Keith Patterson

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Will ex-Oklahoma assistant Jackie Shipp join the Arizona State staff?

Ex-Oklahoma assistant Jackie Shipp is the leading candidate to join the staff at Arizona State.

Ex-Sooner Jackie Shipp (left) is the leading candidate to join the staff at Arizona State.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t looks like ex-Oklahoma defensive line coach Jackie Shipp won’t be out of work long.

Shipp, who was reportedly set to interview for a spot on Purdue’s staff this week, is the leading candidate for the opening at Arizona State, according to a source. Though nothing is finalized, the source says that a deal is “close” to being done.

Shipp was an original member of Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma staff hired in 1999. A standout linebacker for the Sooners from 1980-83, he was a first-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins and spent five seasons in the NFL.

He would replace former ASU co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Ron West who left earlier this month for the same position at North Carolina.

Other names mentioned in connection with the Arizona State opening are West Virginia co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Keith Patterson and Memphis linebackers coach Galen Scott, who both served as assistants on Graham’s staff at Tulsa.

Patterson and Graham have a long history. The two coached together at Tulsa from 2003-05, and Patterson was named co-defensive coordinator when Graham took over as the Golden Hurricanes’ head coach in 2007. He served in that capacity until Graham left for Pitt following the 2010 season, and joined Graham for his short-lived tenure there.

Money is likely the biggest hurdle to Patterson joining the Arizona State staff, as he is set to make $351,000 next year at West Virginia. West’s salary at Arizona State was $300,000.

Scott coached under Graham at Tulsa for two seasons. In 2008, he coached linebackers and safeties and moved to cornerbacks coach in 2009. He earned $210,000 last year at Memphis.

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