted Jon Gruden, but Gruden is thought to be focused on NFL jobs if he decides to return to the sideline.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

In addition to Sumlin, other college coaches mentioned include Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.

Current Trojans coach Ed Orgeron will also be considered but is not expected to get the job.

Photo: Dave Martin, AP

Read More

The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Nov. 4

Following Saturday’s 23-20 loss to Georgia, Florida is now 4-4 on the year and this week’s Vanderbilt game looms large.

Florida coach Will Muschamp (Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports)Multiple sources indicate they believe Will Muschamp is safe for 2014, at least for now. But a loss to the Commodores on Saturday would add pressure, big time.

If Muschamp returns (and we expect him to), expect major staff changes on the offensive side of the ball.

Dana Holgorsen and West Virginia got a much needed win over TCU on Saturday, but his status is still shaky. Most insiders believe he is in serious danger.

With his team at 4-4, the heat on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen is rising. The Bulldogs could easily lose three of their remaining four games – and even the Arkansas game could be considered a toss-up.

Mullen is in danger of losing his job, but some believe he might be working on an exit strategy…

His name has surfaced as a potential candidate to replace the fred Paul Pasqualoni at UConn.

Former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt is also interested in the job.

At Florida Atlantic, the names we hear most are former FIU head coach and current Alabama assistant Mario Cristobal, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and Miami offensive coordinator James Coley.

Other names that have surfaced for the job include Ohio State defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mark Snyder, former Texas defensive coordinator Manny Diaz and ex-Florida head coach Ron Zook.

CBSSports’ Jason La Canfora reported Sunday that former Bears coach Lovie Smith interviewed for the USC job. Smith denies he interviewed and says he has zero interest in the job.

Sources tell FRM that A.D. Pat Haden reached out to Jon Gruden, but that the reception was lukewarm. We’re told Gruden could end up back in Oakland where it all began.

Back to USC… The Trojans are doing exactly what we expected — looking at coaches with NFL backgrounds. We’re also told not to rule out interim coach Ed Orgeron as a serious candidate. A lot depends on oh the Trojans finish.

Florida defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin could be a serious candidate at Miami (Ohio). We’re told the RedHawks plan to stick to the their usual MO and hire an up and comer.

The heat is rising on Jim Grobe at Wake Forest. The Deacons are 4-5 and could easily finish 4-8.

Does Nebraska coach Bo Pelini have nine lives? There was some speculation that if the Huskers lost to Northwestern on Saturday that Pelini wouldn’t have a job today.

Thanks to a Ron Kellogg III-to-Jordan Westerkamp miracle Hail Mary as time expired, Pelini is safe… at least for now.

Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA Today Sports

Read More

Hugh Freeze tweets message for Ole Miss recruiting critics

Hugh Freeze has Ole Miss doing a recruiting 180. (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)

Hugh Freeze has Ole Miss doing a recruiting 180. (Photo: Ole Miss Athletics)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s not exactly a newsflash to say that Ole Miss’ 2013 recruiting class is turning heads.

The Rebels class is currently ranked No. 11 by Rivals.com, and are poised to move higher – perhaps much higher – on Signing Day. Their current ranking doesn’t include the nation’s consensus No. 1 player, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche, who is expected to ink with Ole Miss, or others like five-star offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil or five-star safety Tony Conner who seriously considering the Rebs.

Hugh Freeze has turned Ole Miss into this year’s “it” school on the recruiting circuit.

That’s a pretty drastic change from the norm, and that’s what has people scratching their heads. Last year, Ole Miss finished No. 40 in the Rivals team rankings, and their average ranking over the past five classes is 27th. By any measure, it’s one of the biggest recruiting turnarounds ever.

Ole Miss supporters would tell you that the foundations to land top recruits have always been there – a beautiful campus; a small-but-sophisticated college town; lovely, um, coeds; the chance to play against SEC competition but to realistically compete for early playing time – it’s just taken a tireless working and excellent salesman like Freeze to bring them to light.

Still, it’s understandable that fans of college football’s blue bloods might be skeptical of an upstart stealing their recruits – especially when that team plays in the SEC West.

At least one of those recruits didn’t help the situation. Five-star Laquon Treadwell, the nation’s No. 1 wide receiver and a Rebel commit, caused a social media firestorm when he reportedly posted photos holding cash ($305 to be exact) on his Instagram page just after returning from his official visit to Oxford. (Though, as the Ole Miss blog Red Cup Rebellion points out, if all it took was $305 to secure Treadwell’s services, the Rebs are getting the steal of the century.)

Freeze has apparently had enough. Late Friday afternoon, he posted a message to Twitter calling out the Rebs’ accusers:

Hugh Freeze tweet

Freeze has been known as a dynamic personality, dating back to his days as head coach of Memphis’ Briarcrest Christian School. (If that name sounds familiar, Freeze and Briarcrest were depicted in Michael Lewis’ book and later movie The Blind Side.) Then, in his first college job, he worked on Ed Orgeron’s Ole Miss staff from 2007-07, learning the trade from one of the most tenacious recruiters around.

As a head coach, there’s no denying that Freeze has simply been a winner wherever he’s been. In 10 years at Briarcrest, his teams went 94-30. He was 20–5 in seasons seasons at NAIA Lambuth College, beating opponents by an average of 41-17. Freeze coached just one year at Arkansas State, leading the Red Wolves to a 10-2 record and their first Sun Belt Conference title since 2005, and his 7-6 record last season at Ole Miss surpassed anyone’s expectations.

Could this simply be a case of a hard-working, charismatic coach coupled with some incredibly fortunate circumstance – he happens to have Denzel Nkemdiche, Robert’s older brother, and Anthony Standifer, a former teammate and close friend of Treadwell, on his roster in Oxford – to create the recruiting equivalent of a perfect recruiting storm? Or, is the other side correct, and the Rebels’ recruiting turnaround a function of someone, somewhere at Ole Miss doing something untoward?

Talking to college coaches, it seems to be the former rather than the latter.

When they’re speaking about recruiting off-the-record about recruits they failed to land, college coaches are never shy about throwing around accusations about opposing coaches a – and oftentimes it’s pretty obviously sour grapes. But I’ve actually been shocked by how little chatter there’s been about Ole Miss’ current recruiting bonanza. Most have blamed circumstance (such as with Nkemdiche and Treadwell) or simply the Ole Miss staff doing a great job of selling the positives we mentioned previously.

Either way, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more compelling 2013 recruiting story than Ole Miss’ turnaround, and it will be fascinating to see how this one plays out on Feb. 6 and beyond.

Read More
1 2