San Diego State administration gave Long a vote of confidence after reports surfaced in early November that he would be fired. Even so, school President Stephen Webber and Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel were busy talking with boosters to raise the necessary funds to buy Long out of the final two years of his contract.
In order to do that, they had to raise $1.4 million. They came up $400,000 short, but made up the difference via the administration's coffers. Now the search begins to replace Long.
Per an NFL source, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Warpaint Illustrated.com Monday morning, Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Herm Edwards could be a potential target to replace Long. Edwards has ties to San Diego State, where he played his Senior year of college football.
The Aztecs are in the midst of their third head-coaching search since December 2001 and there's heat on the University from boosters to get the program back on track. The question right now is who will pick Long's successor.
Schemmel was not at Sunday's press conference and is undergoing surgery for a hip infection. Aztec boosters reportedly are trying to get him fired, also.
However, if Schemmel can attract a coach like Edwards, it might save his job and please not only the boosters, but San Diego State's President, who were not thrilled about the Long hire two years ago.
Our league source, who was speculating on the prospects of Edwards coaching the Aztecs next season, said, "What young recruit would be able to resist Edwards' passion for the game?"
The Chiefs, mired in another losing season under Edwards, took a step backward on Sunday in KC's 54-31 loss at the hands of the Buffalo Bills. After going 1-19 over the last 20 games, speculation about jobs at One Arrowhead Drive is running rampant.
The main issue, however, will be money. Edwards, who is in the third year of a four-year contract that pays him $3 million per season, will require similar money before he would even consider a coaching change.
His current salary is at the high end of the pay scale in college football and our NFL source said it's unlikely the Aztecs could pay Edwards the same salary. Thus, Edwards' return to his Alma Mater is a long shot.
Edwards will likely be eliminated early in the Aztecs' search because of the abundance of California recruits who are still undecided about their college futures. Any new head coach would need to be settled quickly in December, hire his staff, and get out on the recruiting trail right away.
Edwards isn't the only candidate the Aztecs could be looking at, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. Former Auburn coach Terry Bowden is interested in the job and has gone on record saying he'd listen if the Aztecs called about the opening.
Other emerging candidates include former Kansas Jayhawks and Minnesota Gophers Head Coach Glen Mason, current Montana Head Coach Bobby Hauck, and former NFL head coaches Denny Green and Lane Kiffin.
Those names alone make it unlikely that Edwards would jump from the NFL to college. To take the job, he'd have to leave the Chiefs before the season ends, and it's unlikely he'd do that to the Hunt family, his players, and his current coaching staff.
Edwards A Long Shot For San Diego State Job
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