Not too much on the coaching front the past 48 hours. On Monday, Miami and Greg Schiano decided to go separate ways and that evening Paul Dee supposedly sat down with Mike Leach and things were supposedly moving fast. Tuesday we find out, that’s not the case.
What’s changed? I’m not sure but I do know that two days ago a lot of folks were much more vocal than they are today. I’m still talking back and forth with my resources, but everyone seems to have hit the same dead end.
Here’s what we know since the last blog:
>>> Miami has talked to Leach but it doesn’t appear talks were are serious as initially reported.
>>> Miami officially talked with Randy Shannon and much like Leach, The U’s top brass will continue the interview process and circle back to Leach, Shannon and others.
>>> Gary Patterson of TCU and Steve Kragthorpe of Tulsa remain on Miami’s radar, but there is no conformation of them interviewing for the position yet.
>>> The ‘surprise” candidate thrown into the mix today is Mike Stoops of Arizona. Rumor has it the two year leader of the Wildcats is hot on the Miami job. Stoops is in New York, but there’s no confirmation that he’s sat down to talk with Dee yet. Mark Stoops is Arizona’s defensive coordinator and was Miami’s secondary coach before following his brother to Tucson.
>>> Mario Cristobal remains high on Pete Garcia’s wish list at FIU, as is Shannon. There was a rumor earlier today that Cristobal accepted the positon, but that is false. Some folks with Columbus ties mentioned that Cristobal was offered a position at FIU, but hasn’t made a decision yet.
One would expect Cristobal to wait it out and see what Miami does before accepting or declining the positon with the Golden Panthers, but how long is too long? My gut feeling? Cristobal is headed to FIU… unless Miami hires the right guy. Mario definitely would’ve stuck around with his old boss, Schiano. Everything was wide open after that and FIU made the call.
>>> The Miami Herald reported today that Bernie Kosar was seriously throwing his hat in the ring in regards to the vacant coaching position at The U. Huh? Don’t get me wrong, allCanes loves the B -man but there’s no way in hell this program can gamble on a former QB great with no coaching experience. I can drive, but it doesn’t mean I know how to build a car.
Kosar is a fixture at games and at practice, always taking an interest in whoever Miami’s quarterbacks are. Head coach? Not yet. But I’d love to see Kosar come on as an official quarterbacks coach, with some influence on the offensive playcalling. #20 won a National Championship as a freshman against arguably the greatest college team in history, 1983 Nebraska. I want Kosar officially in charge of our QBs.
>>> Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden ripped Schiano on sports talk radio yesterday in regards to blowing it by not taking the Miami job. I spoke with a few national media friends who informed me that Penn State has informed Schiano that the gig is his when Joe Paterno indeed steps down.
Conventional wisdom would lead one to believe Paterno has anywhere from 2-5 years left before he hangs it up in Happy Valley.
If Schiano has confirmation he’s the successor, the smart play is to wait it out at Rutgers. There’s no reason to move his family from New Jersey to South Florida to State College in half a decade.
>>> Norm Chow officially took his name out of the running for the NC State head coaching vacancy. Chow was offensive coordinator for the Wolfpack in the Philip Rivers era, before heading to Southern Cal and lighting up their offense for a few seasons. Gut feeling is Chow ends up back in the Pac 10. Either at Stanford or Arizona State.
Lisa Love is the ASU AD with USC ties. She was criticized in 2005 for extending Dirk Koetter’s contract and missing out on Chow. With Koetter gone, does she try to right last year’s wrong with Chow in 2007? If Chow finally lands his first head coaching gig, look for Love to give him that crack with the Sun Devils.
>>> NC State didn’t miss a beat when Chow bowed out. Word is they’ve snatched up Tom O’Brien, long-time coach of Boston College. This was out of left field as all signs pointed to the Wolfpack signing Navy coach Paul Johnson. Similar to the Iowa State hiring last week.
Out of nowhere, the Cyclones brought in Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik. In the days leading up to the hiring, many were reporting that Central Michigan’s Brian Kelly was slated to land the gig.
Makes you wonder if Miami is about to pull the bait-and-switch on everyone. All this talk about Leach and/or Shannon, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if out of nowhere the Canes signed a solid, proven coach.
With the Internet what it is today, universities need to pull the ol’ rope and dope on everyone as to not let the media distract them from the task at hand; inking the contract. What’s Miami’s next move?
>>> Rich Rodriguez to Alabama seems to be a done deal. For the Miami contingent pissing and moaning about The U not talking to Rodriguez, it’s all about the money. Rodriguez showed interest, but Miami was never a viable candidate due to the $2M buyout clause. Alabama boosters can foot that bill, but not Miami.
Rodriguez will earn upwards of $2.5M a year should he sign with ‘Bama, which the Canes could compete with. But the $2M the school hiring Rodriguez will have to pay to West Virginia to release him is too much for The U to swallow.
>>> Barry Alvarez mentioned yesterday that Donna Shalala did contact him regarding Miami’s coaching vacancy, but he turned down the offer as he’s happy as Wisconsin’s AD and part of FOX’s college football broadcast team this bowl season.
We’ll see where Miami’s coaching search winds up, but pretty scary to think Shalala was hell-bent on bringing Alvarez back into the fold. Had he showed interest, would Miami have continued interviewing candidates and using the services of consultant Chuck Neinas, or would it have been a one-man race?
More to come tomorrow. Hang in there!