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Two former SEC coaches on ESPNU Signing Day Special

Two of the four fired SEC coaches have found work, albeit very temporary. Former Auburn coach Gene Chizik and Tennessee’s Derek Dooley will serve as guest analysts during ESPNU’s 10-hour live coverage of National Signing Day.

Chizik and Dooley will join studio hosts Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah, ESPN football recruiting analysts Tom Luginbill and Craig Haubert, and college football analysts Mike Bellotti and Rod Gilmore for the 24-hour college sports network’s coverage of football recruiting’s biggest day of the year.

Gene Chizik will be back on ESPN. (Photo: ESPN)

Gene Chizik will be back on ESPN. (Photo: ESPN)

Both Chizik and Dooley were fired from their schools in December following losing seasons. Despite his serious demeanor and penchant for canned answers while at Auburn, Chizik actually did a decent job as guest analyst during coverage of the 2012 National Championship Game, and Dooley’s wit and candor have always made many of his meetings with the media worth watching.

Coverage begins Wednesday, Feb. 6 at 9 a.m. ET on the U. According to ESPN, there will be live announcements from “at least 17″ of the nation’s top recruits.

ESPNU will have 13 reporters on campus providing live updates and interviews with coaches throughout the day. Those reporters and their locations are:

  • Alabama (Tom Rinaldi)
  • Auburn (Paul Carcaterra)
  • Clemson (Eamon McAnaney)
  • Florida (Cara Capuano)
  • Florida State (Jeannine Edwards)
  • LSU (Holly Rowe)
  • Michigan (Josina Anderson)
  • Notre Dame (Bob Holtzman)
  • Ole Miss (Allison Williams)
  • Ohio State (Quint Kessenich)
  • Texas (Longhorn Network: Lowell Galindo)
  • Texas A&M (Pedro Gomez)
  • USC (Shelley Smith)
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Coley's switch will impact sidelines, high school hallways

As we reported last night, Florida State offensive coordinator James Coley had an offer on the table for the same role at Miami.

Today, Coley, who had strong ties to both Miami and Florida State (he’s from Miami and graduated from FSU), made the decision to become a member of Al Golden’s staff.

Contract details have not yet been released, but the offer was reportedly for $500,000/year. Florida State was apparently willing to match Miami’s financial package, but sources close to the situation indicate FSU couldn’t match the Canes on two other fronts. The first – and most important – of those being the ability to call plays. Coley was intimately involved in FSU’s game-planning, but on Saturdays, it was Jimbo Fisher’s show.

James Coley (Photo Noles247.com)

James Coley (Photo Noles247.com)

That same source says the second thing working in Miami’s favor was the ability for Coley to now try and “lock down” the prime south Florida recruiting region working for the hometown school. Coley was already a dominating recruiting force in the area, and he believes that will only be magnified when he’s entering schools wearing orange and green. South Florida kids love The U, and as good as he was before, odds are that he’ll be even better convincing them to head to Coral Gables.

Two good examples of hometown Miami recruits where the weight of Coley’s switch could be felt immediately are Booker T. Washington High standouts Matthew Thomas and offensive tackle Denver Kirkland. Thomas, a five-star linebacker, and Kirkland, a four-star offensive tackle, were both thought to be the Noles’ to lose before Coley’s move. (Coley already had a teammate, defensive back Michael Johnson, committed to FSU.) Both Thomas and Kirkland were strongly considering Miami before Coley’s switch, and his departure may be enough to push the pair the Hurricane’s way.

From Florida State’s perspective, Fisher has a history of hiring talented, hard-working recruiters, and there’s no way FSU will concede anything to Miami and there new offensive coordinator. But make no mistake, Coley is a huge get for Golden and the Hurricanes any way you slice it, and his flip will only add more fuel to an already intense rivalry in the halls of south Florida’s high schools and beyond.

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Walker officially leaving New Mexico State

This time it’s official.

Reports surfaced late Tuesday night that New Mexico State head coach DeWayne Walker was leaving to become the Jacksonville Jaguars as secondary coach.

On Wednesday, nothing was officially announced and Walker flew from the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. to Las Cruces to meet with school officials. Some took that as Walker having second thoughts, but sources close to the situation indicate that Walker just wanted to tell them his intentions in person.

DeWayne Walker has left New Mexico State to become the Jaguars' secondary coach. (Photo: AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

DeWayne Walker is headed back to the NFL. (Photo: AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

“I really appreciate the opportunity that Dr. Boston and New Mexico State gave me to be a division I head football coach,” Walker said in a statement released through the school. “Unfortunately, I did not get the program as far as I would have liked from a wins and losses standpoint. But, we do have a better locker room, better kids and a better foundation for the program moving forward.

“There are a lot of people that I want to thank for their support and will be reaching out to those individuals in the coming days. They have helped me in moving the program forward. I am excited about starting a new chapter in my coaching career, as is my family. I wish New Mexico State great success in the future and wish everyone the best. Go Aggies!”

Walker, who compiled a 10-40 record in four seasons at New Mexico State including a 1-11 mark in 2012, had expressed concern over a lack of resources dedicated to the program.

Walker joins the staff of Gus Bradley, the former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator who took over the Jags last week. Walker and Bradley have a connection through Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll.

Bradley was Carroll’s defensive coordinator the last two seasons in Seattle before getting hired by the Jaguars. Walker was Carroll’s first hire once he became head coach at USC Trojans in 2001, and spent the three seasons before that under Carroll in a similar role with the New England Patriots.

NMSU has named offensive coordinator Doug Martin as interim head coach. Martin coached the Aggie offense during the 2011 season before accepting a similar position at Boston College last year. He returned to NMSU last week on a two-year contract after being let go at BC.

Martin was head coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes from 2004-2010, where he compiled a record of 29-53.

According to  Don Kloppenburg, a longtime college football coach who lives in Las Cruces, Martin came back to the school with the understanding that Walker’s departure could be in the works.

“He definitely anticipated it,” Kloppenburg said,

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Auburn staff update: Bisaccia, staff salaries & roles

Just a couple of weeks ago, it looked like new Auburn coach Gus Malzhan was done courting coaches and could focus on finishing out the Tigers’ recruiting class.

Malzahn had put together what looked to be an outstanding staff, and the group was working hard to salvage a recruiting class filled with star-studded players that were wavering in the aftermath of the Gene Chizik debacle.

Along came the Dallas Cowboys to complicate things.

Will Rich Bisaccia join the Cowboys? (Photo: )

Will Rich Bisaccia join the Cowboys? (Photo: )

Jason Garrett is looking for a special teams coach, and Rich Bisaccia, who was recently hired by Malzhan as assistant head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator, is one of the best around. Bisaccia coached special teams for the San Diego Chargers from 2010-12, and with Tampa Bay from 2002-10, where he won a Super Bowl.

The Cowboys interviewed Alan Lowry and Bruce DeHaven, who both coached Dallas’ special teams previously, but have focused on Bisaccia as their target. Bisaccia met with the Cowboys and is said to be strongly considering their offer.

Bisaccia was on the road recruiting for Auburn last night, and reportedly visited with Derrick Green, considered the nation’s No. 1 running back prospect who is considering Auburn and Michigan, but thought to be leaning to the Wolverines.

Bisaccia is expected to make a decision regarding the Cowboys’ offer quickly. Financial details of the Dallas offer are not known at this time. If he chooses to remain at Auburn, he is set to make $500,000 next year.

Below is a look at all of Malzahn’s staff, their roles and salaries:

[colored_box color=”blue”]Ellis Johnson, Defensive Coordinator: $800,000
Former Southern Miss head coach

Rodney Garner, Associate Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator, Defensive Line: $500,000
From Georgia

Rich Bisaccia, Assistant Head Coach, Running Backs, Special Teams: $500,000
Former San Diego Chargers special teams coach

Charlie Harbison, Defensive Backs: $450,000
From Clemson

Rhett Lashlee, Offensive coordinator, Quarterbacks: $350,000
From Arkansas State

Dameyune Craig, Co-Offensive Coordinator, Wide Receivers: $350,000
From Florida State

J.B. Grimes, Offensive Line: $275,000
From Arkansas State

Tim Horton, Tight Ends: $250,000
Former Arkansas running backs coach and recruiting coordinator

Melvin Smith, Defensive Backs: $250,000
From Mississippi State
[/colored_box]

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OU's Jay Norvell to interview with Bears

Jay Norvell

Sources indicate that Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jay Norvell is interviewing with the Chicago Bears. Norvell and new Bears coach Marc Trestman coached together with the Oakland Raiders in 2002-03.

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Bridge named Illinois OL coach

Jim Bridge will join Tim Beckman's (above) staff at Illinois. (Photo: Seth Perlman/AP Photo)

Jim Bridge will join Tim Beckman’s (above) staff at Illinois. (Photo: Seth Perlman/AP Photo)

Jim Bridge will be the new offensive line coach at Illinois.

Bridge has been at N.C. State the past six seasons. He coached tight ends there from 2007-10 and moved to the offensive line in 2011-12 when Tom O’Brien was dismissed. Bridge followed O’Brien from Boston College, where he coached tight ends from 2003-06.

Bridge coached with Illinois head coach Tim Beckman on Urban Meyer’s staff at Bowling Green in 2000, as Bridge coached tight ends and Beckman served as defensive coordinator. He replaces Luke Butkus, who left the Illini for Florida International after just one season. Bridge joins an offensive staff now led by coordinator Bill Cubit, who replaced the ousted Chris Beatty.

“Illinois is a great fit for me, personally, and Coach Beckman has assembled an outstanding staff,” Bridge said in a prepared statement. “As a coach, you always look forward to competing in a premier conference like the Big Ten and at one of the nation’s great academic institutions such as the University Illinois.

“I can’t wait to get started with the members of our team and especially our offensive linemen.”

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Report: Hurtt could face major sanctions

Clint Hurtt (Photo: Cardinal-laws.com)

Clint Hurtt (Photo: Cardinal-laws.com)

The NCAA’s Notice of Allegations in the Nevin Shapiro scandal at the University of Miami is iminent, and according to Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com, Louisville defensive line coach/associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Clint Hurtt could face serious allegations.

Feldman’s article claims that Hurtt will be cited with “unethical conduct,” better known in NCAA circles as a violation of Bylaw 10.1.

“They are pretty much throwing everything at him,” the source said of Hurtt. “They have him on essentially everything that was brought to the attention of the NCAA, some of which has been publicly known because of (Shapiro) but there are some other things that did not involve Shapiro that they’re charging him with.”

The source added that after the NCAA began investigating Shapiro’s claims, student-athletes detailed other violations allegedly committed by Hurtt and Aubrey Hill, another former UM assistant who had resigned from Florida weeks before the start of the 2012 season. The coaches are expected to be cited for “unethical conduct,” better known in NCAA circles as a violation of Bylaw 10.1, said the source. Among the charges the NCAA will allege against the former UM football assistants are impermissible transportation, impermissible lodging as well as impermissible benefits, the source said.

Lousiville officials said that the Notice of Allegations had not been received as of Monday night. However, once the notice is received, those named in the case have 90 days to respond in writing and also receive a hearing before the Committee on Infractions. A final ruling could take as long as six months after that hearing.

Eric Crawford of WDRB TV in Louisville writes:

Earlier Monday CBS reported that Missouri coach Frank Haith could face serious allegations — and a possible “show cause” penalty from the NCAA — over incidents during his basketball coaching tenure at Miami.

If Hurtt were to receive a similar penalty and it were to stick then it’s certain he would not remain on U of L’s staff. Coaches who receive notices of allegations have 90 days to respond and are accorded due process by the NCAA, but in the event of a show-cause penalty any school that wants to employ that coach must assume the sanctions placed on that coach by the NCAA. In addition, any school hiring a coach with a show-cause penalty in place must appear before the NCAA committee on infractions and show cause for why it should not be penalized just for hiring that coach.

In other words, a show-cause penalty effectively makes a coach virtually unemployable by an NCAA institution for the term of the show-cause.

Hurtt, who is in his third season at Louisville, has played a key role both as a recruiter and position coach on Charlie Strong’s staff. In 2011, he named ESPN.com’s National Recruiter of the Year, serving as primary recruiter for four Rivals.com four-star prospects, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, defensive backs Gerod Holliman and Andrew Johnson, and wide receiver Eli Rogers, among others.

A former Hurricane player, Hurtt was the recruiting coordinator at Miami from 2007-09 before leaving to join the U of L staff as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator in 2010. All of the reported allegations against him are from his tenure at Miami.

The investigation began nearly two years ago after Shapiro, who is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for a $930 million Ponzi scheme, told Yahoo! that he gave thousands of impermissible benefits, primarily to football players, from 2002 to 2010. According to the Yahoo! Sports report in August 2011:

  • Shapiro told federal agents in taped interviews that on two occasions, he paid for Hurtt to bring large groups of Hurricanes football recruits to dinner at Miami Beach restaurant Café Grazie.
  • Shapiro told federal agents in taped interviews that he provided Hurtt an interest-free loan of $5,000 – one $2,500 cash payment and one $2,500 check. Shapiro said during his interviews with federal agents that Hurtt did repay the loans. However, Shapiro said he knew it was an NCAA violation to provide interest-free loans to coaches.
  • On a Friday night in 2008, Shapiro said Hurtt arranged to bring three Miami recruits – Andre Debose, Ray-Ray Armstrong and Dyron Dye – to Shapiro’s $6 million Miami Beach mansion for the purposes of the booster recruiting the players. Then-wide receivers coach Aubrey Hill also attended the players’ visit to Shapiro’s home.
  • During his Friday night recruiting pitch, Shapiro took Hurtt, Hill, Debose, Armstrong and Dye through his mansion, stopping at one point to showcase a specially built closet filled with game-worn college and NFL jerseys of former Hurricanes greats. After the tour of the house, Shapiro took the three players for a drive on Alton Road in his $200,000 Mercedes S65.
  • Shapiro said Hurtt was also on hand when he entertained Debose, Armstrong and Dye in his mansion. Shapiro said another recruit, Olivier Vernon, was also on hand. He said Vernon’s visit to the booster’s home was also arranged by Hurtt.

Shapiro told Yahoo!, “Hurtt became a really good friend of mine. He kept me posted on what was going on with the recruiting inside the university.”

Yahoo! provided phone records of cell phone conversations between Hurtt and Shapiro, and a copy of a $2,500 check from Shapiro to Hurtt.

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