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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Tuesday, Dec. 3

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement reaffirming his support of head coach Dana Holgorsen.

West Virginia AD Oliver Luck (AP Photo)

West Virginia A,D. Oliver Luck says he believes in Dana Holgorsen. (Photo: AP)

In the statement, Luck said, “I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.”

In reality, there are 11.3 million reasons that Holgorsen’s job is safe — as in the amount it would cost the school to buy out his contract. Holgorsen should get his agent a nice Christmas present this year.

Miami (Ohio) has hired Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin as head coach.

Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has fired longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and second-year quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, multiple sources confirmed to Lions247.

GatorBait.net reports that while former USC coach Lane Kiffin had a strong interest in the Florida offensive coordinator job at, but says that the Gators are unlikely to hire him. Mike Mularkey, Clay Helton and Blake Anderson are among the names we continue to hear. Arizona State’s Mike Norvell and UCLA’s Noel Mazzone are other names being mentioned.

According to AP writer Mark Long, Muschamp plans to scrap the pro-style system and switch to up-tempo an offense in 2014.

Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has resigned.

Sources tell us Ball State’s Pete Lembo, Rice’s David Bailiff, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and Tulane’s Curtis Johnson could be candidates for the job.

Multiple sources feel it’s likely June Jones will either leave SMU on his own accord or be fired. The national media is starting to report some chatter as well.

Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz are expected to be among the candidates to fill the job should it open.

Sources tell us that Hawaii head coach Norm Chow is weary of the job already and that the school might be happy for him to move along. There are strong rumors June Jones could return.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson “has worked with the Tulane Board to reconfigure football coach Curtis Johnson’s contract, as well as those of his assistants.”

Auburn’s Jay Jacobs plans a raise for Gus Malzahn.

Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says that Brady Hoke will lead the program “well into the future.” We assume that means he’s in no danger of losing his job (not that we ever thought he was).

Hoke says he has no plans to make any staff changes, even though many think he should.

According to the Tampa Tribune’s Joey Johnston, “USF coach Willie Taggart says he doesn’t anticipate any changes to his coaching staff.”

RealDawg reports that Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was “blindsided” by Steve Sarkisian’s move to USC and that defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, once thought to be next in line, is now unlikely to land the job.

Jim Mora would have been a candidate if he had wanted to be, but he reports indicate that he has agreed to a six year extension to stay at UCLA. Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are also rumored to be strong candidates, along with Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Vandy’s James Franklin.

The Seattle Times reports that Sarkisian’s buyout of $1.5 million is due within 30 days. the Times also reports that Wilcox would owe “$1 million, according to his contract. That penalty is triggered only if Wilcox leaves early ‘to take a position at another Pac 12 school, with the exception of Head Coach.’”

Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would owe $410,000 if he were to leave.

Sports Radio KJR reports that Wilcox is headed to USC with Sarkisian.

Sources tell us that a loss to South Florida this weekend could mean the end of Kyle Flood’s tenure at Rutgers.

Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino says he won’t “deal with speculation” when asked if he was a candidate for other jobs.

Air Force’s Troy Calhoun is keeping quiet on possible staff changes.

We continue to hear that Florida International’s Ron Turner could go back to the NFL.

UNLV has given Bobby Hauck an extension.

At USC, Ed Orgeron has resigned and offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the Trojans bowl game.

Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage has again voiced his support for his embattled head football coach.

“I firmly believe that Mike London is going to be successful here at the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said.

In other words, London and his big buyout are safe for another year.

Sources tell us that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini still might not be 100% safe.

An ugly bowl performance could make things dicey. In other words, nothing is certain. He probably makes it, but this is still one to watch.

ESPN reports that Pelini will have to pay for his latest rant:

“The Big Ten Conference on Monday issued a public reprimand of the Cornhuskers’ head coach and fined the university $10,000 for Pelini’s comments about the officiating in a loss to Iowa last week. University spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the money will come out of Pelini’s compensation.”

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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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Top recruits believe Virginia's Mike London will return next season

There’s plenty of speculation surrounding Virginia coach Mike London’s status for next season, but at least two of the Cavaliers top recruits have had their doubts answered.

Virginia coach Mike London (Photo: Andrew Shurtleff, AP)Andrew Brown, Sr., the father of 5-star 2014 defensive tackle recruit Andrew Brown, reached out to UVa athletic director Craig Littlepage on Thursday regarding London’s situation, and got the answer he was looking for.

“We just wanted to ensure Mike London is gonna be there because that could change the situation around,” Andrew Brown Sr. told the Washington Post. “I feel comfortable now. Mike’s staying.

“We made a commitment to Mike, and we’re sticking by it through thick and thin.”

Littlepage confirmed to the Post via email that he had spoken to Brown Sr. and “reiterated that Mike London will be our coach” next season.

“I told Mr. Brown that in spite of some negativity we are committed to improving the program …. I didn’t want uncertainty to factor into Andrew Brown’s desire to be at UVa playing for Coach London,” Littlepage wrote.

Brown, who committed to the Cavaliers back in March, is the No. 1 defensive tackle recruit in the country according to the 247sports composite ranking.

Quin Blanding, also a 5-star recruit and the No. 1 safety recruit according to 247, told the Post that he is “100 percent committed” to Virginia and isn’t concerned about London’s job stability.

“I committed because of him, but it’s not that we’re keeping Coach London’s job,” Blanding said. “The players want to play for Coach London because he’s a great dude, a down-to-earth guy. We have his back 100 percent, and that’s why we ride with him.”

“Most people say, ‘They had an off season.’,” Blanding said. “That’s fine. That’s why you want to come in and work for something.

“Yeah, you can go to Alabama. But if you don’t go to Alabama, it’s still gonna be Alabama regardless. I want to bring U-Va. back to what we used to be.”

Both Brown and Blanding are ranked among the nation’s top 10 recruits regardless of position, and the Cavaliers join No. 1 Alabama as the only schools to have verbal commitments from top 10 prospects.

Mired in a seven-game losing streak, Virginia is currently 2-8 and travels to Miami on Saturday before closing out the season at home vs. Virginia Tech on Nov. 30.

Photo: Andrew Shurtleff, AP

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Oct. 28

It’s not exactly at shock that Bo Pelini’s Nebraska is going to lose at least four games this season (he always does), but we really didn’t expect one of them to be Minnesota.

Are there enough "Bo-lievers" to save the Nebraska coach?

Are there enough “Bo-lievers” to save the Nebraska coach?

Maybe we shouldn’t have been surprised. @GarrettGordon reports this is the fifth consecutive season a ranked Nebraska team has lost to an unranked opponent.

Pelini entered the season on the hot seat after last season’s meltdown in the B1G Championship Game when his team gave up 70 to Wisconsin.

Then, in September, an audio tape surfaced where Pelini ripped both the media and Cornhuskers’ fans after a 2011 game. The best line was reserved for the Husker faithful: “It took everything in my power to not say, ‘F— you, fans. F— all of you.’ F— ‘em.”

Nebraska can beat every opponent left on it’s schedule. The Huskers could also lose four more. More than likely, they’ll split the difference and end up with four losses just as they have in each of the past five seasons under Pelini.

We think that gets him fired.

Dana Holgorsen won ten games in his first season at West Virginia — but that was in the Big East.

In 2012, WVU moved to the Big 12 and the record dropped to 7-6. The Mountaineers are now 3-5 and could potentially lose out.

Sources tell us that 5-7 probably earns Holgorsen a pink slip. The only wild card is A.D. Oliver Luck. As we mentioned yesterday, he very well could be headed to Texas.

How does that affect Holgorsen? we don’t know yet but it’s an interesting wildcard.

Mack Brown helped his cause once again with an impressive win over TCU. The Longhorns figure to throttle both Kansas and West Virginia over the next two weeks to get to 7-2.

Then, the rubber meets the road.

Texas ends the season with Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and at Baylor.

The Baylor game could very well decide the Big 12. A Longhorns win and it’s hard to see a change. A bad loss makes the situation much more dicey.

Despite big wins in the last two, this soap opera is a long way from over.

USC wants (and needs?) to make a big splash with their hire. Mike Riley’s name was floating around last week, and Jack Del Rio was hot for awhile. So were Kevin Sumlin and James Franklin.

We think Pat Haden is likely doing due diligence on several candidates and will move quickly once the season ends to fill the position.

Virginia A.D. Craig Littlepage announced less than two weeks ago that coach Mike London would return next season, but we all now how much mid-season declarations of safety mean.

Littlepage made those statements before the Wahoos lost to Duke and Georgia Tech, bringing the losing streak to five, and UVa’s overall record to 2-6. With games against Clemson, at North Carolina and Miami, and the season finale vs. Virginia Tech remaining, winning one more to finish 3-9 may be a stretch.

Sources close to London indicate they believe the Cavs coach is safe for another season. Others aren’t so sure.

Regardless of what Littlepage said publicly, we’re told London is not out the woods. A 2-10 season almost has to bring a change, so there’s a good chance this one opens.

We’ve heard rumblings that Kansas could replace Charlie Weis after just two seasons, and those rumors are picking up steam.

The Jayhawks fired a religious fanatic after two seasons and replaced him with Satan’s brother.

Perhaps KU should try looking for someone a little more “normal”?

We told you about the hell Southern Miss is in in Friday’s Rumor Mill, and after this weekend, the Golden Eagles have now lost 19 straight. This week was a 55-14 thrashing by North Texas, on Homecoming no less…

Quick Hitters

Iowa State: We’re told, at a minimum, to expect staff changes.

North Texas: Lots of chatter here. Some think Dan McCarney could hang it up after the season.

Purdue: Look for staff changes. Possibly several.

Florida Atlantic: Expect staff changes on the defensive side of the ball.

Photo credit: Nati Harnik, AP

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013

Ex-Virginia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator has been hired at James Madison. (Photo: JMU)

Ex-Virginia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator has been hired at James Madison. (Photo: JMU)

Bowling Green’s Clawson hires Robert Neviaser as linebackers coach

Bowling Green head coach Dave Clawson announced that Robert Neviaser will be the Falcons’ linebackers coach. He replaces Clark Lea, who was hired at Syracuse last month. Neviaser spent the past two seasons at Stony Brook, serving as the team’s defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. Before that, he spent three years at Rhode Island (2007-09) and five seasons at the University of Delaware (2002-06).


Ex-Virginia assistant Hanson hired as defensive line coach at James Madison

Former Virginia defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Jeff Hanson has been named defensive line coach at James Madison. Hanson was let go by Cavalier head coach Mike London in December following a 4-8 season. He spent three years at Virginia.

“I am really happy we have been able to attract Jeff Hanson to coach our defensive line,” Dukes’ head coach Mickey Matthews said.  “After coaching against him for many years, we are fortunate to have him on our sideline.”

Hanson has 39 years experience at the collegiate level including 28 at fellow CAA rival Richmond. His career includes stints at Richmond (’71-’79, ’89-’06, and ’08-’09), VMI (’07), West Texas State (’87-’88), Southwest Texas State (’83-’86), Lamar (’82-’83) and Marshall (’80-’81).


Mark Watson, Jr. named receivers coach at Western Illinois

Western Illinois head coach Bob Nielson has named Mark Watson, Jr. the Leathernecks’ wide receivers coach. Watson spent last year at USC as a graduate assistant coach for the Trojans in the secondary. Before that, Watson spent two years at Drake as cornerbacks coach where he worked with Western Illinois defensive coordinator Brian Ward in 2011.

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The Coaching Wire: Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013

Former Auburn and Iowa State defensive line coach Mike Pelton will join Georgia Tech's staff. (Photo: Iowa State Athletics)

Former Auburn and Iowa State defensive line coach Mike Pelton will join Georgia Tech’s staff. (Photo: Iowa State Athletics)

  • Georgia Tech: Former Auburn assistant coach Mike Pelton has been announced as Georgia Tech’s defensive line coach. Pelton, who played at Auburn, coached under Gene Chizik at both Auburn (2011-12) Iowa State (2008-09) and Auburn. Pelton also coached the defensive lines at Louisiana-Lafayette (January-March, 2011), Vanderbilt (2010), Iowa State (2007-08), Troy (2001-06), and Valdosta State (2000). (Click here for the full release.)
  • Virginia: Former Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild has been named offensive coordinator at Virginia. Fairchild has 31 years of coaching experience at both the NFL and collegiate levels, including 16 seasons as an offensive coordinator. Most recently, Fairchild served as senior offensive assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 2012. The contract is for two seasons and will pay him $450,000 per year. (Click here for the full release.)
  • Northwestern State (FCS): First year Northwestern (La.) State head coach Jay Thomas has announced his coaching staff:
Offense:

[colored_box color="grey"]Robby Brown, Offensive Coordinator & QBs (Prev.: Valdosta State, 2010-12)
Ben Norton, Offensive Line & Assistant HC (Prev.: Sacramento, UFL, 2012)
Kyle Manley, Wide Receivers& Recruiting Coordinator (Prev.: Tennessee, 2012)
Derek Foster, Running Backs (Prev.: Tennessee, 2012)
Matt Powledge, Tight Ends & Inside Receivers (Prev.: Northwestern State, 2012)[/colored_box]

(ReleaseNorthwestern State offensive staff)

Defense & Admin:

[colored_box color="grey"]Chris Boone, Defensive Coordinator & Associate HC (Prev.: Jacksonville State, 2011-12)
Jake Landoll, Defensive Line (Prev.: Missouri Southern, 2012)
Shep Campbell, Linebackers & Special Teams (Prev.: Ouachita Baptist, 2011-12)
De’vonn Lockett, Cornerbacks (Prev.: Northwestern State, 2011-12)
Dan Korn, Director of Football Operations (Prev.: Northwestern State)[/colored_box]

(Release: Northwestern State defensive staff)

 

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The Coaching Wire: Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013

Stanford has promoted Mike Bloomgren to offensive coordinator. (Photo: Stanford Athletics)

Stanford has promoted Mike Bloomgren to offensive coordinator. (Photo: Stanford Athletics)
  • Stanford: Head coach David Shaw has promoted Mike Bloomgren to offensive coordinator. Bloomgren has spent the past two seasons as run game coordinator. Former running backs coach Mike Sanford will take over Stanford’s quarterbacks and wide receivers.Replacing Sanford as running backs coach is former Cardinal quarterback Tavita Pritchard, who the last two years served as a defensive assistant and working under defensive coordinator Derek Mason.
  • Arkansas State: Former Boise State defensive back Gerald Alexander confirmed via Twitter that he will be a graduate assistant at Arkansas State. Other former Broncos on Bryan Harsin’s staff include Bush Hamden (wide receivers), Jeff Pitman (Strength Coach), and Lee Marks (Assistant Strength Coach).
  • Auburn: Former Arkansas State defensive line coach Kenny Ingram will join Gus Malzahn’s staff at Auburn in an off-the-field role. Ingram came to Arkansas State as interim defensive line coach to help the Red Wolves prepare for the 2012 GoDaddy.com Bowl. Prior to Arkasnsas State, Ingram coached linebackers at Memphis from 2006-09 and served as defensive coordinator during the 2009 season. He coached defensive line at Tennessee State in 2005. Ingram coached at Melrose High in Memphis between 2001-04 and is credited with returning the program to prominence. He was the head coach from 2002-04 and posted a 37-4 overall record after serving as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2001-02. Ingram played defensive end at ASU from 1989-92. As we reported last week, Malzahn also hired for Arkansas State cornerbacks coach David Gunn in an off-the-field role.
  • Virginia: Bruce Feldman of CBSSports.com is reporting that UVa offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor is leaving to join Chip Kelly’s staff with the Philadelphia Eagles. Lazor served as QB coach for the Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins before to coming to Virginia in 2010. UPDATE: Virginia has confirmed Lazor’s departure in a release.
  • Morehead State: Rod West, who spent the past two seasons as an assistant at Texas A&M-Commerce, has been hired as the defensive backs coach and special teams coordinator at Morehead State. Prior to his stint at TAMU-Commerce, West coached at Division II schools Morehouse (2011) and was a graduate assistant at Delta State (2010). West, who was a two-year starter at Alabama State, began his coaching career in 2009 at Kentucky Christian (NAIA).
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