Coaching Search Primer (Updated 12/12)

(Updated 12/12) Trying to figure out who will be Washington's new head football coach? Things get more interesting by the day. Did the Huskies hire a coach on Sunday? Read on...

We need to look at who the leading candidates are and while there are really only four or five serious contenders, there are plenty of coaches out there to choose from. This list is not a complete one, as names will be bandied about in the coming weeks. But this is our best guess right now as to who will fill the applicant pool, complete with the latest news on each based on sources in Seattle and throughout the country.

The Contenders

Tyrone Willingham
Alma MaterMichigan State ('77)
Current JobFormer Head Coach, Notre Dame
HC Career Record65-51-1
Contract StatusReleased from his contract with Notre Dame
Experience3 Seasons NFL experience (Minnesota), 10 Seasons college head coaching experience (Notre Dame, Stanford), 25 seasons college coaching experience (Notre Dame, Stanford, Rice, North Carolina State, Michigan State)
What's the BUZZ?

WILLINGHAM UPDATE - 12/12: The Seattle Times reported Sunday morning through a source that Washington is expected to hire Willingham as their next head coach early next week. Sources at Washington confirmed the news Sunday afternoon. Details of the hire, such as length of contract and salary, were unavailable, but a press conference naming Willingham to the post will be held Monday.

WILLINGHAM UPDATE - 12/10: The Boston Globe reported that Todd Turner and Mark Emmert met with Willingham Thursday in Chicago, their second meeting with a coach in Chicago in two days. The Globe also reported that Boston College Head Coach Tom O'Brien met with Turner and Emmert Wednesday, although it appears that neither coach has officially been offered the head coaching position at Washington yet.

WILLINGHAM UPDATE – 12/8: The Boston Globe is reporting that the Washington coaching search is headed by two candidates - Tyrone Willingham and Boston College coach Tom O'Brien, and that the list doesn't extend much past them. According to Ted Miller of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Willingham is expected to interview with UW this week.

WILLINGHAM UPDATE - 12/3: The Oxford (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger reported Friday that Ty Willingham might be on Mississippi's short list after they fired Head Coach David Cutcliffe on Wednesday. Athletic Director Pete Boone is thought to have Willingham and former Florida Head Coach Ron Zook at the top of his wish list. If Willingham accepted the position with the Rebels, the state of Mississippi would have two of only three African-American head coaches in all of D1-A football. Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom and UCLA's Karl Dorrell are the only two currently employed.

WILLINGHAM UPDATE - 12/7: Willingham has already rebuffed one school's inquiries - Mississippi, telling them that he was interested in another job. Newspapers and columnists around the country are all but naming the former Stanford and Notre Dame head coach in at Montlake, but there has been no hint of a press conference or an end to the UW coaching search.

BIO: Willingham has spent 27 years as a coach and the last ten as a head coach. His 44-36-1 record at Stanford landed him a job at the helm of the most prestigious program in the country. In three years as the head man at Notre Dame, Willingham went 21-15, finishing the 2004 season at 6-5. Willingham became the only first-year coach in Notre Dame's storied history to win 10 games in his initial campaign. In Notre Dame's "Return to Glory," the head coach was recognized for his efforts when he was named the ESPN/Home Depot College Coach of the Year. He was thought to be a solid recruiter but that may have been his downfall. Too many times Willingham "whiffed" on top prospects and had to settle for less-regarded athletes to make his teams successful and it didn't work. Willingham became frustrated with the culture surrounding the program and his hasty departure may have had more to do with getting a hot coaching prospect like Utah's Urban Meyer. Willingham is widely considered a solid football coach, he won't be without a job for long.

Mike Tice
Alma MaterMaryland ('80)
Current JobHead Coach, Minnesota Vikings
HC Career Record22-22
Experience9 Seasons NFL coaching experience (Minnesota), offensive line/tight end specialist
What's the BUZZ?

TICE UPDATE - 12/11: Tice continues to talk up the Washington position, despite not having been contacted by UW. Fox Sports is the latest to report on the Vikings' coach as expressing an interest to talk with the Huskies.
TICE UPDATE - 12/9: The Seattle P-I quoted Tice Thursday as saying the Washington job would one of only two or three jobs that could lure him away from his job as Minnesota's head coach. Tice spent ten years playing for the Seattle Seahawks and has a home in Seattle. Both of his children were also born in Seattle. He was on with Dave Grosby of KJR 950AM in Seattle Thursday afternoon and reiterated that he would be interested in the UW job, but has not contacted anybody about it nor has been contacted about the vacancy.

TICE UPDATE – 12/7: Tice still owns a home in Maple Valley and his three-year contract is up at the end of the season. His ties to the area and Vikings' owner Red McCombs' lack of movement on a new contract have led to some speculation that he may head west to coach at Montlake.

BIO: Tice, 45, is in his tenth year as a coach, third as the head man of the Vikings. He played his college ball at Maryland before spending 17 years in the NFL as a tight end. The nine years he spent in Seattle are what link him to the area. He is a small-business owner who still has a home in Maple Valley. His entire coaching career has been spent with Minnesota, spending the 1996 season as the tight ends coach and 1997-2001 as the offensive line coach under then head coach Dennis Green, before taking over as the head coach for the final game of the 2001 season. He has developed five Pro Bowl offensive lineman (Matt Birk, Randall McDaniel, Korey Stringer, Todd Steussie and Jeff Christy) and his lines have been known for their run-blocking. His offensive lines paved the way for RB Robert Smith to set several team records including yards rushing (1,521) and 100 yard games (8). His status as a former player allows him to relate to his players and they play hard for him.

Jim Mora, Jr.
Alma MaterWashington ('83)
Current JobHead Coach, Atlanta Falcons
HC Career Record9-3
Experience19 Seasons NFL coaching experience (Atlanta, San Francisco, New Orleans, San Diego), 4 Seasons as a coordinator (San Francisco)
What's the BUZZ?

UPDATE - 12/10: Mora continues to be the 'wild card' in the search hunt, as the Seattle Times said Friday that the first-year head coach of the Atlanta Falcons is listening to UW representatives about coming home to his alma mater, while the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said Friday that Mora has reportedly asked twice this week for his name to be taken off any list associated with the UW coaching search. ESPN also has quoted Mora as calling the rumors of his interest 'crazy'.
MORA UPDATE - 12/9: The Seattle Times indicated Thursday that Mora - who initially showed no interest in the UW coaching position - may have met with Todd Turner and Mark Emmert and is intrigued with the idea of returning to his hometown.

BIO: Mora, who graduated from Washington in 1983, brings 19 years of NFL experience to the table, with stints at Atlanta, San Francisco, New Orleans and San Diego, including five years as a defensive coordinator with the 49'ers. Mora is a graduate of Interlake High School and the son of former Washington assistant coach Jim Mora, Sr. Mora, Sr. was the Huskies' Defensive Coordinator from 1975 to 1977, Don James' first three years at Montlake. Included among Mora's highlights as 49'ers DC, his defense was No. 4 in the NFC in total defense in 2003 and tied for No. 1 in the NFC with a +11 turnover differential on the heels of 36 takeaways on defense, No. 2 overall in the NFC. The Niners' run defense at home was again one of the best in the League last year as it allowed only 459 total rushing yards for an average of 57.4 yards per game. That tied the 2001 Pittsburgh Steelers for the second-lowest total in a 16-game schedule. Mora's defense continued an impressive trend in 2003 as the 49ers have not allowed a rusher to run for over 100 yards in their last 19 home games, the second longest streak in the League. San Francisco's staunch run defense at home was highlighted in 2003 by holding the St. Louis Rams to a mere nine yards rushing, which was the second lowest rushing total by an opponent in 49ers team history, and halting the Seattle Seahawks to a paltry 2.8 yards per rush average on 32 carries. For the season his defense allowed only three rushing touchdowns at home and a 3.0-yard per-carry average by opponents. Mora's secondary was also in a taking mood in 2003 as it recorded an interception in nine consecutive games, the longest streak in team annals since 1996 (before Mora). Mora's aggressive defense also produced 42 sacks last year to tie for No. 2 in the NFC and it was the highest team total since 51 in 1998.

Randy Shannon
Alma MaterMiami ('89)
Current JobDefensive Coordinator, Miami
Experience4 Seasons D.C. Miami, 3 Seasons Assistant Coach NFL (Miami Dolphins)
What's the BUZZ?

SHANNON UPDATE - 12/9: The Palm Beach Post reported Thursday that Shannon had talked with Mississippi Tuesday about their head coaching vacancy.
BIO: The first defensive guy on our list and Shannon is likely to get some looks around the country. Early in the season he had the Miami Hurricane defense ranked number one in yards allowed, but they have fallen off the last three weeks. He might be a long shot to get a major Division One head coaching gig because he is only 38 and his entire playing and coaching career has been spent in South Florida.

Pat Hill
Alma MaterUC-Riverside ('73)
Current JobHead Coach, Fresno State
HC Career Record63-38
Experience24 Seasons college coaching experience (Fresno State, Arizona, UNLV, Utah), 8 Seasons as a head coach (Fresno State), 6 Seasons NFL/CFL experience (Baltimore, Cleveland, Calgary)
What's the BUZZ?

UPDATE - 12/8: According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Pat Hill has not been contacted for the vacant UW head coaching position.
HILL UPDATE - 12/6: While Washington continues it's job search, sources outside the search have confirmed Hill's interest in the job.

BIO: Hill's "anywhere, anytime" mantra is what put him on the map and he continues to produce solid players in a difficult place to recruit athletes. He is an outstanding evaluator of talent and his hardnosed style is something that people in the Northwest would appreciate. His teams have seemed to get up for BCS competition ever year but they fall off against mediocre WAC teams. Hill is a long shot at best.

Butch Davis
Alma MaterArkansas ('74)
Current JobFormer Head Coach, Cleveland Browns
HC Career Record75-56
Contract StatusDavis resigned as Cleveland's coach half way through the 2004 season.
Experience10 Seasons NFL experience (Dallas, Cleveland), 13 Seasons college coaching experience (Oklahoma State, Miami)
What's the BUZZ?

DAVIS UPDATE - 12/8: According to the Sun-Herald, it appears that Davis is one of two finalists for the Mississippi job, along with USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron. According to the report, a coach will be named Thursday. Davis did not return phone calls about the job.
DAVIS UPDATE - 12/2: Davis told Peter King during this week's Inside the NFL for HBO that he has no interest in coaching anywhere this next season. "All the rumors that I wanted this job or that job ... it never, never, never happened," Davis told King. "I had no 'lines in the water' for college football jobs, absolutely zero lines in the water."

DAVIS UPDATE - 11/30: Davis is a "rah-rah" guy and that didn't go over well in the NFL. Some Florida dailies along with ESPN's John Clayton have Davis listed as a top candidate for the Florida job, but insiders say that boosters would not be happy with his hire. Clayton even stated that Davis is very interested in the spot in Gainesville. He fits the Florida mold, a fiery guy who has coached in Florida before. Davis is also a defensive guy who runs an attacking defense, something else fans in the south love to see.

BIO: Davis was the coach who rebuilt the University of Miami football program following the probation brought on by the previous coaching staff. He was able to recruit talent galore in the hotbed of Florida football. Some of the players he recruited and developed include RB Edgerrin James, QB Ken Dorsey, WR Santana Moss, T Bryant McKinnie, LB Dan Morgan, WR Reggie Wayne, LB Ray Lewis, S Ed Reed and TE Jeremy Shockey. In six seasons at the helm of the Hurricane program he went 51-20 and won several Big East Conference championships. He had early success in Cleveland taking the Browns to their first playoff appearance in eight seasons going 9-7 in 2002. The Browns were expected to challenge for the playoffs again in 2003, but they flopped going 5-11. His 3-8 record after 11 games this season led to his resignation. He is a solid college coach who can recruit and get the most out of his players. He will be a consideration for many of the job openings currently in division one.

Norm Chow
Alma MaterUtah ('68, '70), BYU ('79)
Current JobOffensive Coordinator, USC
Contract StatusChow is the highest paid offensive coordinator in the country at $500,000
Experience4 Seasons at USC, 34 years Coaching Experience
What's the BUZZ?

CHOW UPDATE - 12/7: Chow is expected to interview at Stanford Wednesday, along with Pitt coach Walt Harris. Chow has also been contacted by BYU AD Tom Holmoe, but has not been offered the job in Provo.
CHOW UPDATE - 12/6: Stanford is not the only school looking to lure Chow from Los Angeles. BYU, who just fired Gary Crowton, is interested in talking to the former long-time Cougar assistant under legendary head coach LaVell Edwards. Utah defensive coordinator (and former BYU assistant) Kyle Whittingham is also considered a candidate for the BYU post and has been contacted by the Cougars.

CHOW UPDATE - 11/30: Chow is rumored to have been considered several times for a head job but has turned it down in order to stay in the land of Troy. Chow's age (58) usually precludes him from being considered for a lot of jobs because most schools want to hire someone who will be around for a while. Chow is an X's and O's guy who is widely considered an offensive genius. The L.A. Times reported that Stanford made inquiries into his availability before they let former head coach Buddy Teevens go.

BIO: Chow, 58, is considered the driving force behind the scenes with USC's resurgence. His abilities as an offensive coordinator were honed as he built an offensive juggernaut at BYU and he has continued that wide-open success at Southern Cal. Six of the quarterbacks he has coached have ended up in the top three of the Heisman race and current SC QB Matt Leinart is poised to become #7. Rumors are swirling that Pete Carroll is the leading candidate for the Miami Dolphins job when it comes open at the end of the season and if Carroll leaves Chow is likely to be at the top of the Trojans' list. Chow is the highest paid offensive coordinator in the country at $500,000 and he has spurned offers to become a head coach several times. One interesting note: Turner was rumored to be very interested in hiring Chow when Turner was at Vanderbilt but things never panned out for Chow to head east.

Scott Linehan
Alma MaterIdaho ('86)
Current JobOffensive Coordinator, Minnesota Vikings
Experience3 Seasons NFL experience as OC, 14 Seasons college coaching experience (Louisville, Washington, Idaho, UNLV)
What's the BUZZ?

LINEHAN UPDATE - 12/7: Rumors of Linehan lining up for a Washington interview continue to persist through back channels because of his ties to the UW program.
BIO: Linehan, 41, has been coaching for 16 years and he has been rumored for several coaching positions. He has directed some of the best offenses in the country, directing Idaho's offense from 1992-1993 and Louisville's offense from 1999-2001 he led both to record performances. The last two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Vikings, he has directed them to 390 and 416 points. Even with QB Dante Culpepper and WR Randy Moss, two of the most explosive players in the league, Linehan has not shied away from running the ball. Behind a behemoth offensive line the Vikings have run for an average of 140 yards per game while amassing an average of 395 yards per game in total offense. Linehan's age, connections to the area and to the Washington football program (OC from 1994-1998) make him an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on.

Mike Leach
Alma MaterBYU ('83), Pepperdine ('86) U.S. Sports Academy ('88)
Current JobHead Coach, Texas Tech
HC Career Record38-25
Experience19 Seasons college experience (Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Valdosta State, Iowa Wesleyan, College of the Desert, Cal Poly-SLO), 1 Season European Football League experience (Pori, Finland), offensive specialist
What's the BUZZ?

LEACH UPDATE - 12/7: The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta reported this morning that Leach is still a consideration for Turner and Emmert. His wide-open style and focus on academics would fit in well in the Pac 10 and he would be given time to improve the team's performance on the field.
BIO: Leach, who will turn 44 in March, has an impressive background as an offensive coach. As the offensive coordinator at Kentucky and Oklahoma, Leach set several NCAA and conference records with his high-flying, wide-open attack. His teams are known as offensive juggernauts but they aren't defensive slouches either. The players play hard for Leach and he gets the most out of his players. Since he has arrived, Tech has become a bigger player on the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas and his 2004 recruiting class received the highest ranking in school history as one publication rated him #16 in the country. Leach is also the first coach to lead the Red Raiders to five straight bowl games, including the 2004 Holiday Bowl where his players will face off against fourth ranked California in San Diego. Leach's players also have been performing well in the classroom as Tech's graduation rate has consistently been above 70% with a peak last season of 89%.

Nick Saban
Alma MaterKent State ('73)
Current JobHead Coach, LSU
HC Career Record91-41-1
Experience5 Seasons Head Coach at LSU, 5 Seasons Head Coach at Michigan State, 4 Seasons Defensive Coordinator Cleveland Browns (NFL)
What's the BUZZ?

SABAN UPDATE - 11/30: Saban was the hottest coach at the end of the 2003 season, winning a share of the national championship and hauling in a top-five recruiting class. His tie to Emmert is well-known and he has stated that Emmert is the "best boss" he has ever had.
BIO: Yeah the chances of him coming to UW are about as remote as the Cougars making a bowl this year, but he has ties to Emmert and comparing Baton Rouge to Seattle is like comparing Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to a Widmer Hefeweizen. Saban will likely get some calls from the NFL so he might be gone before UW can get him.

Gary Pinkel
Alma MaterKent State ('73)
Current JobHead Coach, Missouri
HC Career Record95-62
Contract StatusPinkel signed a contract extension in January that includes a $1 million buyout
Experience29 Seasons college coaching experience (Missouri, Toledo, Washington, Bowling Green), 14 Seasons as head coach (Missouri, Washington)
What's the BUZZ?

PINKEL UPDATE - 11/30: Pinkel may have saved his bacon with the win over Iowa State last week. Pinkel had the Tigers poised for a romp into the top 15 with a 4-1 start, but a five game losing streak ended any hope of a bowl game for the second straight season. With QB Brad Smith likely coming back for his senior season, Pinkel is once again poised to have the Tigers win the Big 12 North. The contract renewal he signed in January is likely to keep Pinkel around for at least a couple more seasons.
BIO: Pinkel is the last of the Don James protégé's that is a viable option as the UW coach and Pinkel has experience at a mid-level Division One program at Missouri. However, a horrible loss to Troy early in the season and undisciplined play might have dropped him out of favor with some of the Tyees around Montlake. Pinkel also signed a contract extension in January that includes a $1 million buyout and that may be the biggest drawback into bringing him back to town.

Joe Glenn
Alma MaterSouth Dakota ('71, '75)
Current JobHead Coach, Wyoming
HC Career Record168-72-1
Experience30 Seasons college coaching experience (Wyoming, Montana, Northern Colorado, Northern Arizona, Doane, South Dakota), 20 Seasons as head coach (Wyoming, Montana, Northern Colorado, Doane) Won one NCAA Division 1-AA championship (Montana) and 2 Seasons NCAA Division II championships (Northern Colorado)
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: In 2003, Glenn's first season at Wyoming, two wins over Colorado State and BYU caused the UW student body and fans to tear down the goal posts -- not once, but twice during the 2003 season. After the 2003 season, MWC media members voted Wyoming as the "2004 Team on the Rise." It's not new for Glenn, who has won wherever he has coached. He has won three national championships during his 19 previous seasons as a head coach. He won the NCAA Division I-AA National Championship at Montana in 2001, and won two NCAA Division II National Championships at Northern Colorado in 1996 and 1997.

Chuck Long
Alma MaterIowa ('85)
Current JobOffensive Coordinator, Oklahoma
Experience10 Seasons college coaching experience (Oklahoma, Iowa), 3 Seasons as offensive coordinator (Oklahoma)
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: As the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma, Long has built a powerhouse in Norman. Long, who is 41 and, an Illinois native, might be a hot name right now.

Les Miles
Alma MaterMichigan ('76)
Current JobHead Coach, Oklahoma State
HC Career Record28-20
Contract StatusMiles has $850,000 buyout in his contract
Experience3 Seasons NFL coaching experience (Dallas), 22 Seasons college coaching experience (Oklahoma State, Michigan, Colorado), 4 Seasons as head coach (Oklahoma State)
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: When he took over the Oklahoma State program four years ago he was on the bottom looking up in the Big 12 Conference. His 27-18 record as the Cowboys head coach includes two victories over perennial top 5 Oklahoma. His age, 51, and his buyout, $850,000 are likely to be stumbling blocks in UW offering him the head coaching job.

Randy Edsall
Alma MaterSyracuse ('80)
Current JobHead Coach, Connecticut
HC Career Record31-36
Experience5 Seasons as Head Coach Connecticut
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: Edsall has taken a non-existent UConn program and built it from the ground up. Most think he is headed for Syracuse but keep an eye on his candidacy.

Jimbo Fisher
Alma MaterSalem College ('89)
Current JobOffensive Coordinator, LSU
Contract StatusHe is currently making $350,000 as the offensive coordinator at LSU.
Experience16 Seasons college coaching experience (LSU, Cincinnati, Auburn, Samford), 8 Seasons as an offensive coordinator (LSU, Cincinnati, Samford)
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: Fisher has spent his entire career in the SEC and he is widely considered as the next SEC coordinator to get a head coaching gig. Emmert knows him and likes him. He is currently making $350,000 as the offensive coordinator at LSU and while he will be considered it is doubtful he will get the call.

Bret Bielema
Alma MaterIowa ('92)
Current JobDefensive Coordinator, Wisconsin
Experience12 Seasons college coaching experience (Wisconsin, Kansas State, Iowa), 1 Season as defensive coordinator (Wisconsin)
What's the BUZZ?

BIO: At 34, Bielema is the youngest candidate that is being mentioned for head coaching jobs. However, with Wisconsin's defense destroying teams left and right Bielema is hot. This season he has the Badgers stop unit ranked first nationally in points per game allowed (8.5) and second nationally in yards allowed (236). He was also the recruiting coordinator and defensive coordinator at Kansas State before he headed to Madison so he has coached under two respected veteran coaches in Bill Snyder and Barry Alvarez. Long shot but another one to keep an eye on.

Off the Market

Walt Harris
Alma MaterPacific ('68)
Current JobHead Coach, Pittsburgh
HC Career Record52-43
Experience31 Seasons college coaching experience (Pitt, Ohio State, Pacific, Tennessee, Illinois, Michigan State, Air Force, California), 3 Seasons NFL coaching experience (New York Jets)
What's the BUZZ?

HARRIS UPDATE - 12/12: The San Jose Mercury News reported Sunday that Harris has been offered the Stanford job and will be named the new head coach at a press conference Monday.
HARRIS UPDATE - 12/8: Avani Patel of the Chicago Tribune reported that Harris is expected to be on UW's short list of coaching candidates. She also reported that Harris is expected to interview with Stanford later this week.

HARRIS UPDATE – 12/7: Harris has been rumored for several positions including Stanford and now Washington. After starting 2-2 with losses to Connecticut and a down Nebraska squad, rumors swirled that Harris' head was on the chopping block, but the Panthers rebounded to win six of their last seven and took the conference crown with a thrilling 16-13 win over number 21 West Virginia. Harris has only recently become a candidate for coaching vacancies and he may be content staying at Pitt. He is expected to interview for the vacant Stanford head coaching spot this week along with USC Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow.

BIO: When he took over the Pittsburgh Panthers football program in 1997, the program had experienced only one winning season in the previous six years. Since he has taken over the team has gone 52-43 and gone bowling in six of his eight seasons. This season the Panthers came out of nowhere to win the Big East and will play undefeated Utah in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 1st. Harris, who just turned 58, is considered a solid X's and O's coach and an innovative play-caller. He is energetic and coaches quarterbacks in addition to his head coaching duties. Harris graduated from the University of Pacific in 1968 so he does have some ties to the west coast.

Charlie Weis
Alma MaterNotre Dame ('78)
Current JobOffensive Coordinator, New England Patriots
Contract StatusWeis' contract hasn't been extended by the Pats
Experience9 Seasons at New England, 4 Seasons Assistant Coach at NC State, 26 years Coaching Experience (15 seasons in the NFL)
What's the BUZZ?

WEIS UPDATE - 12/11: Various reports have Weis accepting the job at Notre Dame.
WEIS UPDATE - 12/9: The Boston Globe reported Thursday that Weis could get an interview with Notre Dame as early as Friday.

WEIS UPDATE - 12/6: Now that Urban Meyer Steve Mariucci and Kirk Ferentz have publically turned down the Notre Dame job, former ND grad Weis' has now been brought up as a potential suitor.

BIO: The offensive coordinator of the New England Patriots was interested the last time the UW job was open and he is not happy that his contract hasn't been extended by the Pats. He has college coaching experience from a short stint at South Carolina. Lawyer Milloy and Damon Huard encouraged Weis to inquire about the UW position when it opened up after Jim Lambright was fired.

Tom O'Brien
Alma MaterNavy ('70)
Current JobHead Coach, Boston College
HC Career Record56-39
Contract StatusO'BRIEN AGREED TO STAY AT BC - 12/10
Experience30 Seasons college coaching experience (Boston College, Virginia, Navy), offensive coordinator/offensive line/tight end specialist
What's the BUZZ?

O'BRIEN UPDATE - 12/11: O'Brien has decided to stay at Boston College, according to the Boston Globe. "I think it's in my best interest to stay at Boston College,'' O'Brien said last night. ``To let it go on any longer was not fair to my team and to this school. We're preparing for a bowl game [Continental Tire, Dec. 30 against North Carolina] and it wasn't fair to my team or the school to let this go on.''
O'BRIEN UPDATE - 12/10: According to a Boston Globe report, O'Brien is considered a frontrunner for the vacant Washington head coaching position after meeting with Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo Thursday. O'Brien met with Todd Turner and Mark Emmert Wednesday in Chicago, and it's reported through the Globe that O'Brien has intimated to BC that he was 'prepared' to take the Washington job if offered.

O'BRIEN UPDATE - 12/9: Former Virginia and NFL OT Ray Roberts said on KJR 950AM in Seattle Thursday that he had spoken with O'Brien Wednesday, his former coach at UVA. He said that O'Brien would be excited for the opportunity to coach at Washington, but that he hasn't been offered the job yet. It has also been widely reported that Todd Turner and Mark Emmert interviewed O'Brien Wednesday, but people associated with Boston College's athletic department could neither confirm or deny that the interview had taken place.

O'BRIEN UPDATE - 12/8: The Boston Globe is reporting that the Washington coaching search is headed by two candidates - Tyrone Willingham and Boston College coach Tom O'Brien, and that the list doesn't extend much past them. But when contacted, BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo said that he fully expects O'Brien to coach the Eagles next year. O'Brien has been contacted by UW for an interview.

O'BRIEN UPDATE – 12/7: O'Brien's connection to UW AD Todd Turner when both were at Virginia in the mid 80's are fueling the rumors surrounding his coaching status. His ties to the east coast and having never recruited out west could be detrimental to being successful at Washington. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times reported Tuesday that O'Brien has been contacted about the UW coaching vacency and could be interviewed.

BIO: O'Brien is a solid disciplinarian who demands effort from his players both on and off the field. In 2003, BC led the nation in graduation rate with 95%. O'Brien has spent his entire coaching career on the east coast and cut his teeth as a line coach before being named the head coach of the Eagles. He is 55 years old and while his teams are not flashy they get the job done. His eight wins this season wrapped up six straight seasons with at least seven wins, the first time that has ever been done at BC. His name has not popped up in the coaching carousel until very recently and he is considered a long-shot to leave Chestnut Hill. His contract is $600,000 per year and runs for another five seasons.

Jeff Tedford
Alma MaterFresno State ('83)
Current JobHead Coach, California
HC Career Record24-12
Experience3 Seasons Head Coach at Cal, 4 Seasons OC at Oregon
What's the BUZZ?

TEDFORD UPDATE - 12/6: According to ESPN's Ivan Maisel, California will announce the details of a new contract extension for Jeff Tedford. The new five-year contract will guarantee Tedford $1.5 million per year, with additional incentives. This year, the university paid Tedford $800,000, and incentives met will push the final total to approximately $1.1 million.
TEDFORD UPDATE - 12/6: With Cal's season over, the rumors will come to a head soon. Cal's new Athletic Director, Sandy Barbour, has reported in newspapers throughout the Bay Area that two big announcements will be coming at Cal within the next 7-10 days. Reading between the lines, one announcement would be regarding the unveiling of Cal's facilities upgrade, and the second would be regarding Jeff Tedford's tenure in Berkeley. With Notre Dame now expected to at least inquire about Tedford's availability and rumors running at mach speed in Seattle about Tedford being named the new head coach at Washington, his future looks to be taking a turn one way or another within the week. To add more intrigue to an already wild situation, Both Sean Salisbury and Kirk Herbstreit of ESPN said Sunday that Cal's exclusion to the BCS would not have happened at Washington, and that the perceived lack of respect for the Cal football program on a national level might be a reason why Tedford leaves Cal.

TEDFORD UPDATE - 11/30: Rumors continue to swirl around Tedford and the impending deadline for the Cal Administration to make good on their promised upgrades to decaying Memorial Stadium. The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta has reported that Tedford is the top choice to head the UW football program. With President Mark Emmert and Athletic Director Todd Turner keeping their list under wraps nothing is known for sure. Third party contacts continue to make it known that Tedford is interested and word is that Emmert and Turner will make it almost impossible form him to say no.

BIO: Tedford is the hottest commodity in the NCAA right now, taking a moribund program in Berkley and making it a top ten team within three years of being named the head coach. Tedford has been offensive coordinator at Fresno State and Oregon and has a stellar reputation for developing quarterbacks (Trent Dilfer, Joey Harrington, Kyle Boller, Aaron Rodgers are among his protégé's). In 2002, Tedford was voted the Pac 10 coach of the year by his peers and The Sporting News. Tedford is young (42) and energetic but he has turned down other more lucrative offers, including the NFL, to stay in the Bay Area and no one knows whether or not he would have interest in the Husky job. Rumor has it that Tedford has privately expressed interest in the job through a third party and with his buyout clause falling from $1 million to $500,000 when the school doesn't break ground on a promised upgrade to Cal's stadium, he is at the top of the list for Turner and President Mark Emmert. One other side note…Tedford's agent is Mike Sullivan, who has a lot of UW ties and has represented multiple former Huskies. If the Huskies truly want to make an "impact" hire, Tedford certainly fits the bill.

Bobby Petrino
Alma MaterCarroll College ('83)
Current JobHead Coach, Louisville
HC Career Record19-5
Experience2 Seasons Head Coach at Louisville, 1 Season OC at Auburn, 2 Seasons OC Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL)
What's the BUZZ?

PETRINO UPDATE - 12/6: While his team gets ready to face Boise State in the Liberty Bowl, rumors swirl about the hot Louisville head coach. Mississippi, Notre Dame and Washington are just three of the open positions Petrino has been possibly linked to. While holding his cards close publically, privately it sounds like Petrino could be making plans to move. Petrino to South Bend? After getting shut out left and right, it's possible ND Athletic Director may now turn his attention to Louisville and Cal.
PETRINO UPDATE - 11/30: Even with his statement that he is not looking to leave anytime soon, Petrino is considered a "rising star" in the coaching ranks. He currently has the Cardinal ranked 8th in the national polls with their only losing coming in a heatbreaker to Miami, 41-38. Petrino is a consideration for the Florida and Notre Dame job per ESPN, should Meyer turn down either one, but with his team headed to the Big East next season he might truly be prepared to stick it out in Louisville for some time to come.

BIO: In his second year at Louisville, Petrino has won 14 of 19 games and has Lousville on the cusp of entering the top 10. Petrino, 43, is a native on Helena, MT and he has held several positions with west coast teams. He has been an offensive coordinator in the NFL as well as college and the Louisville job is his first head coaching opportunity. Petrino also became a hot commodity when his Cardinals pushed Miami to the brink on October 14th losing a heartbreaker 41-38.

Urban Meyer
Alma MaterCinncinatti ('86), Ohio State ('88)
Current JobHead Coach, Utah
HC Career Record38-8
Experience2 Seasons Head Coach at Utah, 2 Seasons Head Coach at Bowling Green
What's the BUZZ?

MEYER UPDATE - 12/4: Family members have confirmed that Urban Meyer will be the next head coach at Florida, spurning Notre Dame. He replaces Ron Zook, who resigned at the end of the year. According to the Gainesville Sun, Meyer will sign a 7-year contract worth 14 million dollars.
MEYER UPDATE - 12/3: In a crazy turn of events, Urban Meyer is expected to accept the head coaching job with Florida after being offered the job Thursday night. This story is being circulated through the Florida Times-Union after Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops flatly denied any interest in returning to Gainesville. ESPN and CBS Sportsline are also running with this story. Meyer, who interviewed with former employer Notre Dame Thursday, was expected to accept the ND position. Terrance Harris of the South Bend Tribune reported Friday that it appears there will be an all-out bidding war between UF and ND for Meyer's services.

MEYER UPDATE - 12/2: Urban Meyer will interview with Notre Dame Thursday, based on reports from the New York Times and ESPN. Meyer has also been contacted by Washington and Florida, but Notre Dame - where Meyer was previously an assistant coach under Bob Davie - is the clear front-runner for his services.

MEYER UPDATE - 11/30: With Ty Willingham being dismissed, ESPN has reported that Meyer now becomes the front-runner for the job in the shadows of "Touchdown Jesus". Meyer has always called Notre Dame his "dream job" and word out of South Bend is that Willingham was released early because Meyer was a hot commodity and with the amount of job openings they needed to act quickly. Meyer has also rumored to be the top choice of Florida as well because the University President was the man who hired him at Utah.

BIO: If Tedford is the hottest coach in the land, Meyer is right behind him. Meyer, 40, is widely considered one of the brightest offensive minds in the college game with his spread option/shotgun formations. Meyer has Utah (8-0) ranked 7th right now and went 10-2 in his first season at the helm. Before he took the Utah job, Meyer turned Bowling Green into a MAC power in two seasons. In 2003, Meyer was named the National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News. Meyer is a solid recruiter, even stealing some name recruits away from some of the big boys. Meyer has a $250,000 buyout in his contract and he can sign with three schools: Michigan, Ohio State and Notre Dame with no buyout necessary. If Meyer decides to come to Montlake there is the possibility he could opt-out to sign with one of these schools sooner rather than later. Meyer is also on top of Florida's list as the current President, J. Bernard Machen hired Meyer at Utah before he took the job in Gainesville.

Dan Hawkins
Alma MaterUC Davis ('84), St. Mary's (Calif.) College ('93)
Current JobHead Coach, Boise State
HC Career Record44-6
Experience4 Seasons Head Coach at Boise State, 5 Seasons Head Coach at Willamette University
What's the BUZZ?

HAWKINS UPDATE - 12/3: It looks like Hawkins might be off the market, but he's still apparently waiting for the phone to ring. According to the Idaho Statesman Thursday, Boise State is looking to sweeten Hawkins' contract and buyout clause. Hawkins reported to the Statesman that he has received no calls inquiring about job openings and is seriously thinking about accepting BSU's offer to stay.
HAWKINS UPDATE - 11/30: If Tedford left for greener pastures, Hawkins would be the number-one candidate to fill his shoes. Word out of Boise is that Hawkins knows some people on the Cal staff and would be welcomed should he take the job. Hawkins likely would leave behind offensive coordinator Chris Peterson who would be next in line as the Broncos' head coach. If Tedford doesn't leave, Hawkins may be a candidate for the other job in the bay area - Stanford.

BIO: Hawkins has taken the Boise State Broncos from small school status to the heights of the Top 25 on a regular basis. His 19-game winning streak and 41-6 record over the last three season (yes Coug fans, there is a team with a better record over the last three years) automatically make him a top candidate for most jobs around the country. Hawkins is a young 44 and his down to earth ways make him appealing to recruits and motivates players to play above their normal level. BSU has made a commitment to increase the capacity of Bronco Stadium from its current 30,000 seats and Hawkins seems to like his surroundings in quiet, conservative Boise. His buyout is $100,000 but the problem is if he is hired, offensive coordinator Chris Peterson is likely to stay in Boise and become the head man for the Broncos. Top Stories