Mariucci to lead Irish? Don't count on it

Steve Mariucci has been mentioned as a candidate for the head coaching position at Notre Dame, which became vacant when Bob Davie was fired Sunday.

Mariucci didn't come right out and say Monday that he has no interest in the job, but he made it clear his allegiance is with the team he currently is coaching.

 "I guess you get tickled, or honored, that your name even comes up for something like that," Mariucci said. "All I know for sure is that I'm a San Francisco 49er, and I've got a job to do, a very important job to do. I give it my all. Every day of my life. And I'm committed to this place. And it's been that way since I said yes to (former team president) Carmen Policy. And my goal has always been to win a Super Bowl, and then another one. While it's an honor to be mentioned for some of those other fantastic opportunities, I love it here and I've got a job to do, and we're still working at it."

Still, Mariucci admitted leading the Fighting Irish would be an attractive proposition. "Notre Dame, really, in sports is one of the premier jobs in coaching from a prestige level, from just who it is and what it represents - all of those sort of things," Mariucci said. "Those things are givens."

Mariucci said he has heard the rumors flying, just like everybody else. Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden and Jacksonville Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin also have been mentioned as top candidates for the position.

"I'm hearing the same rumors that you are," Mariucci said. "And they've been floating around now for a little bit of time here. It's interesting to me to have all these rumors flying around about several pro coaches who are very busy and entrenched in what we are doing. You know who the names are. We are so into what we're doing right now and wrapped up that you don't have any time to even think about anything else."

Still, when pinned down on the subject of whether the position piques his interest, or whether he was shutting the door on that potential opportunity, Mariucci didn't exactly answer directly. "I haven't been asked ... I don't know if the door is open," Mariucci said. "I don't know what door to shut. What door are you talking about? ... You (media) guys are nuts. It's like saying, 'Coach, you know, I know you're happily married, but what if Heidi Klum called you?' I mean, come on."


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