Coaching Hot Board: Fourth edition

Arizona's search for a head football coach continues. Read on to see who the top candidates are and why.

Chris Petersen
Current Position:
Head coach at Boise State
Age:
47
Overall record:
67-5
Salary:
$1.6 million annually
Buyout:
$650,000
Notable:
Has led Boise State to two Fiesta Bowl victories. Petersen has turned down offers from UCLA and Stanford in the past. Contract has automatic one-year extension with an eight-win season.
Positives:
Good talent evaluator. Has proven he can beat some of the best teams in the country. Has built relationship with Greg Byrne.
Negatives:
Has never been in conference where he is not top dog. Could be comfortable in Boise. Will likely be offered other jobs in the offseason.
Update:
Boise State had a bye week this past weekend. There have been rumors he turned the job down, but numerous sources could not substantiate this and if it was that public, a denial would have likely been all over the place.

Larry Fedora
Current Position:
Head coach at Southern Mississippi
Age:
49
Overall record:
27-18
Salary:
$800,000
Buyout:
Estimated at $400,000
Notable:
While at Southern Mississippi, Fedora's squad broke 36 school records on the way to ending the season with a five-game winning streak to reach a bowl game. The Golden Eagles extended that streak in 2009 to eight games - the longest consecutive winning streak for the program since 1958-59. During Fedora's three-year tenure at OSU, the Cowboys raised their rushing, passing and total offensive yards each year that he was there
Positives:
Fedora is used to coaching at a high level, as he was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and Florida before eventually becoming a head coach. Could bring Darrell Wyatt back to Arizona, as Wyatt was previously on his staff before moving on to Southern Miss. Known as a great recruiter, Fedora has landed numerous four-star players.
Negatives:
Does not have an overly impressive record as a head coach. Not a ton of west coast ties and likely not considered to be a big name among some.
Update:
Southern Miss defeated UTEP 31-13, as the Golden Eagles held UTEP to 262 total yards while putting up 450.

Kevin Sumlin
Current Position:
Head coach at University of Houston
Age:
47
Overall record:
29-16
Salary:
$1.13 million
Buyout:
$600,000
Notable:
In Sumlin's first three years, the Cougar offense has topped 40 points in 26 of 45 games, reached 50 points on ten occasions and registered at least 70 points in a game two times. In 2007, Sumlin became the first Houston coach to lead his team to a bowl victory in 28 years. In addition, he led the Cougars to their first road win over a ranked team in 24 years.
Positives:
He would come in and run an offense similar to what Arizona runs now, which means the talent would be there for him to succeed. Sumlin has Pac-12 ties, as he was an assistant at Washington State and would also be able to successfully recruit Texas.
Negatives:
With conference realignment, may feel he has just as much chance to succeed. Houston is getting new facilities and could be a lifer there if he wanted to. If offense continues to succeed at high level, may have better opportunities.
Update:
Houston beat Rice 73-34 and the Cougars are rolling right now to the point where you have to wonder if they will lose. Sumlin's name is gaining steam not only around Arizona, but throughout the country as well.

Mike Bellotti
Current Position:
ESPN analyst
Age:
60
Overall record:
137-80-2
Salary:
N/A
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Had a 116–55 record at Oregon, including four ten-win seasons. The Ducks finished second in the nation in 2001 and he led Oregon to a bowl game in 12 of his 14 seasons as head coach. He had the second most victories of any Pac-10 school in his tenure.
Positives:
Belotti may be wanting to get back in the coaching game after sitting out. Coaching at Arizona would allow him to stay west and enter a situation that is set up for success with new facilities, support, and more.
Negatives:
Belotti is comfortable at ESPN and there is little reason to leave. He is already 60 years old and could decide to leave any time. Chip Kelly has had as much success as Belotti, which would bring up questions as to how successful he can be. May be connected with UCLA head coaching job if there is a change there.
Update:
Bellotti's name is still hanging around for UCLA and Arizona.

Jim McElwain
Current Position:
Offensive Coordinator at Alabama
Age:
49
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
Estimated at $410,000 base
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
McElwain spent the 2006 season in the NFL as quarterbacks coach for the Oakland Raiders and served as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Fresno State in 2007. McElwain served as the assistant head coach, receivers coach and special teams coach at Fresno State from 2003-05. The 2003 team reached the Alamo Bowl behind a receiving corps that set school records for receptions (312) and yards (3,510). Helped the Crimson Tide to a 12-2 mark in year one and a 14-0 mark in 2009, which featured a unit that totaled more yards from scrimmage than any offense In Alabama history (5,642).
Positives:
His ties to Fresno State and Eastern Washington will help Arizona maintain some west coast ties and even possibly develop in the northwest. Would likely be able to bring a strong staff with him and doesn't make a huge salary.
Negatives:
May be in line for bigger job with Alabama's current success. Not known as a great recruiter, so would need to hire strong coaching staff.
Update:
Alabama had a bye week, as the Crimson Tide prepare for LSU this weekend.

Paul Chryst
Current Position:
Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks coach at Wisconsin
Age:
45
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
$405,000
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
The Badgers' offense has averaged 32 points and 408 total yards per game in the last five years and Wisconsin is 49-16 since he took over as offensive coordinator. The offense seems to be getting better every year, as it averaged 41.5 points per game last season and scored 70 points in a game three different times.
Positives:
Chryst was the offensive coordinator at Oregon State when Byrne was there and Byrne saw him lead the Beaver offense to the sixth best passing average in the nation and become the first team in NCAA Division I history with a 4,000-yard passer, 1,500-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers. Has shown ability to recruit nationally, landing recruits from five different states last year.
Negatives:
No head coaching experience and likely will be able to choose from numerous jobs soon. Has experience in the NFL and may want to return.
Update:
Wisconsin lost its second game in a row due in large part to Ohio State's defense. The Badgers were only able to put up 89 yards on the ground, which is unheard of for Wisconsin.

Manny Diaz
Current Position:
Defensive Coordinator at Texas
Age:
37
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
$625,000
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
Hired by Byrne at Mississippi State in 2010, Diaz led a defense that ranked 21st in the nation in scoring defense (19.9 ppg), 17th in rushing defense (119.1 ypg) and 17th in tackles for loss (7.0 pg), which was an improvement from the year before he was there in which the defense finished 71st in scoring defense, 62nd in rushing defense and 89th in TFL.
Positives:
High energy approach to recruiting and has developed ties to Texas recruiting. Familiar with Byrne, so would know expectations. Background would mean he would fit in well with Tucson community.
Negatives:
No head coaching experience and little experience on FBS level. May be in line for a bigger job, including Texas opening when Mack Brown
Update:
Texas held Kansas to 46 total yards and negative two rushing yards in one of the most dominating performances this season.

Derek Mason
Current Position:
Defensive Coordinator/Associate Head Coach at Stanford
Age:
N/A
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
N/A
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
As a player, Mason was a two-year starter and four-year letterwinner at Northern Arizona. A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Mason attended Camelback High School and once coached at Mesa Community College as well. After serving as Stanford's defensive backs coach a year ago, Derek Mason was promoted to associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator for the 2011 season. Mason coached in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings and each stop has shown defensive improvement.
Positives:
Well-respected in coaching circles and is moving up the ranks fast. Has Arizona ties dating back to his playing days. Has served as a wide receivers coach, showing knowledge on the offensive side of the ball as well. Solid recruiter who has already landed two four-star commitments this year.
Negatives:
Has never been a head coach or a coordinator by himself. May want to return to NFL, so stability could be questioned if he is eventually offered a job. Mason is not a name many people would recognize. Arizona may choose to go with the offensive side of the ball to change things up.
Update:
USC's 432 yards of offense show that it was not a defensive battle, but Stanford came out on top and continues its run towards a national title game appearance.

Mark Hudspeth
Current Position:
Head coach at Louisiana Lafayette
Age:
42
Overall record:
6-1
Salary:
$360,000
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
During his two year stint at Mississippi State as passing game coordinator, the quarterback rating for the team improved from number 105 in 2009 to number 48 in 2010. Hired by Greg Byrne while at Mississippi State
Positives:
Before he arrived at the school, Louisiana-Lafayette had just one winning season since 1995, when it went 6-5 in 2005 to clinch a share of the Sun Belt crown. With the majority of its recruits coming from west of the Mississippi, Hudspeth's connections in the South would open up a very fertile recruiting ground for Arizona to tap into.
Negatives:
Not considered a big name, Hudspeth only has six games of coaching experience. No real west coast ties and may have eyes set on SEC.
Update:
ULL beat Middle Tennessee State 45-20 behind 526 yards of offense, 338 of which came on the ground. The defense continues to struggle a bit, but the offense is clicking.

Chad Morris
Current Position:
Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach at Clemson
Age:
43
Overall record:
N/A
Salary:
$450,000
Buyout:
N/A
Notable:
While at Tulsa in 2010, led an offense that was 13th in the nation in passing offense (288.7) and 15th in rushing offense (216.9). Its 505.6 total offense yards per game were fifth-most in the nation. Tulsa was the only school in the top 15 in the nation in rushing and passing offense. Won 82 percent of his games as a high school coach in Texas. He led Lake Travis High School to back-to-back, undefeated (16-0) state championship seasons. He won three state titles overall and played in six state championship games in his high school coaching career. He also won a state title at Bay City High in 2000.
Positives:
While coaching in high school is a different level, still has experience as a head coach. Has had major success at each stop. Major recruiting ties to Texas and considered to be an elite quarterbacks coach.
Negatives:
Has only been at Clemson one year and may want to see what more success brings him. Due for a raise at the end of the season, Arizona would likely have to give him a solid contract. Should Arizona offer, it likely would not be the only school to do so.
Update:
Clemson lost its first game of the season despite putting up 400 yards of offense. We almost dropped Morris in favor of Justin Wilcox, but will keep him here another week. There is information out there to suggest Morris will remain at Clemson for at least two years while we heard numerous sources tell us a staff with Mike Bellotti as head coach and Wilcox as defensive coordinator and coach in waiting could be a plan.

Others: Justin Wilcox (Tennessee DC), Sonny Dykes (Louisiana Tech HC), Kirby Smart (Alabama DC), Mike Leach, Brent Pease (Boise State OC), Rich Rodriguez, Bryan Harsin (Texas OC), Chris Wilson (Mississippi State DC), Greg Mattison (Michigan DC), Vic Fangio (San Francisco 49ers DC), Greg Roman (San Francisco 49ers OC), Justin Fuente (TCU OC), Josh Heupel (Oklahoma OC), Troy Calhoun (Air Force).

Wildcat Authority Top Stories