Art Kehoe discusses Ole Miss

Former Miami Offensive Line Coach Art Kehoe is a strong candidate for the same position at Ole Miss. He will officially interview with Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron next Monday at the annual coaches' convention in Dallas. Read about his interest in the job inside.

Art Kehoe spent 27 years at the University of Miami before abruptly being dismissed from his coaching position as the Hurricanes' OL coach last week.

Due to a prior association with Ole Miss Coach Ed Orgeron - they coached together at Miami in the early 80s - Kehoe quickly became the 'buzz' name for the recently-vacated OL slot at Ole Miss when George DeLeone took the offensive coordinator job at Temple.

"This has been a tough week for me," said Kehoe. "I've invested a lot into the University of Miami and I still don't understand why I was fired, but Ed Orgeron has not let me get too far down.

"Coach O is teling me I am a five-star recruit for him. He has recruited my wife (Deona) and I extremely hard and has made me feel good about myself during a hard time. I'm a positive person by nature, but faith, family and friends like Ed have helped me through this."

Kehoe, who was also the assistant head coach for Miami Coach Larry Coker the last four seasons, likes Orgeron's approach to him and to coaching.

"Coach O is the toughest, most intense human being I've ever been around. I'm a pretty intense cat myself. If I came to Ole Miss, it would be interesting to see us trying to keep pace with each other," he laughed. "It would be a challenge I would look forward to."

Many Ole Miss people believe Kehoe's hiring is a foregone conclusion. He says the process is not that far along, but he is "seriously interested" in Ole Miss and working for Orgeron.

"I have more research to do, and I am sure Coach O does too, but I am seriously interested in the OL job at Ole Miss," he allowed. "This thing is not a done deal, no matter what you have heard, but I'm excited about investigating it more and in talking face-to-face with Coach O."

Kehoe's immediate plan is to fly to Dallas to the coaches' convention Sunday morning and take it from there.

"I speak at the coaches' convention Sunday night at 8. I guess I will wear a shirt that says 'University Unaffiliated.' That will be strange," he laughed. "Then Coach O and I will meet some time Monday and dig our heels in on the interview.

"If we strike a deal - if he wants me at Ole Miss and I want to be there, I will ask him if I can be attached to his hip and can be involved in every facet of his program. I am so intrigued by him and his program."

Kehoe believes he can bring a lot to the Rebel table, if things go in that direction.

"I have a lot of experience coaching the offensive line in a big-time atmosphere. I am a fired-up coach who believes in all the same things Coach O does in terms of effort and intensity," he closed. "I'm excited about hearing more from him."

The following are notes from his bio in the 2005 Miami media guide:

Kehoe began his coaching career in 1981 as a student assistant at UM. A 1982 graduate of UM, he has been an integral part of the Miami football renaissance since its beginning in the late 1970s and is the only person who has been in the UM football program continuously since then. He came to Miami in 1979 as a transfer from Laney Junior College in Oakland, Calif., and started at guard for the Hurricanes for two seasons under head coach Howard Schnellenberger.

Kehoe's tenure at Miami ranks among the longest of any UM athletics figure, a span during which he has either played or coached for five head football coaches. In 20 seasons working with the offensive line at UM, Kehoe has produced six players (Brett Romberg in 2002, Bryant McKinnie in 2001, Joaquin Gonzalez in 2000, Richard Mercier in 1999, K.C. Jones in 1996 and Leon Searcy in 1991) who received first-team All-America honors, plus 18 more that went on to play professionally, 14 All-Big East honorees, one Outland Trophy winner and the 2002 Rimington Award winner. Kehoe has been on the staff of all five UM football national championship teams. Two Heisman Trophy winners and six of Miami's eight 1,000-yard rushers passed or rushed behind the blocking of Kehoe's offensive linemen. His 2000 and 2001 units are widely considered among the finest offensive lines in recent college football history and the 2002 unit was considered the nation's finest by many observers.

A native of Conshohocken, Pa., Kehoe played an instrumental role in the rebirth of Miami football, playing on the 1979 and 1980 teams that returned UM to national status with a victory in the 1980 Peach Bowl (UM's first bowl win since 1966). After his playing days ended, Kehoe stayed at UM as a student assistant coach in 1981 and a graduate assistant coach from 1982-84. He ascended to full-time status in 1985 and has worked with the offensive line since then. From 1992-94, Kehoe also tutored tight ends in addition to his duties with the offensive line.

As a coach, Kehoe has been to 20 bowl games with the Hurricanes and has tutored some of the greatest players in Miami history including Searcy, Mike Sullivan, Jones, Mercier, McKinnie, Gonzalez, Bibla, Romberg and Vernon Carey. A contemporary of legendary UM quarterback Jim Kelly, Kehoe has developed offensive lines that have protected many of the Hurricanes' outstanding quarterbacks including Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde, Steve Walsh, Craig Erickson, Gino Torretta and Ken Dorsey.

Kehoe, 47, has worked for five Miami head coaches, from Howard Schnellenberger to Jimmy Johnson, from Dennis Erickson to Butch Davis, and now under Larry Coker. Kehoe even served as UM's interim head coach for 19 days during the transition from the Erickson to Davis eras in 1995. In addition to his coaching accomplishments, Kehoe was inducted into the University of Miami Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. He was inducted into the Laney JC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.

Kehoe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration from Miami and an associate's degree in general studies from Laney J.C. in 1979.

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