Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 24, 2015

Memphis: Justin Fuente was asked tonight about reports linking him to Virginia Tech. He wouldn't get detailed, but here was his response. 

Louisiana-Monroe: The school has announced its search committee. They will work with College Sports Solutions search firm. The committee’s voting members are: former ULM strength coach Al Miller, ULM police department corporal / former player Shaquille O’Neal Belson, ULM athletic foundation executive committee member Lee Denny, former player / local high school coach Van Lambert, former player Pat Mitchell, former baseball assistant Brian Moreau, ULM hall of famer Tag Rome and current defensive lineman Gerrand Johnson. Non-voting members include athletic director Brian Wickstrom, special assistant to the president Josh Brooks, faculity athletic rep Brett Bennett, compliance director Meghan Mazza and associate professor Mary Adams.

Iowa State: Athletic director Jamie Pollard explains how he will sell the program to candidates.

Tulane: Regarding his future, Tulane head coach Curtis Johnson said today, "Whenever they hire a new AD, I will meet with them. I will probably meet with (current Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson) sometime next week, when we usually have meetings. I think we did make some progress, but it's just unfortunate that the type of league we've been in has been very tough. I have 18 starters that are coming back next year and we didn't play as well as we wanted to, but I like some parts of this team.” Johnson is 15-33 in four seasons, including 3-8 this year.

Cal: Cal has asked the NCAA for a waiver that would count its win against Grambling State as a sixth win for bowl-eligibility, according to USA Today. FBS schools are allowed one win against FCS teams toward bowl-eligibility, but Grambling is trying to determine if it has awarded enough financial aid for the game to count without a waiver. At least 90 percent of the 63 permitted scholarships must be awarded. If Grambling doesn't meet the standard, Cal would need to beat Arizona State to reach a bowl.

Philadelphia Eagles: On SiriusXM, ESPN's Adam Schefter questioned if Chip Kelly will return to the Eagles next season, saying, “The momentum and signs seem to be piling up against a Chip return to Philadelphia. I think both sides are sick of each other. I think the fans are tired of him, I think he’s tired of the situation there — just my read from afar. … I just think Chip Kelly, if given a choice, might be comfortable elsewhere. We’ll see how that shakes out. I certainly would include him in my question marks of coaches we’ll be tracking in January." The Eagles are 4-6, but only a game out of the division lead.

Tulane: University of San Francisco athletic director Scott Sidwell has removed himself as a Tulane athletic director candidate, according to WDSU. also reports UL-Monroe AD Brian Wickstrom is no longer a candidate.

Brown: Per source, tight ends coach Joseph Leslie is retiring, effective Nov. 30. Leslie has been on the staff for 11 years after spending the previous 11 seasons at Dartmouth. 

UCF: Nevada head coach Brian Polian is a possible candidate for the UCF head coaching job, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The paper adds that Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik have expressed interest in the job. The school is looking for a coach with “a long-term commitment” to UCF, so it doesn't want to be a stepping stone. In addition, athletic director Danny White's official start date has been moved up to Dec. 14 from January.

Iowa State: Georgia Southern head coach Willie Fritz has expressed interest in the Iowa State head coaching job, according to CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

Clemson: Defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Brent Venables tells reporters, "I'm not interested in any other jobs. I got a great job here, family loves it here. We're just getting started."

Hawaii: Former head coach June Jones is the leading candidate for the Hawaii head coaching job, according to ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg. Tulsa co-defensive coordinator / safeties coach Brian Norwood and Nevada offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Nick Rolovich are also in the mix. Norwood and Rolovich are former UH players, and Rolovich is a former UH assistant.

Syracuse: 10 factors for candidates to keep in mind.

Norfolk State: Defensive coordinator Jerry Holmes will not return next season. Holmes spent one year on staff.

Central Methodist (MO): Defensive coordinator David Calloway has been promoted to head coach. Calloway spent one year at CMU after 10 seasons at Texas A&M-Kingsville, including two as head coach. Other stops in his career include Lane College and Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Washington Redskins:’s Mike Silver reports that head coach Jay Gruden will return next season. Gruden is 8-17 in less than two seasons, including 4-5 this year.

Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech is expected to be the next school to hire a new head coach. Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde writes, “Word is that athletic director Whit Babcock has his man, and has for a while now, and (Justin) Fuente is that man.”

Montana State: The Bozeman Daily Chronicle notes some possible candidates for the Montana State job could include Oklahoma State tight ends coach Jason McEndoo and Southern Utah head coach Ed Lamb. See the list here.

Maine: Head coach Jack Cosgrove is leaving his head coaching role to become a senior associate athletic director. The 60-year-old Cosgrove led the program for 23 years. He’s in the last year of his contract, but the school’s athletic director said last week they had been working on an extension for him to keep coaching. Defensive coordinator / linebackers coach Joe Harasymiak will serve as interim head coach during the search. 

Iowa State: The school will use Parker Executive Search to help find its next football coach.

Buffalo: Deputy athletic director Allen Greene will be promoted to athletic director, according to Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans. Greene has spent the past two years as deputy AD after one year as senior associate AD for administration. He worked at Notre Dame from 2003-09. Greene replaces Danny White, who left for the UCF athletic director job. 

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday November 23, 2015

Buffalo: The school will make an announcement Tuesday regarding the future leadership of the athletic department. An interim athletic director has yet to be named since Danny White accepted the AD job at UCF.

Austin Peay: Head coach Kirby Cannon has been dismissed. The Governors went 1-34 in Cannon’s three seasons. A buyout compensation figure has yet to be determined. 

Syracuse: LSU defensive line coach Ed Orgeron says he would be interested in the Syracuse head coaching job, according to Orgeron coached Syracuse’s defensive line from 1995-97.

Iowa State: Paul Rhoads explains the two factors Iowa State needs for the next coach to be successful.

Jones County JC (MS): Head coach David Thornton has resigned after two seasons. The Bobcats went 5-4 last year and 2-7 this season. Thornton was promoted to the head coaching job after two years as offensive coordinator.

UCF: ESPN’s Joe Schad notes that Lane Kiffin “could be a good fit” at UCF.

LSU: Here is everything Les Miles said about his job at his Monday press conference. 

Florida State: Jimbo Fisher tells reporters he won’t speak about any jobs, noting that the LSU job isn’t open. 

Montana State: Head coach Rob Ash has been dismissed, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Ash received a three-year contract extension in August. He went 70-38 in nine seasons, but this 5-6 season was his first losing season. He will be paid the remainder of his 2015 salary. The assistant coaches will be under evaluation and could have a chance to stay with the next coach.

LSU: LSU is “prepared” to dismiss Les Miles, but no decision is final at this point, according to Yahoo Sports’ Pat Forde. It is still being discussed. By all indications, the $15 million buyout is not an issue.

Texas: Charlie Strong has closed the door on Miami rumors, saying today, “I’ve told the players I’m not going anywhere,” that there’s nothing to worry about.

Iowa State: 10 factors for ISU candidates to keep in mind.

LSU: ESPN’s Joe Schad says on Sportscenter that the Les Miles situation could be resolved today.

Eastern Kentucky: Head coach Dean Hood has been dismissed. Hood went 55-38 in eight seasons, including 6-5 this year. EKU is the midst of a push to join FBS.

Ohio State: Urban Meyer says he plans to be more involved in play-calling for the rest of this season.

BC Lions: Search firms have contacted BC Lions head coach Jeff Tedford to gauge his interest in returning to college, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Tedford was Cal's head coach from 2002-12. The BC Lions went 7-11 this season.

Philadelphia Eagles: Defensive coordinator Bill Davis criticized himself after a 45-17 loss to the Bucs on Sunday. Chip Kelly said Monday, “I’ve got tremendous faith in Bill Davis. He’s a tremendous coach.”

LSU: Les Miles is expected to have a “special meeting” with players this afternoon, according to Miles will hold his weekly press conference around lunchtime. 

Syracuse: Head coach Scott Shafer has been dismissed, CoachingSearch has confirmed. He will coach the final game against Boston College. Shafer went 13-23 in three seasons, including 3-8 this year with eight straight losses. Read more here.

Cal: Sonny Dykes tells reporters that contract extension discussions are ongoing. He did not talk with athletic director Mike Williams on Sunday.

Stony Brook (NY): Ferrum College (VA) offensive coordinator Chris Bache has joined the Stony Brook staff as offensive line coach. Bache spent two seasons at Ferrum after three years as Kent State offensive line coach.

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday November 22, 2015

Illinois: Interim athletic director Paul Kowalczyk tells the Chicago Sun-Times that Bill Cubit “still has a shot” at the full-time job, but Cubit says he hasn’t heard from the decision-makers. Illinois must beat Northwestern to reach a bowl game.

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Hutchinson CC (KS): Per source, offensive coordinator / quarterbacks / assistant head coach Ryan Mahon is leaving the staff. Mahon joined Hutchinson in March.

South Dakota: Head coach Joe Glenn has announced his retirement. The 66-year-old Glenn went 12-34 in four years at his alma mater. His career record was 200-134-1 in 28 seasons. Other stops in his career included Wyoming, Montana, Northern Colorado and Doane. 

LSU: Les Miles met with school officials last week discussing his future, according to, with the conversation centered how and when the two parties would part ways. The coach reportedly discussed a possible retirement after the 2016 season, but the paper reports that idea wouldn’t sit well with many boosters. The money to pay Miles' $15 million buyout is there through private funds. Names that boosters are tossing around include Jimbo Fisher, Dabo Swinney, Gary Patterson and, yes, Jon Gruden. Here’s what Miles said Saturday.

Iowa State: Head coach Paul Rhoads will not return next season. Rhoads went 32-54 in seven seasons, including 3-8 this season. Iowa State blew a 24-7 lead against Oklahoma State last week and a 35-14 lead against Kansas State on Saturday. Rhoads will still coach the finale against West Virginia. Per USA Today, Rhoads will be owed nearly $4.6 million in buyout on a deal that ran through Dec. 31, 2021. Read more here.

North Texas: Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles tells the Waco Tribune he has no interest in the North Texas head coaching job. The Denton Record Chronicle previously reported Briles submitted his resume, citing documents obtained from UNT through a FOIA request. 

The Inside Zone: 14 key moments and takeaways from Week 12.

Iowa: Kirk Ferentz earns a $200,000 bonus for reaching the Big Ten Championship Game, according to USA Today.

South Carolina: Athletic director Ray Tanner told Paul Finebaum during South Carolina’s loss to The Citadel that he hopes to name a head coach in early December.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Saturday November 21, 2015

LSU: Regarding reports questioning his future, Les Miles said after a loss to Ole Miss that he doesn't believe he's coaching for his job. Athletic director Joe Alleva declined comment to The Advocate until the season is over.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils’ win over Arizona earns Todd Graham a $250,000 bonus for bowl-eligibility, according to USA Today.

USC: LA Daily News reporter Scott Wolf says a USC official told him Clay Helton should be the full-time head coach, despite trailing at Oregon at the time. Helton has support.

North Texas: Per the Denton Record-Chronicle, coaches who have submitted resumes for the UNT head coaching job include Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, Texas Tech running backs coach Mike Jinks, Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton, West Georgia head coach Will Hall, Southern Utah head coach Ed Lamb, San Jose State defensive backs coach Donte’ Williams and Illinois college defensive coordinator Ray DeFrisco.

Texas: reports again that Charlie Strong is not interested in the Miami (FL) job, adding that Strong would remain at Texas even if Miami offered him a contract. The site also notes Strong believes walking away from Texas could hinder opportunities for black coaches at major programs. 

LSU: LSU Board of Supervisors member Ronald Anderson publicly acknowledged the idea of Les Miles coaching for his job to Gannett Louisiana, saying, "I think if he wins the next two games, it's still something that needs to be looked at. It's the way they lost the two games. … The next two games are really important to deciding the future of the program.”

Central Michigan: Head coach John Bonamego has announced that he is cancer-free. Bonamego was diagnosed with tonsil cancer in June. 

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Friday November 20, 2015

The Lead Block: 5 questions to follow this weekend.

Memphis: The school made Justin Fuente an “extraordinary offer” before last month’s game against Ole Miss, athletic director Tom Bowen tells the Memphis Commercial Appeal, which adds that the offer is more than the $3 million Houston is prepared to offer Tom Herman. Fuente has yet to formally respond, and Bowen and Fuente declined to discuss specifics. Last November, Fuente signed a five-year extension that pays him $1.4 million annually. Fuente tells the paper, “We haven’t signed it yet, but we’re honored to get it," adding that he'll evaluate it when the time comes. Both Houston and Memphis have now made their cases public. It sends a message both to the current coaches and coaches elsewhere that they're willing to spend big money.

UL-Monroe: The News-Star notes that Southeastern Louisiana head coach Ron Roberts is a name to watch for the ULM job. President Nick Bruno tells the paper about candidates, "If a candidate is coming here to retire, he doesn't have a place. If a candidate wants to make $1 million a year, there's no place. Every coach and staff member that comes here knows the circumstances ULM has." Bruno also doesn't mind candidates looking at it as a stepping stone job. Here are our 10 factors to keep in mind.

Hanover College (IN): Per source, head coach Steve Baudendistel will not return in 2016. Baudendistel served as head coach for four seasons after nine seasons as an assistant at the school.

South Carolina: The school is proposing a $50 million football operations building and renovations to Williams-Brice Stadium, according to The State. That’s something for coaching candidates to keep in mind. 

Detroit Lions: New president Rod Wood says the team’s advisory board to select a new general manager will also hire an advisor for the process, given the lack of football experience from Wood and the board. Interim GM Sheldon White will be a candidate.

UCF: More details on athletic director Danny White’s deal, per the Orlando Sentinel. White would owe the athletic department two times his annual salary ($525,000) if he leaves for another job within the first three years of his five-year deal. White will not start full-time until January, but he’s already working on the coaching search.

Texas Tech: Senior associate athletic director Bobby Gleason will retire, effective June 30, 2016. Gleason has spent the past 22 years as the department’s chief financial officer. 

Detroit Lions: Head coach Jim Caldwell says he’s been given no assurances about his future with the team by new president Rod Wood.

LSU: Scott Rabalais of The Advocate says more sources have confirmed his previous report that Les Miles is coaching for his job. Rabalais now writes that there are three scenarios. If LSU wins out against Ole Miss and Texas A&M, Miles will be back. If LSU loses both, there is “little chance” he would be allowed to return. If LSU splits the games, it could go either way, depending on how the games play out. Rabalais reiterates that Miles’ $15 million buyout is not a deal-breaker.

Texas: Interim athletic director Mike Perrin reiterates his support for Charlie Strong while on 104.9 The Horn and has “no doubt” Strong will not leave for Miami (FL).

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.