Nutt In Charge Of Any Changes

FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas coach Houston Nutt is heading up the process to hire an offensive coordinator, according to sources close to the program.

Nutt has at least six candidates for the position and more could be added before the process is complete. Those reportedly receiving interest are Razorbacks passing game coordinator Roy Wittke, Fresno State offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti, Oregon offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, Northwestern offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, Louisiana-Monroe offensive coordinator Todd Berry and South Carolina tight ends coach/recruiting coordinator Rick Stockstill.

Other possible staff changes could be on the horizon, but nothing has been finalized as several variables in Nutt's review of the program are pending. Assistants who have been reached have referred all questions about their status to Nutt, who told UA sports information director Kevin Trainor he would not have any comments regarding the program until next week.

Nutt met with athletic director Frank Broyles for his annual postseason evaluation last weekend. Broyles said this week that any staff changes, including the decision to hire an offensive coordinator, is at Nutt's discretion. He has handled the play-calling duties during his first eight years at Arkansas, but back-to-back losing seasons after six straight bowl bids have resulted in pressure for change.

Sources indicate Nutt is turning his attention toward recruiting this weekend. The Razorbacks are expected to host as many as 15 prospects on official visits, beginning today.

Other sources are reporting that Wittke could stay on staff no matter what happens, but a strong possibility remains he could be named offensive coordinator. Wittke has spent three seasons at Arkansas and previously was offensive coordinator at Eastern Illinois and Central Missouri State.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports Cignetti among the candidates for Temple's head coaching vacancy. Cignetti is a native of Philadelphia and his brother, North Carolina State quarterbacks coach Curt Cignetti, was an assistant at Temple in the early 1990s.

Cignetti has declined comment on his future this week. Fresno State plays Louisiana Tech for a share of the Western Athletic Conference championship today.

Other Arkansas candidates are being mentioned for head coaching positions. Berry is reportedly interested in Missouri State's opening while Stockstill has been in the early interviewing stages for Middle Tennessee State's vacancy.

Berry, a native of Miami, Okla., is in his second year at Louisiana-Monroe after serving as head coach at Army and Illinois State. Stockstill was East Carolina's offensive coordinator in 2003 after spending 14 seasons at Clemson, serving as recruiting coordinator, receivers coach, co-offensive coordinator, passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Dunbar has been mentioned as a candidate for Buffalo's head coaching position, but that hiring could be two weeks away. He was successful as head coach at Toledo for five seasons and NAIA Central Washington for six seasons.

Crowton, the former Louisiana Tech and BYU head coach, has been named a finalist for the Broyles Award, given annually to the nation's top assistant. In Crowton's first season, the Ducks are seventh in the nation in passing (310.1 yards per game) and ninth in scoring (36.4 points per game). Oregon's bowl bid is expected to be revealed during Sunday's Bowl Championship Series selection show.

Other finalists for the Broyles Award are Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kines, Texas offensive coordinator Greg Davis, Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker and UCLA quarterbacks coach Jim Svoboda.

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