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Five official finalists

The University of Arizona has officially released the names of five finalists for the vacant Head Football Coaching position. Arizona has had an official interview with one candidate and will interview at least four more over the weekend.<BR> <A href="http://arizona.theinsiders.com/2/203821.html">Oklahoma Site's Insight</A>

In an official press release the University confirmed that they would meet with Cincinnati Bengals linebackers coach Ricky Hunley, New York Giants defensive coordinator Johnnie Lynn and USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow this weekend. She said members of the search group met with Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops last week and that current interim coach Mike Hankwitz will be interviewed on Monday.

A group including President Peter Likins and Athletic Director Jim Livengood will meet with Chow and Hunley on Sunday in Los Angeles. Lynn is expected to meet with University officials on Saturday in New Jersey.

There has been talk of Stoops receiving a second interview on Sunday as well, but those reports have not been confirmed. It is believed that Likins did not meet with Stoops originally and that before any decision is made he wants to meet all of the finalists.

"The committee narrowed the potential list of coaches from more than a hundred to about a dozen since the process began," said selection committee chair Kathleen LaRose. "Some coaches have pulled out, others have thrown their name into the mix - it's a dynamic group."

This does not limit the decision to just the five. LaRose stated that at least a few coaches are still under consideration.

"We are in discussion with a couple of other coaches, but have not yet reached agreement on face-to-face meetings," LaRose said.

Reports of Stoops' imminent hiring are premature. LaRose told Fox Sports Radio in Tucson that no agreement has been reached or that no offer has been given. Whether or not Stoops is the leading candidate for the job remains to be seen. The University's official stance is that the job is wide-open.

"We're following all the rules and regulations, Affirmative Action guidelines and we're doing the right way," LaRose said. "We feel like we could be making a decision here in the next week or so."

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