West Virginia Mountaineers

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The Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Thursday, Oct. 31

Pressure has eased on Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen after the Kentucky win, but there is still tons of chatter. As we’ve mentioned previously, if they make a move, expect ULL’s Mark Hudspeth to get first call.

Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen (Photo: Kerry Smith, AP)Mack Brown’s future at Texas could hinge on the Baylor game. A bad loss could spell the end – even if the Horns finish 9-3.

It’s no secret that their top target is Nick Saban. Other early names to watch include Art Briles, Jimbo Fisher, Charlie Strong and Jon Gruden.

Speaking of Gruden… This year could finally be the year he returns to coaching. However, the most likely landing spot may be his old stomping ground. There’s lots of chatter Gruden could return to the Raiders with full control over the front office.

Early names at Florida Atlantic include two first-year offensive coordinators with strong south Florida ties — Miami’s James Coley and Cincinnati’s Eddie Gran. Gran was a serious candidate when Carl Pelini was hired.

Expect staff changes at Appalachian State.

If a move is made to get rid if Dana Holgorsen at West Virginia, don’t be surprised if Rich Rod is a candidate to return home. It would definitely be interesting to watch the fan base’s reaction if that took place.

The Florida International job could open after just one year under Ron Turner.

There is major pressure building to oust Bo Pelini at Nebraska. He needs to win, badly. If he goes, former Husker quarterback and current Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost could be a candidate, although most think he needs a little more experience.

At USC, Jack Del Rio is still very much in the mix. Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter is also getting some attention as a fall back option.

Most believe Pat Haden’s early targets will be bigger names and will likely have NFL experience.

At Toledo, second-year coach Matt Campbell has signed extension through the 2017 season.

Campbell was promoted from offensive coordinator when Tim Beckman took the job at Illinois. The Rockets are 14-7 under his watch, including a 5-3 record and 3-1 in the MAC this year.

There are lots of rumors that Boise State’s Chris Petersen may finally be ready to finally make a move.

Photo credit: Kerry Smith, AP

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Report: Oliver Luck expected to be named Texas AD

We reported last night that Texas’ search to replace DeLoss Dodds as athletics director was focused on Oliver Luck, and if all goes as planned, it looks like Luck’s hiring could be official by the middle of November.

Oliver Luck is expected to be named Texas' AD.OliveOrangebloods.com’s Chip Brown cites multiple sources as indicating that Luck’s name topped a list of potential candidates submitted to a seven-member UT advisory committee by search firm Korn/Ferry International.

According to Brown:

Those sources say Luck is the frontrunner from a group of names put forth by the search firm Korn/Ferry International to the advisory committee last week that also includes Arizona State athletic director Steve Patterson, who got his law degree at Texas.

Luck’s interview with the committee could come as early as this week. If all goes as expected, a contract could be finalized Nov. 13 or 14, when Texas regents are already scheduled to meet.

Nothing is expected to be announced before Texas and West Virginia meet in Morgantown on Nov. 9.

But the Mountaineers have a bye week after their game at Kansas on Nov. 16, so an official announcement could come then.

Luck, the father of former Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, has strong ties to Texas — both the state and the University. He played quarterback for the Houston Oilers, earned his law degree from the University of Texas, and was general manager of the Houston Dynamo of MLS.

In addition to Luck and Patterson, other names floated as possible replacements for Dodds were Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick and Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione.

Photo credit: Charleston (W.V.) Daily Mail

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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 Rumor Mill :: College Football Coaching News and Rumors – Monday, Oct. 21

Sources indicate that even if the NFL comes calling, expect Charlie Strong to stay put in college.

Sources indicate that even if the NFL comes calling, expect Charlie Strong to stay put in college.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that Louisville’s Charlie Strong and Stanford’s David Shaw have been tabbed by the NFL’s recently formed advisory panel to help to identify potential minority coaching candidates.

According to Schefter, the league “will be an upset if Strong is not a leading candidate for various NFL head coaching openings this winter.”

Not so fast.

Sources close to Strong indicate he’s inclined to stay in college — no matter what the NFL’s advisory panel suggests.

The 53-year old Strong is in his fourth season at Louisville and signed an eight-year extension worth $3.7 million per year in late January. The Cardinals are 31-15 during Strong’s tenure, including a 6-1 mark this season.

At Florida, sources in Gainesville indicate Will Muschamp is currenly not in danger of losing his job, regardless of how the Gators finish. Of course, things change quickly in college football. We do expect a staff shakeup on the offensive side.

Speaking of Florida, this was the week Ron Zook was fired in year three. Zook’s record was 20-13 overall and 14-7 in the SEC. Muschamp’s record is 22-11 overall and 13-8 in the SEC. Let that simmer for a minute…

Despite three wins in a row including a Red River Rivalry triumph over arch-rival Oklahoma, we’re told Mack Brown is still not out of the woods at Texas. An 8-4 record might not be enough, perhaps even 9-3 if that loss is a blowout to Baylor.

If the Longhorns do make a change, look for Nick Saban to get the first call. Jimbo Fisher, Art Briles and Charlie Strong are also likely to make the initial list of candidates.

Keep an eye on West Virginia, Virginia, Oklahoma State and Mississippi State. They could all open.

Eastern Michigan and UNLV are in serious jeopardy.

At USC, we’re told to keep an eye on coaches with an NFL background. Also, don’t rule out Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin.

Photo credit: Keith Srakocic, AP

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The Coaching Wire: Friday, March 8, 2013

Dana Holgorsen has officially hired JaJuan Seider as West Viginia's running backs coach. (PHoto: WVU)

Dana Holgorsen has officially hired JaJuan Seider as West Viginia’s running backs coach. (Photo: WVU)

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s we reported yesterday, JaJuan Seider is the new running backs coach at West Virginia. Dana Holgorsen announced the hire via Twitter on Friday:

 


Georgia Tech’s McCollum won’t interview for Austin Peay job

Georgia Tech linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Andy McCollum will not interview for the head coach vacancy at his alma mater, Austin Peay.

McCollum, the former head coach at Middle Tennessee State, released a statement through a Tech spokesman that he will not be interviewing and does not have interest in the position.

As we mentioned in Tuesday’s Wire, McCollum was one of six interviewees listed in an Austin Peay media release. According to the release, McCollum was to interview on Monday.

There was speculation that Austin Peay would not able to meet McCollum’s salary requirements. He earned $210,000 last year.

McCollum joined the Georgia Tech staff in 2010, first serving as recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach before moving to linebackers midway through the 2012 season when defensive coordinator Al Groh was dismissed.

At Austin Peay, Kirby Cannon, defensive backs coach at Central Michigan, and Granville Eastman, Austin Peay’s interim head coach and the Governors’ defensive coordinator since 2005, interviewed earlier this week.

Former Wisconsin offensive line coach Mike Markuson, Navy offensive coordinator Ashley Ingram and Wisconsin-Whitewater head coach Lance Leipold will interview next week.

In January, Rick Christophel stepped down as the Governors’ head coach after six seasons to be tight ends coach for the Arizona Cardinals.


Copeland named running backs coach at Northern Illinois

Kelton Copeland, who spent the past two years as wide receivers coach at South Dakota, has joined the Northern Illinois staff as running backs coach.

Prior to South Dakota, Copeland spent five seasons on the coaching staff at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, where he began as the secondary coach before moving to wide receivers for three seasons.

He was named offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Coffeyville in spring 2011 before taking the South Dakota in July. In 2006, he coached safeties and nickel backs at Division II Northwood (Mich.).

“We are really excited to have Kelton and his family on board,” Huskies head coach Rod Carey said. “He is a great teacher of the game and a tireless worker in recruiting. He’s a great fit for our staff and our NIU community.”

A Miami, Fla. native, Copeland was a three-year starter at quarterback at Emporia State (Kan.).

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Vols hire Gillespie as running backs coach

West Virginia's Robert Gillespie has been named running backs coach at Tennessee. (Photo: WVU)

West Virginia’s Robert Gillespie has been named running backs coach at Tennessee. (Photo: WVU)

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ennessee head coach Butch Jones has hired Robert Gillespie as running backs coach.

Gillespie spent the past two seasons on Dana Holgorsen’s staff at West Virginia. He joined Holgorsen from Oklahoma State, where he coached two seasons (2009-10).

A Hattiesburg, Miss. native, Gillespie is very familiar with the SEC. He played at Florida and coached at South Carolina.

Gillespie joined Steve Spurrier’s staff as a graduate assistant in 2005 and was hired full time a year later. He served as the Gamecocks’ running backs coach through the 2008 season.

Gillespie earned awards from all three major recruiting services for his work on the 2012 recruiting class. He was named Scout.com’s Big East Recruiter of the Year, sharing the honor with fellow West Virginia assistant Daron Roberts; one of the Big East’s Top 10 recruiters by Rivals.com and a Top 50 recruiter by 247sports.com.

In that class alone, he played a key role in landing at least eight prospects from the state of Florida.

“Robert is a high-energy coach who will get the most out of his players, and he also has a great reputation in the coaching profession as a relentless recruiter,” Jones said in a statement.

He replaces Jay Graham, who left last week for the same position at Florida State.

Gillespie earned $301,000 last season. Graham’s salary at Tennessee was $225,000.

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Breaking down West Virginia's offensive line job candidates

New Louisiana Tech offensive line coach Matt Moore could be a candidate to replace Bill Bedenbaugh at West Virginia. (Photo: MTSU Athletics)

New Louisiana Tech offensive line coach Matt Moore could be a candidate to replace Bill Bedenbaugh at West Virginia. (Photo: MTSU Athletics)

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith Bill Bedenbaugh’s move to Oklahoma, West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen is on the hunt for an offensive line coach.

The search was slowed a bit this weekend as Holgorsen traveled to Las Vegas to speak at a Nike Coach of the Year clinic, but is reportedly heating up this week.

Holgorsen’s first call was to Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand, who was West Virginia’s tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator from 2001-06. Hand informed Holgorsen that he was not interested in leaving James Franklin’s staff.

With Hand’s name off the list, below is a list of potential candidates to keep an eye on:

Matt Moore

Current position: Louisiana Tech offensive line coach

2012 salary: $115,000

Who is he? Moore played at Valdosta State from 1991-94, starting 34 games at left guard and earning all-conference honors as a senior. He was a high school coach in Georgia and Alabama from 1996-2005, before being named offensive line coach at Troy in 2006. Moore was hired by Mike Leach as offensive line coach at Texas Tech in 2007 and remained there after Leach was fired in 2009, coaching two seasons under Tommy Tuberville. While with the Red Raiders, he recruited the Houston area. Moore spent the 2012 season at Middle Tennessee state, and the Blue Raiders finished the season second in the nation in fewest sacks allowed.

Why it could happen: Holgorsen and Moore know each other well. Holgorsen was a graduate assistant during Moore’s playing days at Valdosta State, and the two later coached together on Leach’s staff at Tech in 2007. Moore is well versed in coaching line play in the Air Raid attack, and he knows the Big 12.

Why it might not happen: Moore just joined Skip Holtz‘ staff at Louisiana Tech last month and may not be ready to tackle his fourth job since December 2011.


Garin Justice

Current position: Concord University head coach

2012 salary: Not known

Who is he? Justice was a three-year starter at offensive tackle for West Virginia captain of the 2005 team. He was a graduate assistant at West Virginia in 2006, and then held the same position under former Mountaineer offensive line coach Rick Trickett at Florida State in 2007-08. Justice came to Division II Concord as offensive line and strength and conditioning coach in 2009, and took over as head coach in 2011. In two seasons, he’s compiled a 14-8 record and in 2012, led the Mountain Lions to their first WVIAC title since 1990.

Why it could happen: Justice is a West Virginia native and former player, and was given a positive recommendation from Hand, his college position coach.

Why it might not happen: Justice is a bit of a dark horse candidate, if only because of his age and lack of full time experience at the D-I level.


Brandon Jones

Current position: East Carolina offensive line coach

2012 salary: $95,410

Who is he? Jones, a former All-Big 12 performer at Texas Tech, has spent the last three seasons as offensive line coach under Ruffin McNeill at East Carolina. Before that, he was running backs and tight ends coach at Sam Houston State in 2009. He was an offensive graduate assistant at Texas Tech in 2007-08.

Why it could happen: Jones and Holgorsen know each other well, with Holgorsen coaching at Texas Tech during Jones’ playing days and the two working together when Jones was a GA in 2007. Also, Jones is seen as an up-and-coming assistant with knowledge of the Big 12 and experience recruiting the state of Maryland.

Why it might not happen: Holgorsen could go with someone he’s worked beside more closely or with someone that has more experience.


John Latina

Current position: Duke offensive line coach

2012 salary: Not known

Who is he? Latina is a veteran assistant who spent last season with David Cutcliffe at Duke. He also coached under Cutcliffe at Ole Miss from 1999-2004 and beside him at Notre Dame in 2005. Latina was offensive coordinator at Akron in 2010-11, and before that was offensive line coach with the Fighting Irish for four seasons (2005-08).

Why it could happen: Latina is veteran offensive line coach that is very well respected in the business.

Why it might not happen: Latina’s name has come up for several jobs of late, but none of them have stuck. He’s very close to Cutcliffe, and might be hesitant to leave his longtime friend after only one season. Also, he has no formal tie to Holgorsen and might be a bit of a questionable fit for his offense.


Clay McGuire

Current position: Washington State offensive line coach

2012 salary: $201,500

Who is he? McGuire played running back at Texas Tech under Leach before becoming a video intern for the Red Raiders in 2006, and later a GA in 2007. He was hired full time in 2008 as special teams coordinator, and took over as running backs coach in 2009. He coached running backs on McNeill’s staff at East Carolina in 2010-11 before joining Leach at Washington State as offensive line coach last season.

Why it could happen: Like Jones, McGuire is seen as a fast-riser in coaching circles, and is considered an excellent recruiter. Holgorsen was Tech’s offensive coordinator during McGuire’s playing days, and the two worked together with McGuire serving as offensive GA in 2007.

Why it might not happen: Though he’s coached on the Division I level for four years, McGuire has only one season as an offensive line coach. Also, his recruiting experience has been primarily in areas not traditionally considered hotbeds for West Virginia – California, Texas, and North and South Carolina.


Shawn Clark

Current position: Purdue offensive line coach

2012 salary: $156,604

Who is he? Clark has been the offensive line coach at Purdue for the past four seasons under ex-Boilermakers head coach Danny Hope, and was retained by new coach Darrell Hazell. Before that, he spent six seasons as offensive line coach at Eastern Kentucky (2003-08), also under Hope.

Why it could happen: A native of Charleston, W.V, Clark is an experienced o-line coach with experience recruiting the state of Florida. He’s considered a very good teacher, and spent 10 years under Hope, who was one of the best line coaches in the business.

Why it might not happen: Clark has no formal connection to Holgorsen.


(Editor’s Note: Bill Bedenbaugh made $251,000 in 2012.)

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