The SEC coaching carousel continues to spin even as bowl season hits its peak. Positions filled, opening, and rumored to be filled or opening… here's a wrap on what you might have missed this weekend:
Alabama — Longtime Bama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart told The Birmingham News that he's "always" interested in interviewing for a head coaching job, but he also said that he's waiting for "the right job." He didn't define what exactly "the right job" means, however. Meanwhile, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin told the media this morning that he expects to return to Alabama next season.
LSU — Les Miles offered up new contracts for a number of assistants this offseason and all but one appear to have signed on the dotted line. Steve Ensminger (tight ends), Brick Haley (defensive line), Adam Henry (receivers), Corey Raymond (defensive backs) and Frank Wilson (running backs) are in the fold. But the big fish — defensive coordinator John Chavis — still hasn't signed what is believed to be an extension that would pay him $4 million over the next three years. Perhaps that's because…
Texas A&M — Kevin Sumlin still has a defensive coordinator slot to fill. The Aggies recently reached out to LSU's Chavis. Soon to be former Florida defensive coordinator DJ Durkin remains in the mix as well. Chavis might be waiting until after LSU's Music City Bowl date with Notre Dame to speak with A&M. Durkin, on the other hand, is rumored to be interested in rejoining his old boss Jim Harbaugh at Michigan. The Aggies face West Virginia in the Liberty Bowl this afternoon, then Sumlin will have more time to dedicate to his search. He says all three of the Aggies open spots should be filled by the end of the week. A&M still has to replace David Beatty (receivers) and BJ Anderson (offensive line). Multiple reports since Christmas have former Utah offensive coordinator Dave Christensen heading to College Station to fill Anderson's slot in addtion to handling run game coordinator duties. Texas A&M has not announced that hiring yet. A&M just listed an opening for an "Assistant Football Coach" yesterday. Which one of the above jobs that listing is for remains to be seen.
Vanderbilt — FootballScoop.com reported yesterday that Derek Mason has finally found a pair of coordinators to add to his staff in Nashville. Wisconsin offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig is expected to take over a Commodore offense that struggled mightily last season. On the defensive side of the ball, the new coordinator is expected to be New Orleans Saints secondary coach Wes McGriff.
Mississippi State — Cornerbacks coach Deshea Townsend will handle defensive coordinator duties for Dan Mullen during the Orange Bowl. Florida hired Geoff Collins away from State two weeks ago. The move to give Townsend a battlefield promotion for the bowl game has a number of MSU-centric sites wondering if this might not be a tryout for the job long-term.
Auburn — The interim D-cooridnator on the Plains says he's yet to speak with incoming DC Will Muschamp. Charlie Harbison is filling in for the deposed Ellis Johnson during Auburn's Outback Bowl. According to CoachingSearch.com, Harbison said that while he hasn't spoken to Muschamp, he understands that silence on the job security front goes with the territory. "I let my work speak for itself."
South Carolina — Josh Kendall of The State newspaper in Columbia writes that fans shouldn't expect coaching changes at Carolina anytime soon. The Gamecocks knocked off Miami in the Independence Bowl this weekend, but there's still recruiting to do. "Right now, we finish up recruiting with all our guys," Steve Spurrier said on Saturday. Spurrier reportedly made a strong run at Muschamp before he chose Auburn as his landing spot. That can't leave defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward feeling too comfortable, but for now at least… he stays.
Georgia — The Bulldogs are just days into their post-Mike Bobo existence. Aside from lists of possible targets, there's been little movement on the offensive coordinator front. Tight ends coach John Lilly will fill-in as play-caller for the Dawgs' Belk Bowl date with Louisville. Quarterback Hutson Mason says life without Bobo is "definitely weird." Eventually UGA O-line coach Will Friend will be gone as well, joining Bobo's new staff at Colorado State as his offensive coordinator.
Ole Miss — Hugh Freeze is currently prepping his team for this week's Peach Bowl versus TCU. He still has to replace linebackers coach Tom Allen — the new USF defensive coordinator — after the bowl game.