How many National Championships do the Auburn Tigers have? In football, swimming does not count in this scenario.
The annals of college football are filled with the tales coaches profess as facts and sworn oaths, some taller than others, but all tales nonetheless. Really, what would college football be without the little white lies, half-truths, boldface lies, and misdirection of coaches? — A lot less fun. After all, this is footballrumormill.com. We exist because of these very things!
Let’s take a glance at some of the more memorable ‘coaches having difficulty with the truth’ scenarios of the recent past. We begin with Pete Carroll and whether or not he would have stayed at USC if he knew the severity of the NCAA sanctions headed to Trojan land. Carroll told the Los Angeles Times he would have.
The names on the Texas coaching search board appear to be dropping quickly.
If recent reports are to be believed, Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher is off the table. Now Baylor’s Art Briles and UCLA’s Jim Mora have both stated publicly that they are not interested in the job and are not candidates.
Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio signed an extension. The news was announced Wednesday night just before Sparty’s Rose Bowl win over Stanford.
The school reportedly plans to make Dantonio one of the three highest-paid coaches in the Big Ten, and his assistants will become one of three highest-paid staffs in the conference.
If those names are gone, where does Texas athletic director Steve Patterson turn?
Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Vanderbilt’s James Franklin are the other names most prominently linked to the job.
According to an Orangebloods.com report, Patterson has already interviewed both Strong and Franklin.
Despite the recent announcement of Fisher’s contract extension, sources continue to tell us that Fisher is not out of the mix at Texas. In fact HookEm247 believes that Fisher is likely the favorite to land the job.
Speaking of Fisher’s new deal, the Tallahassee Democrat reports that FSU built in an overall salary increase of 17 percent for the Seminoles’ nine assistant coaches. It’s up to Fisher to decide which assistants receive raises and how much.
The Gazette reports former Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple will interview for the UMass job next week, perhaps as early as Tuesday. UMass fired Charley Molnar on Dec. 26.
Penn State AD Dave Joyner says the school could have a new head coach “in a matter of days rather than weeks.”
Longtime Nittany Lions defensive line coach Larry Johnson has been named the interim head coach. PennLive reports wide receivers coach Stan Hixon set to join Bill O’Brien’s staff with the Houston Texans.
Lions247 reports five names have risen to the top of the early list of potential interviewees: Miami head coach Al Golden, Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, Baltimore Ravens offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Johnson.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Caldwell interviewed for the Redskins head coaching vacancy Wednesday, and is also expected to interview for the Lions head job.
Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean reports that Titans coach Mike Munchak is still in limbo. No decision has been made on his future as coach. Munchak is thought to be a candidate for the Penn State job.
The Cleveland Browns are focusing largely – but not entirely – on college coaches. Jason La Canfora reports they are very interested in interviewing Auburn coach Gus Malzahn and Vanderbilt’s Franklin for their head coaching vacancy.
Sources close to Malzahn indicate that, while he might have an interested in moving to the NFL at some point in the future, he’d be likley pass on Cleveland now.
Tony Softli reports that Oklahoma head coach and Ohio native Bob Stoops may have the inside track on the Cleveland Browns opening.
ESPN reports that an NFL source insists Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is open to coaching a select professional team or two.
A source close to Sumlin tells us otherwise.
“That’s 100 percent not true, and it has no chance of happening. Zero.”
Sumlin has passed on several inquiries and job opportunities from NFL and high-profile collegiate jobs, including USC, sources said.
Sumlin is committed to coaching Texas A&M until the school finishes its $450 million renovation of Kyle Field. The renovation, which also has been labeled a redevelopment, is being done in three phases, with the grand opening set for August 2015.
Former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford will be offensive coordinator at Tampa Bay.
Sources indicate that FSU quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders could be a candidate to replace Kurt Roper as offensive coordinator at Duke. Sanders and Blue Devils head coach David Cutcliffe have a long history dating back to Tennessee.
Sources also indicate Blue Devils offensive line coach John Latina could be in play to be the offensive line coach at Florida.
DuckTerritory reports that Randy Shannon and Clancy Pendergast are among the possibilities for the defensive coordinator job at Oregon.
Secondary coach John Neal was believed to be a serious candidate, but it now appears head coach Mark Helfrich is intent on bringing someone in from the outside.
Cincinnati’s Tommy Tuberville has fired defensive coordinator Art Kaufman and defensive tackles coach Fred Tate, according to reports.
[dropcap]F[/dropcap]ormer Texas Tech defensive coordinator James Willis will be hired at the same position for Louisiana-Lafayette, according to media reports.
Willis, who replaces Greg Stewart at ULL, was defensive coordinator on Tommy Tuberville’s Texas Tech staff during the 2011 season. However, he resigned before the Red Raider’s bowl game following a domestic violence incident.
Willis has served as defensive coordinator for the UFL’s Virginia Destroyers since his resignation at Texas Tech.
Ragin’ Cajun head coach Mark Hudspeth announced last week that Stewart would not return for the 2013 season. In a release, Hudspeth gave no reason for Stewart’s departure, but thanked him for his contributions that led to the team’s 18 wins and two New Orleans Bowl titles over the past two years.
Stewart, who had been at ULL since Hudspeth was hired in 2011, said in a prepared statement, “I have decided to go a different direction (professionally), and I am looking forward to the future opportunities for both me and my family.”
A standout linebacker at Auburn, Willis was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 1993 NFL Draft. During an eight-year professional career, Willis also played Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, and the Birmingham Thunderbolts of the now defunct XFL.
When his professional playing career ended, Willis returned to Auburn to complete his degree and served as a student assistant in 2001-02. He became a defensive graduate assistant in 2003 under then-defensive coordinator Gene Chizik.
Willis was hired as linebackers coach at Rhode Island in 2004 and moved to Temple in the same capacity in 2005.
Willis returned to his alma mater when Tommy Tuberville hired him as linebackers coach in 2006. He remained at Auburn until Tuberville resigned in 2008, and Chizik, who was named the Tigers’ head coach, released all of Tuberville’s former staff.
Chizik changed his mind two weeks later, however, and re-hired Willis on December 26, 2008. Hard feelings from his initial release remained, though, and Willis caused a stir among Auburn fans when he left to join Nick Saban’s staff at arch-rival Alabama just a month later.
During his time at Auburn, Willis became known for his recruiting prowess, and was particularly successful recruiting the talent-rich Mobile, Ala. area. It was bad enough that a former Tiger legend was moving to their cross-state rival, but the fact that it happened just two weeks for 2009’s National Signing Day made it an even harder for Auburn fans to swallow.
Willis coached at Alabama for two seasons, including the 2010 BCS National Championship team, before being named Tuberville’s defensive coordinator at Texas Tech.
[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o matter how bad it may have seemed, chances are your had a better weekend than Garrick McGee.
The UAB coach saw an astonishing six Blazers verbal commitments change their allegiance to other schools.
That’s not a typo. UAB had six commits flip to other schools in the 48 hour period between Sunday-Monday.
Three of the recruits were from Birmingham, the school’s hometown. One of them had been committed since July, two others since September.
When the sun came up Tuesday morning, the Blazers were left with just 15 commitments and a coaching staff that had to be scratching their heads.
It’s hard to imagine losing nearly one third of a recruiting class with just over a week left until signing day, but that’s exactly the situation that McGee and the Blazer staff face. (UAB did sign two recruits in December that have already enrolled.)
The Blazers lost three assistants this off season, and that certainly played a role in this weekend’s defections.
Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jeff Brohm left to work for his college head coach and mentor Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky, while recruiting coordinator Tyson Helton joined Tommy Tuberville’s staff at Cincinnati. Receivers coach Ron Sigler resigned after the season. (One of the recruits, defensive end Kalvin Robinson of Vestavia, Ala., switched to Brohm’s new school.)
McGee promoted tight ends coach Richard Owens to offensive coordinator and brought in Arkansas graduate assistant Joseph Henry to take over the role of tight ends coach. There is still one staff spot open.
Though it’s hard to judge whether the sudden rash of decommitments is a sign of a program in turmoil or merely a function of bad timing and the general wackiness that has been the 2013 recruiting cycle, it’s clear that the staff turnover done damage.
With time quickly running out, McGee and company have to hope their luck takes a turn for the better. After last weekend, it certainly can’t get any worse.
UAB Weekend Decommits
[colored_box color="grey"]Jamaris Hart (2-star DB, Florence, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to Arkansas State
T.J. Green (2-star ATH/KR, Sylacauga, Ala.) – Committed since Oct., flipped to Clemson
Trey Lamastus (2-star C/DS, Monroe, La.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to ULM
Julius McCall (2-star RB/ATH, Chelsea, Ala.) – Committed since July, flipped to Troy
Nick Mullens (2-star QB, Hoover, Ala.) – Committed since Dec., flipped to Southern Miss
Kalvin Robinson (2-star DE, Vestavia, Ala.) – Committed since Sept., flipped to WKU[/colored_box]