Vanderbilt Commodores

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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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Report: Stanford DC Derek Mason to be named Vanderbilt coach

Vanderbilt is expected to name Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason as its head coach, according to media reports.

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason will be named head coach at Vanderbilt. (Photo: AP)Mason, who was believed to be the favorite all along, will replace James Franklin, who earlier this month left for the Penn State job.

A finalist for the 2012 Broyles Award, Mason directed the Pac-12’s top-ranked scoring defense (19 points per game) and rushing defense (89.4 yards) in 2013. The Cardinal also led the Pac-12 in those categories in 2012, allowing 17.2 points and 97 rushing yards on average.

Stanford appeared in to consecutive Rose Bowls in 2012 and 2013, and compiled a 46-8 record during Mason’s four seasons at the school.

Mason had coaching stints with the Minnesota Vikings (defensive backs, 2007-09); Ohio University (wide receivers, 2005-06); New Mexico State (wide receivers, 2004); St. Mary’s (co-defensive coordinator and associate head coach, 2003); Utah (wide receivers and special teams assistant, 2002); Bucknell (defensive backs, 1999-2001); Idaho State (running backs, 1997-98); Weber State (wide receivers, 1995-96); and San Diego Mesa College (wide receivers, 1994).

Franklin, who was 24-15 in three seasons at Vanderbilt, was introduced as replacement for Bill O’Brien at Penn State last Saturday.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Jan. 14

It looks like Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason has emerged as the favorite to replace James Franklin at Vanderbilt.

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason (Photo: Nick Ut, AP)

Multiple sources tell us that Mason is the leading candidate for the job, and CBSSports.com’s Jeremy Fowler reports an interview is scheduled.

Alabama has hired Texas assistant (and former Crimson Tide assistant) Bo Davis to coach defensive line.

Sources tell us to expect even more movement on Nick Saban’s staff. Multiple sources indicate secondary coach Greg Brown is likely to move on. We’re also told there could be one to two other changes.

SI.com’s Pete Thamel reports longtime Penn State assistant Larry Johnson could join Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State.

The 61-year-old Johnson, a PSU assistant since 1996, told PennLive on Monday night he met with Franklin twice and was offered the opportunity to continue as defensive line coach at Penn State.

But, after considering the offer, LJ decided to move on. He said he has not retired and plans to continue coaching.

OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel joined Bill O’Brien’s Texans staff.

Speaking of the Buckeyes, Adam Caplan reports should Jim Caldwell wind up getting the Lions head coaching job, he could add former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel to his offensive staff.

The Seattle Times reports Washington’s eight new assistant coaches are guaranteed a combined salary north of $3 million in their first year on Chris Petersen’s staff, making them among the highest-paid staffs in the Pac-12 Conference.

Hot names for the UAB head coaching job include Jacksonville State head coach Bill Clark, Cincinnati offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, Hoover High School head coach Josh Niblett and former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.

Texas‘ new football coach, Charlie Strong, will be paid $5 million for the 2014 season and the school will pay Strong’s $4.375 million buyout to Louisville, according to financial terms approved Monday by the university system’s board of regents.

Sources indicate offensive line coach Joe Wickline and quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson are likely to run the Longhorns’ offense together.

Horns247 reports Les Koenning Jr., Joker Phillips and Mike Groh are the three leading contenders for the wide receivers position. The receivers job is the last vacant spot on the Longhorns’ staff.

Dawgs247 reports Florida State’s Jeremy Pruitt has emerged as the leader to replace Todd Grantham as Georgia’s defensive coordinator.

DuckTerritory reports that Oregon will hire longtime assistant Don Pellum as its new defensive coordinator and that the Ducks will look to hire Philadelphia Eagles assistant Erik Chinander to fill out the staff.

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Reports: James Franklin will be next Penn State coach

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin will replace Bill O’Brien as Penn State head coach, according to multiple media reports.

Vanderbilt's James Franklin will be named Penn State head coah. (Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)A Pennsylvania native, the 41-year-old Franklin won 24 games in three seasons with the Commodores.

He led Vanderbilt to three consecutive bowl games and back-to-back 9-win seasons in 2012 and 2013.

No other Vanderbilt coach has guided the program to more than one bowl, and the school had only played in four bowl games in the 107 years prior to Franklin’s arrival.

This season also was marked first time the Commodores beat Georgia, Florida and Tennessee in the same year.

Franklin’s Pennsylvania roots run strong. The Langhorne, Pa. native played at Division II East Stroudsburg and began his coaching career at Kutztown.

Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP

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Penn State coaching search update

Vanderbilt’s James Franklin may be the frontrunner to be the next Penn State coach, but with his NFL options still on the table, the Nittany Lions don’t appear to be done vetting candidates.

Greg Roman (left) has spent the past five seasons working for Jim Harbaugh. (Photo: AP)

Greg Roman (left) has spent the past five seasons working for Jim Harbaugh. (Photo: AP)

CBSSports.com‘s Jason La Canfora reported Wednesday that Penn State officials will interview San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman about the job.

No timeline or other details on the interview were given.

Roman has been Jim Harbaugh’s offensive coordinator the past five seasons — three with the 49ers and two at Stanford. The two seasons at Stanford are Roman’s only college coaching experience.

San Francisco faces Carolina in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs Sunday.

On Tuesday, CBSSports’ Bruce Feldman said that Vanderbilt’s Franklin had emerged as the “clear frontrunner” for the Penn State job.

Fuel was poured on the fire when word got out that Vanderbilt defensive coordinator Bob Shoop and offensive coordinator John Donovan began following Penn State commitments on Twitter.

David Williams, the man who oversees Vanderbilt athletics and Franklin’s boss, told to The Tennessean that he met with his head football coach Tuesday night, but didn’t say much else.

“I can’t shed any light on that,” Williams said. “I can only tell you that I met with James last night. I’m not going to get into details of the discussion.

“James came in yesterday from working with ESPN on the BCS Championship game and I met with him last night. I met with my football coach. I’m not going to get into details of the substance. I’ve probably already said more than I should”

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Wednesday morning that the Washington Redskins still intend to interview Franklin on Thursday, and that the Cleveland Browns would likely interview Franklin as well.

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Nov. 21

Now that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has tied Barry Switzer for the school wins record, many insiders think he might be ready for a change.

It looks like Oklahoma coach  Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

It looks like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will be back with the Sooners next season. (Photo: Alonzo Adams, AP)

There was some Florida chatter a couple of weeks ago and some USC chatter before that. Will Muschamp is likely to stay in place in Gainesville and you hear a lot of other names associated with USC.

Stoops won’t leave unless it’s a place where he can win as big as he has at Oklahoma, and there aren’t many of those places. That means the odds are good he’s still coaching the Sooners in 2014.

Multiple sources believe that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin could be on the move after the season.

Franklin has been rumored to be a second tier candidate at USC. With the job he’s done with the Commodores, he’s sure to have other opportunities.

Charlie Weis’ seat at Kansas is a little cooler after beating West Virginia to end a 27-game conference losing streak. Weis probably makes it to 2014. It’s hard to see the Jayhawks dumping two consecutive coaches after only two seasons.

The heat on Hawaii coach Norm Chow continues to rise. The Warriors are now 0-9 and a winless campaign is certainly possible. It’s wait and see, but this one could pop open.

Speaking of the Mountaineers, there’s a growing chorus of calls for Dana Holgorsen’s head on a platter.

His buyout that is reportedly $11.3 million, and that’s going to be hard for West Virginia to swallow. Fact is, that buyout probably saves him, but what if he loses to 1-9 Iowa State to close the season?

As for Holgorsen, he’s clearly frustrated with the program’s facilities.

There are lots of rumors flying about Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. However, most believe Rhoads makes it, but makes significant staff changes. Still, a loss to Kansas Saturday could damage his chances of survival.

Indiana is 4-6 with games against Ohio State and Purdue remaining. Most insiders believe Kevin Wilson will return in 2014 – if he beats the Boilermakers in the season finale. With a loss in that one, things get very interesting.

There have been rumors and reports for weeks that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is a serious candidate for the USC job.

We’ve heard from a couple of sources that he could be in play with the Houston Texans, should they decide to dump Gary Kubiak at season’s end. The Houston Chronicle now reports that Sumlin would be a “prime candidate.”

With Washington State on the verge of its first bowl berth since 2003, head coach Mike Leach was awarded a new contract extension that keeps his salary at $2.25 million per year and keeps him in Pullman until at least 2018.

The Cougars went 3-9 last season and are 5-5 in Leach’s second year.

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Vandy's Franklin calls Saban to apologize

Franklin: Saban "good" with the situation after apology. (Photo: Dave Martin/AP)

Franklin: Nick Saban is “good” with the situation after apology. (Photo: Dave Martin/AP)

Vanderbilt coach James Franklin says that he called Nick Saban on Wednesday to apologize for the ‘Nicky Satan’ reference he made at a football banquet in Macon, Ga. Tuesday evening.

Franklin told The Tennessean that Saban was “good” with the situation.

“We spoke briefly,” Franklin said. “He said, ‘Coach, I have a lot of respect for what you guys are doing up there at Vanderbilt.’ I said, ‘Coach, I’ve got tremendous respect for what you’re doing.’ And that was it. Got off the phone and that was it.”

Franklin said that he made the comment as a joke, and that he has tremendous respect for the four-time National Champion coach.

“(I was) really talking about the work ethic that he has a reputation for, and that we’re going to outwork them,” Franklin said. “I made a joke. And in today’s society with all the media and social media and people with tape recorders and things like that, that doesn’t come off that way. I know people have tremendous pride in Alabama and their fans are fanatical, so I understand.

“But it was a joke, and I didn’t mean to offend anybody.”

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