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.
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.