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Thursday’s SEC Coaching Rumors

Wanted to catch you up on some of the coaching carousel chatter from around the conference.  Here’s goes…

* Arkansas could lose two coaches from its staff.  As noted here yesterday, offensive coordinator Garrick McGee is a candidate for the head coaching job at Florida Atlantic.  An FAU-centric site claims that McGee is involved in “serious talks” with the school.

Meanwhile, special teams coach John L. Smith — a former head coach at four schools including Louisville and Michigan State — is a candidate for the top gig at his alma mater, Weber State.

* Tennessee receivers coach Charlie Baggett resigned his position today and it’s believed that he will return to the NFL next season… though some are calling the move a “retirement.”  There have been rumors and reports that leading receiver Da’Rick Rogers argued with Baggett on the sideline of UT’s loss to Kentucky last week.

* Speaking of Kentucky, receivers coach Tee Martin — a former national championship-winning quarterback at Tennessee — is believed to be high on Derek Dooley’s wish list to replace Baggett.  For Martin, going from Joker Phillips’ third staff to Dooley’s third staff might be like jumping from the frying pan to the fire.

* It looks like Texas A&M will hang on to Mike Sherman after all thanks in large part to his $9 million buyout.  A&M AD Bill Byrne is asking fans for patience.

That hasn’t stopped this writer from The Houston Chronicle from calling for Sherman’s ouster.

* At Ole Miss, the search committee met with chancellor Dan Jones yesterday to update him on the hunt for Houston Nutt’s replacement.  Larry Fedora of Southern Miss continues to be mentioned in connection with the Rebel post — as well as with the opening at North Carolina.  To date, Fedora has not denied interest in the Ole Miss position and his AD, Richard Giannini, has refused to comment on whether or not UM officials have asked to speak with his coach.

Meanwhile, reports suggest West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen — who is in his first year in Morgantown — is in the mix in Oxford.  Given his actions last spring, perhaps Holgorsen likes the idea of coaching near Tunica.

Ex-Rebel aide and current Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze continues to be tied with the Mississippi job as well, though he’s talking only about his team’s upcoming game with Troy.  His school has not given him permission to meet with representatives of other schools until after this weekend’s game.

It currently looks as though UM’s search will stretch into next week. 

* There continue to be conflicting reports regarding Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.  Some sites have claimed that Smart impressed UM search committee members when he met with them.  Other outlets — including The Tuscaloosa News — have said that Smart hasn’t even met with Archie Manning and crew yet.

Regardless, his name remains on UM’s short list.

* Down the road at Mississippi State, Dan Mullen is still being tossed around as a leading candidate to replace Joe Paterno at Penn State.  Yesterday, Mullen’s ex-assistant Mark Hudspeth — now the head coach at Louisiana-Lafayette and no longer a candidate at Ole Miss — said his old boss “would do a really good job there.”  (Hudspeth downplayed a Tim Brando question about whether or not he would want to replace Mullen at MSU if Mullen left for Happy Valley.)

Mullen and Mississippi State AD Scott Stricklin continue to shoot down the Penn State talk.  Mullen said today that he has not been contacted by Penn State “or any other school.”  Stricklin went a step further: “I haven’t been contacted by Penn State and Dan hasn’t been contacted by Penn State.  It’s not a story, period.”

MSU’s coach continues to say he’s happy in Starkville and that’s leading more and more people to believe Mullen really is going to be at Mississippi State for the long haul.

 


13 comments
Just_me
Just_me

John,

Reports from the Birmingham News are that McGee. along with Paul Petrino and Turner Gill, are the finalists for the UAB job.

James
James

Houston Chronicle reporting Sherman is out.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

John,

My understanding is he is already gone and TAMU already has the replacement in place.

Aggiefaithful
Aggiefaithful

There was a rumor down here in Aggieland (which isn't saying much) that Mr. Kirby Smart was on campus today. Of course, the rumor mill down here has been fairly high after the Thanksgiving loss; may just be wishful thinking from the majority of the fan base.

Bubba Gump
Bubba Gump

Looks like it just hit ESPN - Sherman is out

With the move to the SEC I would bet my bottom dollar that the man coming in will be good with defense. TAMU's offense was capable this year but their defense left room for improvement. If they expect to contend in their new home they are going to have to get back to the Wrecking Crew days.

Aggiefaithful
Aggiefaithful

I agree. The question is if our Board of Regents and AD have as much common sense. I hear Kevin Sumlin out of UH is at the top of the list. While he is a good coach, I would feel ALOT better getting a Kirby Smart or similiar; someone who knows the SEC; in particular how to rebuild a once proud defense, and get us able to really compete after a few seasons. This could be a heck of an opportunity to rebuild a program from scratch, both on the field and culturally. One thing I have learned over the years though, A&M can always find a way to screw up a great opportunity

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

A&M's not firing Mike Sherman is a real shame. That $9 million buyout is a small investment as compared to the value of a good coach. Sherman is recruiting well, and maybe he does actually deserve another year since this will be his third bowl game in a row at a program that Dennis Franchione didn't leave in the best shape and neither did R.C. Slocum before him, but I don't think that he will pan out. The problem is that keeping Sherman this year will likely cost A&M the #1 choice of the fans, which is Kevin Sumlin (who was once on the A&M staff). If Sumlin goes elsewhere and Sherman has a poor year in the SEC (A&M loses their QB, top RB and top WR on offense, though they do have everybody on the OL coming back it seems) then Bill Byrne could be the one that finds himself in trouble. I guess maybe Byrne is thinking that even if he does miss out on Sumlin that Art Briles would make a good fallback choice, but the rumor is that Briles loves Baylor and is there for the long haul (or at least while the Big 12 is still in existence).

But this is still more evidence that the Missouri bashers were WAY off base, trying to pass the Tigers off as a lightweight with A&M as this powerhouse. Mizzou is actually the better, more stable football program right now with the superior coach, and Mizzou will benefit greatly from recruiting Georgia and Florida (more than they would have recruiting Arkansas and Louisiana). Where A&M is reeling, Mizzou has nearly everybody back from a young team that went 7-5 against a tough schedule this year.

brian
brian

Mizzou is 5-1 vs A&M under Pinkel, including two straight wins in College Station in 2010 and 2011 (quirk of Big 12 rescheduling). MU finally gets the Aggies in Columbia next year if rumored schedules are to be believed. A&M is really good at taking 4-star Texans and turning them into mediocre football players who don't play well together. Pinkel is great at taking 3-star Texans and turning them into winners.

Fayettechill14
Fayettechill14

Oh no, please don't leave, John L. Smith!!! Hogs lead the SEC in all of the following:
-yards per punt
-yards per kickoff
-touchbacks
-yards per punt return
-yards per kickoff return
-punt return touchdowns (also leads NCAA)
-kickoff return touchdowns
-total special teams touchdowns (also leads NCAA)

I'd say he's a pretty good special teams coach.

tradeassociation
tradeassociation

John L. Smith is a pretty good head coach too. He had a very good run at Louisville, just couldn't cut it at Michigan State. He also was a good coach at Utah State. I hope he can be a head coach again, but at a higher profile program at Weber State. He'd be great for a C-USA school like East Carolina.

john
john

If true. Good for the program when you get rid of a talented coach/recruiter for a sophomore WR. Shows we are making steps in the right direction and will return to atlanta next year

GeoffDawg
GeoffDawg

Actually pretty glad now that Duh'Rick decided to spurn Georgia at the last minute.

Willy McGhee
Willy McGhee

Dooley needs to get rid of some coaches, but Charlie Baggett isn't one of them. Probably the best coach on the staff.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] UAB coaching search takes focus with Auburn's Curtis Luper and Arkansas …al.comBy Steve Irvine — The Birmingham News Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee is a candidate for the UAB football head coaching vacancy. (Scout.com photo) BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The finalists for the UAB football coaching vacancy include Auburn …COACHING SEARCH: Garrick McGeeBig Red Report (subscription)Report: McGee To Interview With Alabama-BirminghamArkansas NewsThursday's SEC Coaching RumorsMrSEC [...]



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