With so many coaching moves — and rumored moves — today, this post will serve as our PM Headlines post. And since we’re in the middle of doing radio shows from Tennessee to Arkansas to Kentucky to Alabama to Georgia… with CSS’ “SportsNite” coming up at 6pm ET, we’ll just cut to the nitty gritty.
1. It’s being reported in Chapel Hill that Southern Miss head coach Larry Fedora has been offered the same job at North Carolina. Fedora is in New York along with UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham and a deal could be struck today. However, Texas A&M officials are in NYC, too.
2. The Aggies interviewed Fedora yesterday. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is also believed to have interviewed with A&M brass. Kevin Sumlin continues to be mentioned in connection with that job, too.
This morning, AggieYell.com — the Rivals site covering A&M — reported that Dan Mullen and Dabo Swinney had expressed interest in the job. Now that site is reporting that Kyle Whittingham might be a player in the mix as well.
The site also shot down rumors that Georgia’s Mark Richt is a candidate in College Station. (Uh, no kidding.)
3. Reports from KFSM-TV in Fayetteville/Fort Smith claim that Arkansas defensive coordinator Willy Robinson has been dismissed. Robinson was absent from a team meeting last night. The station reports that former Arizona head coach Mike Stoops and current Green Bay Packers assistant Joe Whitt Jr. — who worked with Petrino at Louisville — will be candidates for the job.
Bobby Petrino has the Razorbacks rolling on offense. That likely won’t change anytime soon. If he can land the right mind to improve his team’s defense… look out. UA has had back-to-back 10-win seasons in the SEC with so-so defenses. If they can just go from so-so to good — not even great — they could compete for titles for years to come. (Of course, they’ll also need to start recruiting a bit better on that side of the ball.)
4. Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn is still being mentioned as a potential head coaching candidate — along with many, many others — at Kansas. Malzahn, however, has told sources close to him that he expects to be back on The Plains at Auburn next year.
Speculation has also tied ex-SEC coaches Phillip Fulmer and Houston Nutt to the Jayhawks’ job.
5. Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain has been linked to the head coaching vacancies at both Fresno State and Memphis. McElwain served as the offensive coordinator at FSU under the recently fired Pat Hill for one season in 2007… before Nick Saban hired him at Alabama.
6. Steve Spurrier had only good things to say about running backs coach Jay Graham who is leaving South Carolina for the same position at Tennessee. “Coach Graham did an excellent job here for the past three years. He told me that coaching at his alma mater is something he wanted to do. He’s a very good coach and an outstanding person. We wish him the best in his coaching career.”
Spoken like a man who once left Duke to go coach at his alma mater, Florida.