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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Friday, Jan. 17

The Vanderbilt head coaching search is coming to an end.

Pep Hamilton reportedly turned down the chance to be Vanderbilt's head coach.  (Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)

Pep Hamilton reportedly turned down the chance to be Vanderbilt’s head coach. (Photo: Michael Conroy, AP)

School officials had a plane ready to go pick up Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, only to be turned down. Now, the Commodores are set to hire Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason.

Sources tell us that Cardinal linebackers coach Lance Anderson could join Mason at Vanderbilt as defensive coordinator.

At Florida State, several sources tell us that linebackers coach Charles Kelly is a serious candidate to replace Jeremy Pruitt as defensive coordinator. Mississippi State defensive coordinator Geoff Collins could also become a player.

Virginia Tech offensive line coach Jeff Grimes has accepted the same job at LSU. Grimes was a member of Gene Chizik’s Auburn staff and was at Colorado before that.

Sources tell us that Indiana offensive coordinator Seth Littrell has emerged as a serious candidate to replace Blake Anderson as OC at North Carolina.

The North Texas board of regents unanimously approved the parameters for a contract extension for Dan McCarney.

Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini announced that he has tabbed Air Force associate head coach and defensive coordinator Charlton Warren will be the Huskers’ new secondary coach.

Warren replaces Terry Joseph, who left to join the Texas A&M staff earlier this week.

New Texas head coach Charlie Strong has completed his coaching staff.

Darrin Chiaverini, an NFL veteran and fifth-round draft pick out of the University of Colorado, has been named special teams coordinator at Texas Tech.

DuckTerritory reports longtime Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal has been given additional responsibilities as the defense’s passing game coordinator.

Neal’s name was mentioned for the UAB head coaching vacancy, and he was an assistant with the Blazers previously.

Speaking of UAB

School officials are expected to interview former Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe and current Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark on Friday.

Sources tell us that Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran could be a serious candidate, and Atlanta Falcons’ tight ends coach Chris Scelfo is also scheduled to interview.

Former Syracuse and UConn head coach Paul Pasqualoni has been hired as the Chicago Bears new linebackers coach, according to the “Mully and Hanley” Show on WSCR 670 AM in Chicago.

The Washington Post reports Maryland has hired three new assistant coaches.

Keenan McCardell, a two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver with the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been hired to coach the Terrapins’ wide receivers. Dave DeGuglielmo, a 22-year coaching veteran with nine years of NFL experience, will coach Maryland’s offensive line while Chad Wilt comes from Ball State to lead the defensive line.

ESPN reports Doug Woolard is being replaced as the University of South Florida athletic director, but he will be allowed to remain at the school in an unspecified role until his contract expires next year, sources said.

The decision to replace Woolard of his duties stems from “wide-ranging dissatisfaction” with the Bulls football and men’s basketball programs, according to sources.

NC State coach Dave Doeren has hired George Barlow as the Wolfpack’s cornerbacks coach. Barlow joins the Pack after two seasons at Vanderbilt.

Western Michigan running backs coach Charles Huff has left the Broncos to join James Franklin’s staff at Penn State.

The Miami Herald reports FIU has filled out its staff with the hirings of running backs coach Kenny Dixon, last year a running backs assistant at FAU; linebackers coach Rob Harley, last year a graduate assistant at Michigan State; and special teams coordinator Shannon Moore, a longtime assistant at South Dakota State.

Offensive line coach/run game coordinator Steve Shankweiler will be the offensive coordinator. Last year, head coach Ron Turner acted as his own offensive coordinator.

Following just one season at SMU, Hal Mumme is headed back to the small college ranks as a head coach.

Mumme will be named head coach at NAIA Belhaven Univeristy in Jackson, Miss.

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Jack Del Rio interviewed for USC job

Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC head coaching vacancy on Nov. 1, according to multiple reports.

Denver Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio interviewed for the USC coaching job on Nov. 1. (Photo: Gregory Bull, AP)Del Rio, who played linebacker at USC during the early 1980s, met with athletic director Pat Haden during Denver’s bye week.

Broncos GM John Elway confirmed that Haden asked permission to interview Del Rio. The interview took place one day before news surfaced that Denver head coach John Fox needed to undergo heart surgery, which elevated Del Rio to the interim job.

Del Rio was 68–71 in nine seasons as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach.

Trojans assistant Ed Orgeron became USC’s interim coach after Lane Kifin’s firing and is a candidate to become full time coach. The former Ole Miss head coach has led USC to a 5-1 record, including a 20-17 upset win against No. 10 Stanford on Saturday night.

Other names mentioned in conjunction with the USC opening include Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin, Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

Photo: Gregory Bull, AP

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Report: Kevin Sumlin emerges as USC's No. 1 target

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin’s name is one of several that have been mentioned to replace Lane Kiffin at USC.

According to an LA Daily News report, Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin has emerged as the top target to fill USC's coaching vacancy. (Photo: Dave Martin, AP)But according to Scott Wolf of the Los Angeles Daily News, not only is Sumlin a target, he’s emerged as Pat Haden’s top target.

As we mentioned in Thursday’s Rumor Mill, we’ve heard from a couple of sources that there is a growing rift between Sumlin and A&M athletic director Eric Hyman. Obviously, that’s just chatter, but if he is considering the USC job, that could be one of the reasons.

Sumlin, who makes $3.1 million a year at Texas A&M, has won 30 games the past 2 1/2 seasons at Houston and Texas A&M. According to Wolf, USC could potentially double that salary.

Haden’s search is still in the early stages, but he hopes to make a hire in December.

Most of the other names mentioned in connection with the SC job have NFL ties, including Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and Broncos interim coach Jack Del Rio. According to sources, Haden contacted Jon Gruden, but Gruden is thought to be focused on NFL jobs if he decides to return to the sideline.

Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has denied twice in the past month that he interviewed with USC.

In addition to Sumlin, other college coaches mentioned include Boise State coach Chris Petersen and Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.

Current Trojans coach Ed Orgeron will also be considered but is not expected to get the job.

Photo: Dave Martin, AP

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