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SEC Coaching Rumors – 1/12/12

Just some reports and rumors from the SEC coaching carousel today:

* James Franklin has reportedly already found two new coaches for his staff at Vanderbilt.  George Barlow — who served as New Mexico’s interim head coach and defensive coordinator last year — is expected to join the Dores’ staff as cornerbacks coach.  Barlow spent time at James Madison from 1999 through 2008 before joining the Lobos.

There are also multiple sites reporting that Josh Gattis will take over as receivers coach and offensive recruiting coordinator.  Gattis is a 2006 Wake Forest grad who served as receivers coach at Western Michigan last season.

* Things are still turbulent at Tennessee.  Derek Dooley had current Alabama linebackers and assistant head coach Sal Sunseri in for a five-hour interview in Knoxville yesterday.  No deal was finalized before Sunseri returned to Tuscaloosa.

Today, Dooley will be interviewing Navy defensive coordinator Buddy Green.  Michigan State D-coordinator Pat Narduzzi is also believed to have been contacted by the Vols.

Tennessee had hoped to have a new coordinator in place by the time wave of visitors arrive on campus this weekend, but Dooley’s tenuous job status has clearly been an issue for some candidates.

Meanwhile — yes, there’s more — offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is reportedly in serious discussions with Brian Kelly about joining the Notre Dame staff… which would open up yet another vacancy on UT’s staff.  Heading into what’s expected to be a make-or-break year, Dooley has seen one assistant retire and three others leave.  A fourth aide — Hiestand — might leave shortly and another assistant — Lance Thompson — may depart if he’s passed over for the D-coordinator job.

On top of that, San Diego Chargers special teams coach Rich Bisaccia continues to mull an offer from Dooley.

* Nick Saban is apparently scouring the NFL to find the next offensive coordinator at Alabama.  Former New York Jets O-coordinator Brian Schottenheimer — a Florida grad — has reportedly interviewed for the job already and ESPN’s Adam Schefter claimed yesterday that Dirk Koetter of the Jacksonville Jaguars will also interview.  Koetter was the head coach at Arizona State before joining the Jags.

* According to The Idaho Statesman — that’s a newspaper and not just a well-spoken Idaho native — reports that Boise State defensive backs coach Marcel Yates will take over as the secondary coach at Texas A&M.  Yates had been on BSU’s staff for nine seasons.

* It appears that South Carolina will lose another assistant, this one to Penn State.  Gamecocks special teams coordinator John Butler is expected to join Bill O’Brien’s new staff at Happy Valley.  Butler is a Pennsylvania native.

Steve Spurrier has now seen top defensive aide Ellis Johnson leave for the head coaching job at Southern Miss, running backs coach Jay Graham return to his alma mater — Tennessee — for the same job, and now Butler.  Spurrier promoted Lorenzo Ward to replace Johnson, but he’s still in the market for a linebackers coach, running backs coach and special teams coach.  Butler also coached Carolina’s “spur” linebacker position, so those duties will fall to one of the three new hires as well.

* Finally, it’s being reported by various outlets that new Auburn defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder will make $850,000 per year.


Gamecock in ATL
Gamecock in ATL

I don't think anyone that watched Spurrier's post game presser after the Capital One Bowl thought that Butler was welcome to stay another year. Spurrier basically called him an idiot ... so I think the departure of Graham hurts, and Johnson definitely hurts, but Butler just flat out underperformed.


Add to the rumor mill that A&M has just acquired Boise State's secondary coach. Seems like a good hire. They did pretty good job of shutting down Ga this year.


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