The Final Five

Ever since John Mackovic was removed as head coach, Cat Tracks has run a series of profiles on potential head coaches. Some were fanciful, but most were serious. Now there are officially five finalists interviewing for the post. Below are the profiles of the five men being interviewed as well as new insight into their chances of being hired.

Norm Chow
Offensive Coordinator
USC
Age: 57
Alma Mater: Utah (67)

Resume: Has one numerous coordinator of the year awards…Coached Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer last season…Coached Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson, Gifford Nielsen, Ty Detmer and Robbie Bosco during his 27 years at BYU.
Pluses: One of the best offensive minds in all of college football…Has coached two Heisman Trophy winners and five Davey O'Brien Trophy winners…Has extensive ties to the West.
Minuses: No head coaching experience…Has been seemingly content to be a coordinator…Does not like to actively hit the recruiting trails…At 57, may be older than the school wants.
Chances: Very Good. Chow could very well be the school's second choice. Pere Carroll has indicated that he thinks that it is a good opportunity and the two have discussed what would happen if Chow took this or another job. A great interveiw could vault him past Stoops.

Mike Hankwitz
Interim Head Coach
University of Arizona
Age: 55
Alma Mater: Michigan ('70)

Resume: Was named head coach of the Wildcats when Colorado…Coached at Arizona under Jim Young in the ‘70's.
Pluses: Great defensive mind…Has coached over 20 NFL players…Has ties to Arizona from his Jim Young days…The Wildcats have played much better since he took over.
Minuses: 1-5 as a head coach…No other head coaching experience…School may want to separate itself from the Mackovic era.
Chances: Fair. Hankwtiz is getting an interview but is likely not being seriously considered. He has done a very good job since taking over mid-year but the school probably wants to move on and go for a fresh start.

Ricky Hunley
Linebackers Coach
Cincinnati Bengals
Age: 43
Alma Mater: Arizona ('83)

Resume: Linebackers coach for the Florida…Named to College Hall of Fame for his outstanding career with the Wildcats.
Pluses: Is a true Arizona guy…Has worked with Larry Smith, Marvin Lewis…Former NFL player…Known as a great recruiter.
Minuses: No head coaching experience…Has never been a coordinator.
Chances: Very Good. Arguably the best player in school history, Hunley has made his desire for the job very apparent. The knock seems to be his lack of head coaching experience and whether he is ready at this time to be a head coach. He will have to do a lot in the interview process to make up some ground but he's a dynamic enough personality that he can bowl over the committee and most importantly, Likins.

Johnnie Lynn
Defensive Coordinator
New York Giants
Age: 47
Alma Mater: UCLA (‘79)

Resume: Currently the defensive coordinator for the Giants...Was defensive backs coach for the team before that…Coached DB's for the 49ers and Buccaneers…Was a Wildcat assistant in the late 80's/early 90's
Pluses:Coached at Arizona in the Desert Swarm years…Was a grad assistant with the Cats before that…Has coached in a Super Bowl…Has credibility from his days of being an NFL player…Ties to the west.
Minuses: No head coaching experience...Has not coached in the college ranks since the early 90's…Has only been a coordinator for two seasons and the Giants defense is up and down this season.
Chances: Good. Lynn is the darkhorse. No one is really talking about him yet he's apparently made a great impression on all of those who have met with him. Lynn has the Arizona ties and pro pedigree. A great interview this weekend would not be a surprise.

Mike Stoops
Co-Defensive Coordinator/Associate Head Coach/Defensive Backs Coach
Oklahoma
Age: 40
Alma Mater: Iowa ('84)

Resume: Defensive coordinator and associate head coach of the best team in America and one of the best programs of the last five years...Has coached in 14 bowl games and played in four others.
Pluses: Great defensive mind…He may be the hottest young assistant in all of college football...Defensive coach of a national champion and Rose Bowl winner…Played in a Rose Bowl…Has great ties to Texas.
Minuses: Has the odd distinction of being co-defensive coordinator with Brent Venables....No ties to the far west…Has had a few off field incidents years ago that keep getting brought up.
Chances: Excellent. The speculation is that this job is Stoops' to lose. Although nothing has been official most reports say a good meeting with Likins could seal the deal.

The University has also mentioned that there are a couple of other candidates that are being spoken with but have not set up interviews. Those names have not been announced but the most common names mentioned are Walt Harris (Pitt), Dan Hawkins (Boise State) and Pat Hill (Fresno State). Hill has publicly stated that he is no longer interested, while Hawkins is believed to have said that he would not leave Boise State until after the bowl season.

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