A record-setting number of college players will leave school early to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Vanderbilt head coaching search is coming to an end.
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.
Vanderbilt is expected to name Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its head coach, according to media reports.
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.
In yesterday’s Rumor Mill, we reported that Alabama defensive backs coach Greg Brown was likely to step down, and that there could be additional movement on Nick Saban’s staff.
It looks like those moves are all but official now.
ESPN reports that Brown has indeed stepped down and that defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will move from linebackers coach over to the secondary.
Kevin Steele, who spent last season as director of player personnel, will take over linebacker coaching duties from Smart, rounding out the Tide’s on-field staff.
Though he was hired prior to the 2013 season to spearhead Alabama’s off-field recruiting efforts, it was only a matter of time before he returned to an on-field role.
Prior to hiring Georgia’s Todd Grantham, Bobby Petrino offered Steele the defensive coordinator job at Louisville. But with the opportunity to move back on the field, Steele decided to remain in Tuscaloosa.
Steele was previously defensive coordinator at Clemson and Alabama, and was head coach at Baylor from 1999-2002.
The 2013 season was Brown’s only one at Alabama. He was defensive coordinator at Colorado the two prior seasons and has 15 years experience coaching in the NFL.
Returning to the secondary should be easy transition Smart, who coached there previously and played safety in college.
Smart made it clear that he wasn’t happy with Alabama’s inconsistency at cornerback in 2013.
“We are not used to that,” he told the media prior to the Sugar Bowl. “We’ve kind of always had one key guy with all the first -round, second-round corners we’ve had, we’ve always had a staple guy there, then kind of an understudy that was the other one who was an up-and-coming corner.
“Hasn’t been that way this year. It’s been frustrating.”
Florida State defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt has accepted the same position at Georgia, according to multiple media reports.
Todd Grantham resigned Sunday as the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator to join Bobby Petrino’s Louisville staff.
In December 2012, Pruitt left Alabama to join Jimbo Fisher’s FSU staff. Thirteen months later, the Pruitt-led Seminoles defense played a critical role in Florida State’s 34-31 win over Auburn in the BCS National Championship.
Georgia has yet to officially announce the hire and details of the contract are not yet available, but Pruitt is expected to sign a contract worth $850,000 annually.
Prior to his only season at FSU, Pruitt spent six seasons under Nick Saban at Alabama, including the final three as defensive backs coach.
Photo: Don Juan Moore, AP
It looks like Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason has emerged as the favorite to replace James Franklin at Vanderbilt.
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.
As we mentioned first on Tuesday, Alabama’s Nick Saban had a backup plan when Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier bolted for Michigan, and now he’s made it official.
Saban has hired former USC head coach Lane Kiffin to replace Nussmeier, according to an ESPN report.
Last month, Saban made headlines when he brought Kiffin in to share ideas with the Tide offensive staff.
“Lane is a really good offensive coach, and I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for him,” Saban said at the time. “Just to come in and brainstorm a little bit to get some professional ideas with our guys is a really positive thing.”
ESPN reports that Kiffin agreed to a 3-year deal, and the contract is being completed.
Kiffin, who was fired as coach at USC in September after a 62-41 loss at Arizona State, was 28-15 record in three-plus seasons with the Trojans. He went 7-6 in his only season at Tennessee and 5-15 in two seasons with the Oakland Raiders.
Prior to becoming the Raiders’ coach, Kifffin spent six seasons as an assistant at USC, the last two as the Trojans’ offensive coordinator.
Photo: Danny Moloshok, AP