West, Burns to Tulane?

It's that time of year when football recruiting is nearing its peak. It's also the time of season for college assistants trying to maneuver their way into better jobs and possibly a head coaching gig. The Clemson assistants are no different.

Bandit and Sam linebacker coach Ron West has emerged as a strong candidate to become the next head coach at Tulane, CUTigers.com has learned.

Tulane has put out feelers to determine whether or not the former Green Wave offensive line coach would be interested in returning to the Crescent City, sources said.

West said Sunday afternoon that he hasn't been officially contacted by anyone in the Tulane athletics department and that he hasn't initiated any communication. He wouldn't elaborate any further.

West was part of the Tulane staff when it put together its best season ever and went undefeated in 1998.

He is such a strong candidate for the job that ESPN's Ivan Maisel said he believes West will definitely get an interview at Tulane.

This marks at least the third time in the last few years that West has been a leading candidate for jobs elsewhere.

West was asked if he was interested in joining the West Virginia staff when Rich Rodriguez, also a former Tulane assistant, left Clemson to join the Mountaineers.

In January of 2005, Illinois head coach Ron Zook contacted West to see if he was interested in joining his newly formed staff. Once again, West said no.

Another name mentioned as a potential and logical candidate for the job at Tulane is that of running backs coach Burton Burns, who was also a coach on that undefeated team.

Burns, like West, coached at Tulane under Bowden before coming to Clemson. However, he joined the Green Wave staff in 1994 and worked for two seasons under then head coach Buddy Teevens.

Burns, a native of New Orleans, who also coached at St. Augustine High there, routinely returns home to visit family and friends.

There's a strong push in the New Orleans community to have Burns return to his roots.

John DeShazier, a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, said Burns should be one of three choices for the job because he is a native and is familiar with the situation at Tulane.

Should either West or Burns get the head job, it's entirely possible that the other would leave with him and become the offensive coordinator.

As one source said, "I could see that. Stranger things have happened."

CUTigers.com Top Stories