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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Wednesday, Nov. 27

Ball State’s Pete Lembo is a hot name. His Cardinals are 9-2 and won nine games last year.

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

Ball State coach Pete Lembo is likely to be mentioned for several openings. (Photo: Richard Shiro, AP)

We’re told Lembo could be a serious candidate at both UConn and Wake Forest.

Sources indicate that Virginia coach Mike London is likely to return in 2014.

His saving grace? An $8.06 million buyout.

It would also cost the Cavs an additional $3.12 million to dump his staff. That’d over $11 million paid to coaches not to coach. That’s unlikely to happen at a place like Virginia.

There’s a ton of chatter about Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe. Multiple sources tell us that Grobe could retire or be pushed out. The Deacons are currently 4-7.

Michigan native Jerry Glanville says he’s the man for the Eastern Michigan job. Glanville lives in Atlanta, but he’d love the opportunity to return his home state and believes the Eagles can win.

According to the Detroit Free Press, other candidates for the EMU job include former Eagles quarterback Ron Adams, ex-Michigan running back Tyrone Wheatley, now an assistant with the Buffalo Bills, former Miami (Ohio) coach Mike Haywood, and Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, previously with Grand Valley State.

At Georgia, there are lots of rumors flying around Athens that the Bulldogs could make some defensive staff changes.

We continue to hear that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is going to get looks from the NFL. It’s expected to be a big year for coaching changes in the Not-For-Long league, and the timing might be right for Sumlin to exit College Station.

We’ve been told privately some sources have told us there could be a few staff changes at Northwestern. The Chicago Sun-Times makes that sound very possible.

Akron has extended Terry Bowden’s contract. The Zips are 4-7, but that’s still the school’s most wins in five seasons.

We’re hearing varying opinions on how much trouble Nebraska’s Bo Pelini is in. After sampling several coaches this week, the consensus seems tobe that Pelini keeps his job at 9-3. If the Huskers have a meltdown against Iowa then things get a little more dicey, but for his part, Pelini says he’s not coaching for his job.

At Indiana, we continue to hear that Kevin Wilson is likely to return, but to expect major staff changes on defense. Wilson says his program is making progress.

We’re hearing that Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads will return, but again, expect a major staff shakeup. Rhoads said this week he feels his job “absolutely not” in danger.

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Former Michigan players among the names to watch for EMU head coach opening

Eastern Michigan coach Ron English was fired last week after audio of an expletive-filled locker room tirade went public, and AD Heather Lyke has said she would like to have a replacement for English in place by Christmas.

Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Detroit Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher (Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press)

Whoever gets the job will have their work cut out for them. English went 11-46 in his five seasons at EMU, and the Eagles haven’t won a MAC championship since 1987.

One name to keep an eye on is current Detroit Cass Tech High head coach Thomas Wilcher.

Wilcher played running back at Michigan under Bo Schembechler from 1983-86, and has been the the head coach at Cass Tech for 16 seasons. His teams have won two straight state titles and will be going for a third this month.

Despite the program’s struggles, Wilcher says the EMU job looks appealing.

“You can win at Eastern Michigan,” he told the Detroit News. “Sure, you’re behind the eight ball since you’ve lost so many years, but you just have to have a change in attitude.”

Wilcher, a former Michigan running back, has developed tremendous talent at Cass Tech, including one of the premier players in the nation this year in defensive back Damon Webb, who has committed to Ohio State, and linebacker Deon Drake, a Michigan State commitment. Quarterback Jayru Campbell, a junior, has also committed to Michigan State.

The timing could be right for Wilcher to make a move out of the high school ranks.

“I have thought about it. Yes, I would be interested in coaching college,” he said. “I’ve been head coach here at Cass Tech for 16 years and love what I do, but there are times where I think I need a different challenge.

“I wouldn’t have to be a head coach either. I’d just want to be in a coaching job where I could help the program win.”

Another pair of former Michigan players are among those likely to receive consideration.

Former Wolverines running back Tyrone Wheatley, currently the running backs coach for the Buffalo Bills, and ex-Michigan quarterback Scot Loeffler, now offensive coordinator at Virginia Tech, are also thought to be potential candidates.

Wheatley has stated on numerous occasions that his goal was to come home and be a Division 1 head coach. He was asked by the Detroit News on Saturday if he was interested in the EMU opening, and his response was emphatic.

“Like I told you back in January, I would love to come home and be a head coach of a Division 1 college football program,” he said

Loeffler, who played quarterback at Michigan from 1993-96, started his career as a GA on Lloyd Carr’s 1997 national championship team.

Following brief stints at Central Michigan, with the Detroit Lions and at Florida, Loeffler was hired as offensive coordinator at Temple in 2011. He joined Gene Chizik’s staff at Auburn in 2012 before being fired with the rest of the staff at the end of the season.

Other names mentioned as possibilities for EMU include Wayne State head coach Paul Winters, Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley, former Miami (Ohio) head coach Mike Haywood, and former Western Michigan coach and current Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit.

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