Penn State’s Bob Shoop was expected to interview for the job Wednesday with Les Miles. It’s unclear whether any offer was made, but Shoop took to Twitter later that day to reaffirm his commitment to Penn State.
#WEARE..So excited 2 b part of the Penn State Family. Lots of work 2 b done. Committed 2 building a Big 10 n National Championship Program!— Bob Shoop (@Coach_ShoopPSU) January 8, 2015
Fox Sport’s Bruce Feldman reported Thursday morning that Shoop will receive a new deal after his flirtation with LSU. He’s expected to receive a three-year deal worth $1 million per year (his salary has not been previously reported). Most expected the new LSU defensive coordinator to earn a salary close to John Chavis’, which was $1.3 million while with the Tigers.
But Shoop opted against moving his family for the second time in two years and stuck with James Franklin and the Nittany Lions.
So who’s up next for the Tigers?
Derek Ponamsky floated out a new name on Thursday morning, mentioning Oregon’s Don Pellum as a potential candidate. Pellum in his first season as coordinator led an Oregon defense that ranked No. 27 in points allowed per game. An Oregon an alumnus, Pellum’s been with the Ducks for the majority of his coaching career. Since starting as a grad assistant in 1985, he’s spent only four years elsewhere, most of his time in Eugene spent as the recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach.
A West Coast lifer, you’d question his familiarity with the types of offenses he’d face in the SEC. Oregon does recruit nationally, often pulling players from the South, so he would at least understand the territory in that respect. And for reference, Pellum made only $400,000 in base salary last season, almost $1 million less than Chavis.
It remains to be seen just how legitimate the interest would be between the two sides, but LSU’s search will likely continue into the weekend.
Outside of Pellum, two names continue to be the most frequently discussed. Brick Haley remains a candidate for promotion, as he would potentially replace Chavis as DC/LB Coach with Ed Orgeron the most likely guy to step in as defensive line coach. Alabama’s Kevin Steele remains an option as well, though his name hasn’t been mentioned in too many recent reports.
A third name to keep an eye on is former UAB coach Bill Clark. Considered a young, up-and-comer on the coaching scene, Clark was mentioned as a possibility at Auburn for Will Muschamp was hired. Clark spent one year with the Blazers before the program was shut down.
Before that he was a high school coach and South Alabama DC from 2008-12 with a head-coaching stop at Jacksonville State in 2013. He told local reporters in Birmingham that he has not yet had contact with LSU about the opening and said he’d prefer to get a head-coaching job instead of an assistant position.
There was hope that LSU would have the hire made by the weekend, and that still remains a possibility. The entire LSU coaching staff — along with most every college staff — will head to Louisville on Sunday for the AFCA convention until Tuesday. That’ll afford an opportunity to meet with several prospective candidates, so it’s possible that a new hire isn’t made until mid-next week.
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