Bowden took over at North Alabama and finished 11-2 in his first season. He had a 47-17-1 record in six seasons at Auburn. Bowden, who turns 54 this year, reportedly wants the job and is actively pursueing it.
Applewhite is only 31, but he has big experience. After finishing his quarterback career at Texas, the Baton Rouge native has coached at Rice, Syracuse, Alabama, and is now back at Texas as Associate Head Coach.
Malzahn has been the favorite since rumors started swirling last week about Derek Dooley getting hired away from Tech by either Tennessee or East Carolina. Malzahn has been at Auburn as Offensive Coordinator for just one year after spending two years at Tulsa in the same capacity. The Arkansas native got his start at the University of Arkansas as Offensive Coordinator in 2006 after spending 15 years coaching high school football in the state.
Other candidates include Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach Todd Monken, former Clemson Head Coach Tommy Bowden, Oklahoma State Associate Head Coach Joe DeForest, and Houston Co-Offensive Coordinator Jason Phillips.
Monken was a finalist for the job three years ago when Dooley was hired. Monken has coached at Louisiana Tech in the past and has since coached at Oklahoma State and LSU. Monken could be second in the running for the job behind Malzahn and could get the job if Tech officials aren't blown away by Bowden or Applewhite.
Louisiana Tech has enlisted Parker Executive Search to help find the next coach. Interviews are thought to be today in Atlanta. Various reports have Malzahn either interested or not interested, but he has not come out publicly and denied interest. If Malzahn does not accept the job today, it's assumed one of the other coaches will be hired by Wednesday.