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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Dec. 12

Yesterday reporters asked 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh about the Texas job, and Harbaugh wasn’t amused.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh responded to reporters' questions about the Texas head coaching job. (Photo: Bill Kostroun, AP)“Are you trying to be funny?” he asked.

Harbaugh, who reiterated that he doesn’t talk about jobs other than one he has, turned down USC flat a few weeks ago.

As great a job as Texas is, the Longhorns are almost certain to be met with the same cold shoulder.

The idea of Harbaugh leaving the 49ers — a team he led to to the Super Bowl last year and, at 9-4 this season, has positioned for a third-straight NFC playoff appearance — to return to college is, to borrow Harbaugh’s phrase, almost laughable.

Still, you can’t blame the UT brass for trying.

Meanwhile, Mack Brown remains the Texas head coach … for now.

School president Bill Powers, a staunch Brown supporter, met with the UT Board of Regents on Thursday where it was announced he’ll remain university president.

There were reports that Powers, Brown and athletic director Steve Patterson would meet Thursday evening, but the Dallas Morning News says that won’t happen.

Powerful Texas booster Red McCombs, a public supporter of Brown, said Thursday that Brown deserves to stay — or leave — on his own terms.

“I think that Mack has earned the right to choose whatever he wants to do, whether he wants to stay or he wants to go,” McCombs said, following Brown’s appearance at an Alamo Bowl press conference Thursday in San Antonio.

If Brown decides to leave, McCombs says that money won’t be an issue in finding his replacement.

“All the money that is not up at the Vatican is at UT,” McCombs said.

Joe Jamail, Brown’s friend and attorney weighed in again this afternoon telling the Austin American-Statesman,  “If (Mack Brown) has made a decision, he hasn’t told me, and I think he would.”

Houston Sports Radio 610 cites a source as stating that Brown will resign on Friday, and that Nick Saban will become the Longhorns coach — perhaps on the same day.

According to the source, Texas is expected to offer Saban “a contract that will pay him at least $6 million annually with performances incentives believed to be worth and extra $2 million a season.”

In addition to the salary, “Texas alums are trying to ‘pass the hat’ to collect $10-$20 million extra to give Saban as a bonus for coming to the school.”

We don’t really believe  the report. Sources confirm Saban is likely to get at least $7 million per year if he stays in Tuscaloosa. A Texas offer is likely to be much larger. Sources also tell us a deal is in place at Alabama, but Saban has yet to act on it.

While Texas remains an option, we certainly don’t believe there is an agreement in place. At least not yet. Most of our sources still believe Saban will stay at Bama, but no one seems to know for sure.

UConn officially announced Notre Dame defensive coordinator Bob Diaco as the Huskies’ new head coach.

Diaco’s contract starts at $1.5 million per year, consisting of a $400,000 base salary and $1.1 million in additional compensation. He’ll receive increases of $50,000 per year over the five-year deal.

Incentives include one month’s base salary for making a bowl game, and up to $400,000 for winning the national championship. If Diaco remains head coach on December 31, 2018, he’ll get a $500,000 retention bonus.

You can read UConn’s full offer letter HERE.

TCU has formally announced the addition of Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham.

Though details of Meacham’s deal were not made public, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that he will be paid $350,000 a year.

Meacham was making $300,000 in his one season as offensive coordinator at Houston. His contract included a $90,000 buyout if he left before February 2014.

Prior to Houston, Meacham spent eight seasons as tight ends and receivers coach at his alma mater Oklahoma State. He served as OSU’s passing game coordinator from 2008-09.

“Our goal is to remain a physical football team,” Patterson said in a release. “Coach Meacham was part of an Oklahoma State system that was highly successful throwing the football, and he continued that in his one year at Houston.

“I’m real excited about the kind of person coach Meacham is and how well he fits our staff. We haven’t talked to anybody who doesn’t think the world of him as a person and coach.”

According to the Star-Telegram, TCU’s former co-offensive coordinators Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson have been offered other staff positions, but it could take more than a month for the entire makeup of the staff to be finalized.

Wide receivers coach Curtis Luper has interviewed for the head job at his alma mater Stephen F. Austin. If Luper gets that job, Burns could return to coaching receivers.

Anderson, who has been part of TCU staff since 1998 when he was a graduate assistant, also coached receivers (2001-08) before he was promoted to co-offensive coordinator with Justin Fuente in 2009.

Fuente became the head coach at Memphis following the 2011 season.

Informed sources tell us Ohio State assistant Stan Drayton has emerged as a frontrunner at FAU.

Candidates for the Arkansas State job are expected to include Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, Arkansas offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, former USC assistant Ed Orgeron and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Texas A&M regents have unanimously approved a new contract for head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin’s name has been tied to the Houston Texans vacancy.

Photo: Bill Kostroun, AP 

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Mack Brown Saga

The situation at Texas is nothing short of a soap opera.

Texas head football coach Mack Brown (Photo: AP)Chip Brown at Orangebloods reported Tuesday that Mack Brown would step down as head coach. On Wednesday, he tweeted:

“My sources at the highest level of Texas have re-confirmed my report. I hope we can start talking about Mack Brown’s legacy at Texas soon.”

After the Orangebloods’ report, Mack responded by telling Horns247, “I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down.”

The Dallas Morning News says that the Texas coach and new athletic director Steve Patterson talked for about three hours Sunday and that nothing was decided.

The DMN also reports that Texas President Bill Powers’ infighting with Gov. Rick Perry over education policy and vision has led to a tenuous job status. Powers’ name and employment status are on the agenda for the Texas Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

Multiple sources tell us that Mack Brown’s firewall is Powers. Powers doesn’t like to be pushed around and apparently has no real desire fire Brown. Sources tell us that recruiting is progressing as usual and Texas coaches are still on the road. Brown was spotted at Miami Central High School last night with assistant Larry Porter.

Meanwhile in Tuscaloosa… NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reported that Nick Saban is in contract negotiations with Alabama for a salary around $7 million a year. According to our sources, ‘Bama thought the terms of an extension were pretty well all agreed to, but are now somewhat flummoxed that the situation hasn’t been resolved.

Athletic director Bill Battle was asked about Saban contract extension on Wednesday and replied, “We’re focused on recruiting and playing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.”

Okay. Whatever that means.

Stefan Stevenson, the TCU beat writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reported that a “source close to Texas executive council of regents says Nick Saban will be next Longhorns coach.”

We don’t have any reason to believe that’s accurate, certainly not at this point.

Our sources tell us they believe Saban will remain at Alabama, but nobody really knows for sure what’s next.

On the Texas front, our sources are split down the middle.

Some believe that the longer Brown staying in place, the better his chances for survival. The Longhorns are scheduled host a recruiting weekend beginning Friday with several JUCO prospects on campus. They feel that there’s no way Brown hosts the weekend unless he’s returning.

Meanwhile, others seem to think Brown is staying in place until and unless Texas has a replacement lined up.

Sources Tuesday morning told us Texas didn’t want to make a move on Brown until the ‘Horns had a replacement in tow. Then, the Chip Brown story broke.

It’s seems pretty clear that Texas has no deal in place with anyone at the moment, and school officials are still trying to figure out how to deal with Brown, who refuses to resign.

In addition, Texas has a president who may not survive past Thursday coupled with a new athletic director who inherited a huge mess and leaks coming from every corner of the university from people with varying agendas.

The latest comes from Mack Brown’s longtime friend and attorney, Joe Jamail.  He spoke with reporters late Wednesday and reiterated Brown has not made a decision as to his future. “He has not tendered his resignation and has not made a decision yet,” Jamail said. “He’ll make that decision sometime soon. “He has not decided yet. He’ll decide that on his own and all these reports are wrong.”

Our best guess as to what ultimately happens? Powers stays and they figure out a way to get Brown out the door with some sort of golden parachute. Jamail’s statement sounds as if this thing is moving toward a conclusion. However, everything could implode as well. Others think Brown won’t back down – no matter what.

Who would replace Brown? We continue to hear that Texas wants Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh or Jimbo Fisher.

However, we’re told Texas wants a coach in place quickly. If the Longhorns swing and miss on Saban, Harbaugh and Fisher won’t be available until January.

One thing is certain, something has to give.

Photo: AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Dec. 11

With Bryan Harsin named head coach at his alma mater Boise State, Arkansas State defensive coordinator John Thompson has been named the Red Wolves’ interim head coach.

Ed OrgeronThompson, who was head coach at East Carolina in 2003-04, will lead ASU in the GoDaddy Bowl vs. Ball State.

ASU’s last three head coaches — Ole Miss’ Hugh Freeze, Auburn’s Gus Malzhan to Auburn, and Harsin — each stayed with the school just one season before moving on to bigger and better things, which should help the school attract some interesting candidates this time around.

A couple of interesting names to keep an eye on include Auburn offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee, an Arkansas native who was with Malzahn with the Red Wolves, former USC assistant Ed Orgeron and Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran.

Ravens assistant offensive line coach Todd Washington has been offered the USC o-line job by new Trojans coach Steve Sarkisian.

As first reported by CBS’ Bruce Feldman, Hawaii has fired defensive coordinator Thom Kaumeyer and linebackers coach Tony Tuioti.

Maryland defensive line coach Greg Gattuso has hired as head coach at Albany, according to multiple media reports.

Kate Hairopoulos of the Dallas Morning News reports that Texas A&M’s Board of Regents will hold a special conference call at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. The school’s president is seeking permission to execute a new contract with the head coach Kevin Sumlin.

Sumlin and athletic director Eric Hyman have an agreement in place for $5 million annually, up from $3.1 million per season.

Details of the contract should become available by open record request soon after details are finalized.

Iowa State offensive line coach Chris Klenakis will interview for the vacant offensive coordinator position.

Ole Miss has announced a one-year extension for Hugh Freeze. His base salary to will increase to $3 million per year. The salary pool for Freeze’s assistants will also increase by $400,000.

The offensive coordinator job at Florida remains in flux. We’re told the leading three candidates are UNC’s Blake Anderson, Arizona State’s Mike Norvell and Nebraska’s Tim Beck.

Sources indicate UCLA’s Noel Mazzone had an early interest, but decided to stay in Westwood.

Ball State offensive coordinator Rich Skrosky will be named head coach at FCS Elon.

Skrosky was an assistant at Elon from 2006-10 under former head coach Pete Lembo.

Photo: Don Ryan, AP

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Mack Brown refutes report that he will step down

Texas coach Mack Brown says that an OrangeBloods.com report that he will step down as the Longhorns coach is untrue.

Texas head football coach Mack Brown denies a report that he has decided to step down. (Photo: Michael Thomas, AP)“I haven’t seen (the) article,” Brown told Horns247.com via text message. “I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here.

“I have not decided to step down.”

The Horns247 report indicates that the Texas football staff has not been made aware of any such decision, and that a high-ranking Texas source told the website a decision regarding Brown’s future is expected within the next 48 hours.

On Twitter, CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman says that the Orangebloods report “will prove accurate.”

Rumors of Brown’s departure from Texas have been ongoing for the better part of this season.

In addition, Texas’ hiring of Steve Patterson to replace longtime athletic director DeLoss Dodds created more whispers about Brown’s future.

Patterson and Brown had their first sit down meeting in New York City on Dec. 8, and a source told the Dallas Morning News’ Chuck Carlton that the meeting was “positive and productive.”

Later in the week, UT president Bill Powers, a longtime advocate of Brown, became part of the agenda at an upcoming Board of Regents meeting which created “an element of uncertainty” around Brown’s job status, according to Carlton.

Brown is 158-47 record in 16 seasons at Texas, winning 10 bowl games, six Big 12 South titles, three conference titles and the 2005 BCS National Championship.

The Longhorns finished the regular season 8-4, following a 30-10 loss to Baylor on Saturday.

Texas had never failed to win at least nine games prior to the 2010 season, but the Longhorns have not reached the 10-win mark since.

Photo: Michael Thomas, AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Dec. 9

It was just a matter of time before Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s name started being mentioned for this year’s head coach openings.

UConn has asked to interview Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi regarding its head coach opening. (Photo: AP)

UConn has asked to interview Michigan State DC Pat Narduzzi regarding its head coach opening. (Photo: AP)

Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports reports that UConn has requested an interview Narduzzi about the Huskies’ coaching vacancy.

We reported yesterday that should Texas dump Mack Brown, they could pursue some big names like Nick Saban, Jim Harbaugh or Jimbo Fisher.

Now, sources close to the situation tell us a decision on Brown is likely to drag out for a few days. Most believe Brown won’t go willingly. In other words, if Texas wants to make a change, it could be ugly.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida State may still be vulnerable to losing Jimbo Fisher, even though he has agreed to a contract extension.

CBS’ Jason La Canfora reports the Redskins could pursue Baylor coach Art Briles when Mike Shanahan is officially shown the door.

The Dallas Morning News says that Briles is likely to stay in Waco.

Rumors continue to circulate that the Texans could pursue Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin.

Wake Forest has interviewed Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson. Clawson’s team won the MAC title by defeating Northern Illinois on Friday.

Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann gave coach Kyle Flood a vote of confidence. Then, Flood fired three assistants, including defensive coordinator Dave Cohen who had been accused of bullying.

New Wyoming coach Craig Bohl will be paid a base salary of $750,000 a year at the start with the opportunity to earn up to $1.2 million with incentives. His contract is for five years.

CBSSports.com’s Bruce Feldman reports that Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin is interviewing for the Boise State job today.

The Idaho Statesman reports that Broncos linebackers coach Bob Gregory will also interview for the job. Gregory and associate head coach Chris Strausser are believed to be the only two in-house candidates being considered.

Other candidates include Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter and Harsin. All three have ties to Boise State.

Jon Gruden won’t pursue any NFL or college jobs and is committed to ESPN for 2014.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Sunday, Dec. 8

It looks very much like the Mack Brown era at Texas will end in 2013.

Could 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh be a candidate for the Texas job? (Photo: AP)

Could 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh be a candidate for the Texas job? (Photo: AP)

Sources intimate the target list includes Alabama coach Nick Saban, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. And don’t rule out Les Miles and Art Briles.

We’re told not to be fooled by leaked contract extensions and that the Longhorns are willing to wait until after late bowl games to get the right guy. Money will be no object.

If there’s a big buyout, Texas will pay it.

For a coaching change year that looked slow (only nine jobs open so far), the Texas job could make things very interesting. The Longhorns will hire a head coach. And that could create a ton of other movement. Alabama, FSU and LSU are great jobs. It’s going to be a very long and interesting month.

At Boise State, sources tell us that while Arkansas State head coach Bryan Harsin in on the list, he’s by no means a shoo-in. The Idaho Statesman reports former defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and former coach Dirk Koetter are also candidates.

A different source tell us that former Broncos coach Dan Hawkins might have an interest. In August, Hawkins was fired just five games into his first season with the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes.

Wake Forest is scheduled to interview Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson. The Deacons have already interviewed Ball State head coach Pete Lembo. Sources also indicate MTSU coach Rick Stockstill could become a serious candidate.

Oregon State is not an easy place to win, and Mike Riley has done a terrific job since he’s been in Crovalis. But, The Oregonian reports that frustration is growing.

Mike Bellotti says that Chris Petersen has long held an interest in the Washington job.

The Idaho Statesman reports Boise State running backs coach Keith Bhonapha, a key recruiter in Southern California, will join Chris Petersen’s staff at Washington.

We reported that Wyoming was going to hire a current head coach to replace Dave Christensen, and the Cowboys did that Saturday when they hired North Dakota State head coach Craig Bohl.

Bohl has won 101 games and led the Bison to consecutive FCS championships.

Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers has become the hot name for the Florida Atlantic job lately.

Rice offensive coordinator John Reagan has been hired as Kansas’ new offensive line coach and offensive coordinator, KU head coach Charlie Weis announced Saturday.

The Palm Beach Post reports that Jimbo Fisher and Florida State have agreed to a new contract that will put him among the top 10 highest paid in the country.

Under the new deal, Fisher will average about $4.1 million a season. An official announcement is expected early this week.

“He’s obviously doing a a good job, so he deserves it,” FSU president Eric Barron said on the field Saturday night after the Seminoles defeated Duke 45-7 to win the ACC championship.

NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reports Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, who agreed to a 6-year deal recently, hasn’t signed it. That means the Texans may have a shot at landing him.

Auburn’s Gus Malzahn has agreed to a new six-year contract, the school announced. Malzahn will be paid $3.85 million in the first year of the new deal and receive a $250,000 raise each year.

The Dallas Morning News reports SMU coach June Jones says he has contract extension offer in hand and will ‘probably’ sign it.

Serious question: On Oct. 25, did you laugh out loud when we quoted a former major college coach who said he thought Auburn would be playing for the National Championship?

Don’t feel bad; we chuckled a time time, too. Guess Malzahn is the only one laughing now.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Friday, Dec. 6

Look for former Boise State assistant Bryan Harsin to be a leading candidate to replace Chris Petersen, who left for Washington.

Expect Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin to be a candidate to replace Chris Petersen at Boise State. (Photo: L.G. Patterson, AP)

Expect Arkansas State coach Bryan Harsin to be a candidate to replace Chris Petersen at Boise State. (Photo: L.G. Patterson, AP)

Harsin spent 10 seasons at Boise before becoming co-offensive coordinator at Texas prior to the 2011 season. After two seasons at Texas, Harsin replaced Gus Malzahn as head coach at Arkansas State.

The Red Wolves are 7-5 in Harsin’s first season there.

New USC coach Steve Sarkisian is working feverishly to assemble his staff.

Trojans wide receivers coach Tee Martin will be retained, while the Seattle Times’ Adam Jude reports Washington linebackers coach Peter Sirmon will join Sarkisian at SC.

Former Huskies defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and uber-recruiter Tosh Lupoi would like to follow Sarkisian, but both coaches have big buyouts to keep them away from other Pac-12 schools and those remain a hurdle.

Sarkisian targeted UCLA offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, but FoxSports’ Lindsay Thiry reports that Klemm has come to terms with the Bruins and will remain at UCLA.

Sources tell us that Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson is a serious candidate for the UConn job.

At Wyoming, it looks former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford is the leading candidate.

If Tedford isn’t the guy, sources tell us Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz and Eastern Illinois coach Dino Babers could emerge as candidates. Bobby Petrino’s name has also been floating around.

Our sources indicate that it’s just a matter of time before a deal is finalized for Ball State coach Pete Lembo to become the new head coach at Wake Forest.

Wake AD Ron Wellman flew to Muncie on Wednesday evening to meet with Lembo and spent the night, which is a good sign that it was more than just an interview.

According to Kirk Bohls, attorney and Texas mega-booster Joe Jamail says Longhorns’ coach Mack Brown could decide his after weighing outcome of Baylor game. According to Jamail, “(Brown) has not decided.”

Meanwhile, Texas president Bill Powers issued a statement essentially saying  Brown’s future had not been decided and that no deal has been struck with Nick Saban.

TCU’s Gary Patterson has hired Houston offensive coordinator Doug Meacham in the same capacity.

Sources indicate that Iowa State defensive coordinator Wally Burnham is leaning toward returning next season.

UCLA has hired former longtime USC assistant Kennedy Polamalu as running backs coach.

At Florida, sources indicate that Arizona State offensive coordinator Mike Norvell could be a serious player to replace the fired Brent Pease. UCLA’s Noel Mazzone has also been linked to the job.

247Sports reports both could choose to remain at their current jobs. Sources tell us that Mazzone would likely be more open to a move, but to rule neither out.

Sources continue to indicate that if SMU’s June Jones either leaves or is fired, Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Sam Houston State coach Willie Fritz are expected to be serious candidates.

CSU-Pueblo coach John Wristen will interview for the Eastern Michigan job.

Auburn coach Gus Malzahn doesn’t want to talk about a contract extension until after Saturday’s SEC Championship Game, but athletic director Jay Jacobs is expected to reward the first-year coach with a new contract that will put him in the top half of the highest-paid SEC coaches.

“We want Gus to be here as long as he wants to be here,” Jacobs said on Thursday.

“We’ll have a deal that is great for him and good for Auburn.”

 

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