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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Sunday, Dec. 29

There’s certainly plenty of smoke that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is primed for a return to the NFL.

Penn State coach Bill O'Brien will be named head coach of the Houston Texans. (Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP)It’s been making the news rounds the past couple of weeks, and now ESPN reports that O’Brien has emerged as the overwhelming favorite to become the next coach of the Houston Texans, and the two sides are working to get a deal in place within the next week.

Lions247 reports Brooklyn (N.Y.) Abraham Lincoln five-star defensive tackle and Nittany Lions commit Thomas Holley spoke with O’Brien Saturday night regarding the ESPN report that O’Brien was in the process of working on a deal to become the Houston Texans next head coach.

“I just off the phone with him,” Holley told 247Sports Luke Stampini. “He said he isn’t going. It’s not true.”

The Houston Chronicle’s John McClain reports that Texans owner Bob McNair said the search for the team’s next head coach “isn’t over.”

“The process continues,” he said. “We have other interviews scheduled next week. It isn’t over.”

CBSSports reports Chargers offensive coordinator and former Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt will be given strong consideration for the Texans job.

Reports surfaced Friday that Washington defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox was expected to accept the same position on Steve Sarkisian’s USC staff.

Now, DuckTerritory is reporting that Oregon has targeted Wilcox to replace the longtime outgoing DC Nick Aliotti. If the Ducks miss on Wilcox, they more than likely promote John Neal to the position.

There are all sorts of rumors flying around linking Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly to the Detroit Lions job. However, it looks as if Kelly is likely to stay put.

Jets linebackers coach Brian VanGorder will become Notre Dame’s new defensive coordinator. VanGorder was defensive coordinator at Auburn, Georgia and the Atlanta Falcons.

Multiple sources tell us North Carolina assistant Walt Bell will be the new offensive coordinator at Arkansas State. He had been considered a leading candidate to take over for the departed Blake Anderson, but it looks like Bell will instead join Anderson instead.

InsideCarolina reports that Bell is receiving a two-year contract at $225,000 per year in his new position at Arkansas State, which is less than what UNC offered.

UNC head coach Larry Fedora could look to his former offensive coordinator and current Texas co-OC Darrell Wyatt as his next play caller.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told the Toledo Blade there are no plans to renegotiate with head coach Urban Meyer before next season, but he knows Ohio State “will have to face that music down the road.”

At Texas, there’s a lot of smoke around Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher. If the Texas search drags until the BCSNCG, the speculation surrounding Fisher could reach a fever pitch.

Fisher hasn’t even issued a non-denial denial, saying only, “I’m going to talk about our team. That’s all I’m talking about. I ain’t getting into all the rumors.”

At some point, those rumors are likely to become a distraction for the Seminoles, who will play for the National Championship on January 6th.

The Dallas News reports Longhorns athletic director Steve Patterson has begun to focus on at least a handful of candidates including Fisher, Baylor’s Art Briles. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin and Louisville’s Charlie Strong are also considered to be in the mix.

The News also reports that Alabama’s Nick Saban is a possibility, although that may be a long shot. Other candidates could also emerge.

Horns247 reports that Fisher’s counterpart in the National Championship Game, Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, is not a candidate at Texas.

Mack Brown is contractually obligated to receive at least $500,000 annually through 2020, but Texas’ soon-to-be former head football coach is pushing for a lot more.

Don Evans, a former UT regent and one-time U.S. Secretary of Commerce, is involved with Brown’s buyout negotiations with school officials, said Joe Jamail, Brown’s attorney and Texas benefactor.

UCF head coach George O’Leary confirmed on Saturday that he has hired Paul Ferraro as the Knights new defensive coordinator.

Ferraro coached under O’Leary as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 1983 and also coached defensive backs on O’Leary’s staff at Georgia Tech in 1999-2000.

The Gainesville Sun’s Robbie Andreu reports new Florida offensive coordinator Kurt Roper will make $600,000 a year. The length of the contract is unknown.

Sources tell us that West Virginia offensive line coach Ron Crook could be the leading candidate to take over the same job at Wake Forest.

Crook is a West Virginia native who arrived in Morgantown via Stanford prior to the 2013 season.

Photo: Gene J. Puskar, AP

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The Coaching Wire: Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013

Dan Hawkins will be named head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. (Photo: Cliff Grassmick/Boulder Daily Camera)

Dan Hawkins will be named head coach of the Montreal Alouettes. (Photo: Cliff Grassmick/Boulder Daily Camera)

Hawkins will be Montreal Alouettes coach

Dan Hawkins will be named head coach of the CFL’s Montreal Alouettes, according the Montreal Gazette. Hawkins was head coach at Boise State between 2001-05 and then Colorado, from 2006-10. He compiled an overall record of 112-61-1.

Hawkins was fired at Colorado in November 2010 and has been out of coaching since.

A source told the Gazette’s that Hawkins will name ex-Arizona Cardinals co-offensive coordinator Mike Miller as the Alouettes’ offensive co-ordinator. Miller had interviewed for the head coaching job.

Montreal GM Jim Popp and owner Robert Wetenhall have interviewed a number of candidates. Others known to have interviewed over the past month were Danny Maciocia, former GM and head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos; Jim Zorn, former Washington Redskins head coach; Turk Schonert, head coach of the UFL’s Sacramento Mountain Lions; Steve Fairchild, recently-hired offensive coordinator at Virginia.

Mark Washington, the British Columbia Lions’ secondary coach along and longtime NFL assistants Bob Bratkowski and Terry Robiskie were also interviewed previously.

Hawkins replaces Marc Trestman, who was named Chicago Bears head coach. Trestman coached Montreal since 2008 and led the club to two consecutive Grey Cup championships.


Ron West announced as part of North Carolina staff

Former Arizona State assistant Ron West has been officially announced as Larry Fedora’s co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at North Carolina. Read the release here, and our article from last week here.


Dan Clark hired at Illinois State

Illinois State head coach Brock Spack completed his coaching staff Wednesday with the hiring of Dan Clark as assistant offensive line coach. Clark comes to Illinois State after serving as the tight ends coach at Northern Iowa for the past three seasons. Clark fills the spot vacated by Sheldon Cross, who left to take an assistant coach position at Idaho State. Current assistant Greg McLain will take the role of tight ends/H-backs coach and Clark will assist offensive coordinator George Barnett with the Redbird offensive line.


Morehead State names two assistants

Morehead State announced to new assistants. Andrew Doan will coach defensive ends and linebackers, while Matt Forrest will serve as running backs coach.

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Gilmore announced as UNC defensive line coach

Keith Gilmore (Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette)

(Photo: Robin Scholz/The News-Gazette)

[dropcap]N[/dropcap]orth Carolina has officially hired Keith Gilmore as defensive line coach.

Gilmore, who spent the past four seasons at Illinois, replaces Deke Adams, who left last month for South Carolina.

“Keith is a knowledgeable defensive line coach who brings a wealth of experience at the collegiate level to Chapel Hill,” Tar Heel head coach Larry Fedora said.  “He has previous experience with our defensive coaches and I believe he is a great fit for us.  He does an exceptional job of building relationships and getting the most out of his players.”

A 28-year college coaching veteran, Gilmore has ties with current UNC assistants Vic Koenning and Dan Disch.  Gilmore and Koenning worked together during Koenning’s two seasons as the Illini defensive coordinator in 2010-11. Gilmore and Disch were on the Illinois defensive staff in 2009 and 2010.

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The Coaching Wire: Monday, Jan. 21, 2013

South Carolina has hired UNC defensive line coach Deke Adams (Photo Goheels.com)

South Carolina has hired UNC defensive line coach Deke Adams (Photo Goheels.com)

South Carolina hires Deke Adams

Steve Spurrier has hired North Carolina assistant Deke Adams as defensive line coach. Adams replaces Brad Lawing, who less than 48 hours ago became defensive line coach at Florida.

Details of his South Carolina contract are not yet known, but he was scheduled to make $315,000 at North Carolina in 2013. Adams made $300,000 in total compensation in 2012.

Adams came to North Carolina in 2012 with head coach Larry Fedora. Before that, he spent three years under at Southern Miss, where he also played (1991-94).

Adams began his coaching career in 1997 when he accepted a position at Jacksonville State. He coached at Pearl River Community College (1998-2002), Ouachita Baptist (2002-05), North Carolina A&T (2006-07), and Louisiana-Monroe (2008).


 

New Syracuse coordinators George McDonald (left) and Chuck Bullough. (Photo by Michelle Gabel/The Post-Standard)

New Syracuse coordinators George McDonald (left) and Chuck Bullough. (Photo by Michelle Gabel/The Post-Standard)

Syracuse announces new staff members

New Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer introduced several members of his new staff at a press conference Monday.

Incoming offensive coordinator George McDonald and defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough met with members of the the media. Shafer also officially announced the hiring of DeAndre Smith, who, as we reported in last Thursday’s Daily Scoop, left New Mexico to become running backs coach. Also introduced were new quarterbacks coach Tim Lester and linebackers coach Clark Lea.

Both of ‘Cuse’s new coordinators have previous experience working with Shafer. Bullough coached linebackers at Western Michigan in 2005 under Shafer, who was defensive coordinator, while McDonald served alongside Shafer as receivers coach at Northern Illinois from 2001-03, and as offensive coordinator at Western Michigan in 2005-06. McDonald had been hired by Bret Bielema as receivers on the new Arkansas staff, but left after a month for the chance to become a coordinator.

“It’s just great to get the band back together with people that have the same philosophical values as to how you develop young men,” Shafer said.

Lester spent the past five years as head coach of D-III Elmhurst (Ill.) College in New York. Lester starred at quarterback at Western Michigan from 1996-99 his coaching career at Elmhurst in 2002. His first Division I job was at Western Michigan in 2005 where coached quarterbacks under head coach Bill Cubit, on the same staff with McDonald as offensive coordinator and Shafer running the defense.

Lea spent last season at Bowling Green. Prior to that, he spent three seasons coaching linebackers at UCLA (2009-12) and was an assistant coach at South Dakota State in 2007-08. He was a graduate assistant at UCLA in 2006 and a defensive intern in 2005.

Steve Morrison, who coached linebackers last season, left the program for personal reasons. Receivers coach Rob Moore and defensive line coach Tim Daoust are expected to be retained.

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