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.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday November 19, 2015

Cal State – Los Angeles: Former USC athletic director Mike Garrett is expected to be named athletic director at Cal State-LA, according to the LA Daily News.

Illinois: One name to keep an eye on for the Illinois athletic director job is Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley, who was Illinois’ men’s tennis coach from 1992-2005, before joining Tennis Australia. 

Colorado: Athletic director Rick George has announced that he will not be a candidate for the Illinois athletic director job, and Colorado will remain his home “for the foreseeable future.” George is a former Illinois player and staffer and admitted recently that Illinois was his “dream job,” but that won’t be happening. “Should Illinois contact me, again that would be both humbling and flattering, but I would gracefully decline,” George said in a release.

Houston: The school’s Board of Regents has approved a raise for Tom Herman to $3 million annually with hopes of a long-term contract. Herman's current deal pays him $1.35 million annually, with a buyout of $2.25 million owed to the school if he leaves for another job. The raise will go into effect if he agrees to the deal. The cost for other schools hoping to hire him just went up. Athletic director Hunter Yurachek tells reporters, “He’s going to get our best offer, and we’re going to make it really hard for him to choose to go to another institution at this time.”

UCF: Athletic director Danny White will earn a minimum of $525,000 annually as part of a five-year deal, according to WKMG. He can also receive up to $50,000 in bonuses. In addition, the deal includes a school option for a two-year extension following a 24-month review. Former athletic director Todd Stansbury earned $375,000 annually.

Miami (FL): Miami’s search firm is contacting program alumni at the school’s request, and former Miami player Joaquin Gonzalez tweets that the consensus among their interviews has Mario Cristobal and Butch Davis as the favorites among former players, followed by Rob Chudzinski and Greg Schiano. Reports have indicated that the school views Davis as a "fallback" candidate.

South Florida: Willie Taggart will receive a $25,000 bonus for reaching a “non-BCS bowl,” according to the Tampa Bay Times. 

Tennessee Titans: Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is “generating some interest” from the Titans for their head coaching job, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. 

Detroit Lions: Rod Wood has been named president of the Detroit Lions. Wood has spent the past eight years as president and CEO of Ford Estates. In addition, the team has announced the establishment of an advisory board for a general manager search. The board includes Wood, owner Martha Ford and board of directors and vice chairmen Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp, William Clay Ford Jr. and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis.

UCF: New athletic Danny White explains how he’ll sell an 0-10 program to candidates.

Clemson: Asked about the Alabama job if it ever opens, Dabo Swinney tells CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon, "You don't ever say never. You don't ever know what the circumstances would be at any given time. First of all, Alabama may never, ever call me and I would never have a problem with that. They've got to do what they've got to do. My deal is to be great where I'm at. I had opportunities to leave Alabama (as an assistant). I had opportunities to leave Clemson. But I've just never been that guy about the next job. I'm about the job I've got."

UCF: New athletic director Danny White says he doesn’t know his start date, but it will be before the end of the year. White also says the football coaching search is already underway, and he will meet with search consultants soon. 

Tulane: According to The New Orleans Advocate, the first five candidates that will interview for the Tulane athletic director job are Tulane deputy athletic director / COO Barbara Burke, Auburn COO David Benedict, Baylor deputy athletic director Todd Patulski, Louisiana-Monroe athletic director Brian Wickstrom and University of San Francisco athletic director Scott Sidwell.

Central Michigan: Wednesday's win to get bowl-eligible earns head coach John Bonamego a $15,000 bonus and athletic director Dave Heeke a $10,000 bonus, according to USA Today.

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday November 18, 2015

UL-Monroe: Former Tulane head coach Chris Scelfo tells The News-Star he’s “very interested” in the ULM job. Scelfo, who is a former ULM player and GA, led the Green Wave from 1998-2006 and coached the Atlanta Falcons tight ends from 2008-14. He interviewed for the UAB job in 2014.

Ferrum College (VA): Head coach Dave Harper has resigned. Harper spent the past five years as head coach and the previous 20 as an assistant coach. He was also a former player at the school.

Texas: In an impromptu press conference Wednesday night, Charlie Strong told reporters that reports linking him to Miami (FL) are just rumors, and he came to Texas to build a program. It was an opportunity to squash the Miami talk for good, but Strong didn't exactly do it. Strong did say last month that he's not going to Miami, but reports haven't gone away.

Miami (FL): The Palm Beach Post reports that Miami’s decision-makers have “zeroed in” on Charlie Strong as their leading candidate, and they’re waiting to see if he will be dismissed at Texas ( reports Strong has the support to return in 2016). Rivals reported Tuesday that Strong doesn’t want the Miami job and is irritated by reports. In addition, the Post also reports Miami recently gauged the interest of Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula and Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

Missouri: Athletic director Mack Rhoades tells reporters that Tom Herman and Justin Fuente are “terrific” head coaches, but he’s not locked into any one candidate. He will also ask the next head coach to sit down with every member of Gary Pinkel's staff and get to know them. Rhoades is not sure if he will use a search firm, but will decide within a week.

Texas: President Greg Fenves and interim athletic director Mike Perrin continue to support Charlie Strong’s return in 2016, even if the Longhorns lose their final two games, according to Chip Brown of, who has a detailed look at the state of the program and coming changes. 

Texas State: Dennis Franchione denied a rumor that he will step down after the season, telling Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans, “That’s news to me. It’s completely false as far as I know."

Illinois: Per source, Illinois’ search for an athletic director is moving very quickly, and Colorado athletic director Rick George is a top target. George is a former Illinois player and staffer.

Edinboro (PA): Head coach Scott Browning will not return in 2016. Browning spent 10 seasons as head coach and 20 years on the staff as an assistant. The Fighting Scots went 0-11 this season, and his record as coach was 57-54.

Michigan State: Sports Illustrated has a profile of Mark Dantonio, and in it, co-defensive coordinator / defensive backs coach Harlon Barnett says of the idea of Dantonio and other jobs, “He’s staying here, man.”

LSU: Here’s what Les Miles had to say about the idea he could be coaching for his job in these next two weeks.

Maine: Head coach Jack Cosgrove is expected to receive a multi-year extension, according to the Portland Press Herald. The 60-year-old Cosgrove has led the program for 23 years and is its winningest coach, but the team is 3-7 this season. The last time Maine finished with three wins was 1995, which was Cosgrove’s third year. He’s currently in the final year of a three-year deal that pays him $187,000 annually. Contract negotiations will begin after Thanksgiving.

UCF: St. Louis Rams quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke has interest in the UCF job, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Weinke is in his first season with the Rams after five years directing IMG Academy football in Florida. In addition, new athletic director Danny White will be introduced at a Thursday press conference.

Dean College (MA): Head coach Todd Vasey has been promoted to athletic director after 12 seasons leading the football program. Vasey went 83-37 and is the program’s all-time winningest coach. The school will begin a search for a new football coach.

North Texas: The Denton Record-Chronicle reports UNT is likely to hire a Power 5 assistant for its head coaching job rather than a lower-level head coach. The plan remains to have a coach shortly after the regular season.

UL-Monroe: Under interim head coach John Mumford, offensive coordinator Steve Farmer will continue to call the offense, and co-defensive coordinators Travis Niekamp and Adam Waugh will handle the defense, according to The News-Star.

Lebanon Valley College (PA): Head coach Jim Monos will retire at the end of January. Monos spent 23 years as head coach and is the school’s all-time winningest coach. Offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Joe Buehler will be promoted to head coach. Buehler has been at LVC for 11 seasons.

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 17, 2015

LSU: Scott Rabalais of The Advocate writes that there are "strong indications" Les Miles could be coaching for his job against Ole Miss and Texas A&M in the next two weeks, with Rabalais adding, “25 years of covering LSU, cultivating a variety of knowledgeable sources, have led this writer to believe that there is a serious threat to Miles’ tenure here." LSU was ranked No. 2 10 days ago.

Tulane: CollegeAD reports that candidates for the Tulane athletic director job include Auburn COO Dave Benedict, Tulane deputy athletic director / COO Barbara Burke and San Francisco athletic director Scott Sidwell.

McDaniel College (MD): Head coach Mike Hoyt has stepped down after an 0-10 season. He spent four seasons at the school. 

Arizona: Rich Rodriguez tells Fox Sports 910 in Phoenix, “I have a great situation here. We can build one of the best programs in the country.”

Dordt College (IA): Head coach Greg Youngblood has resigned after four seasons. Dordt went 2-9 this season.

South Carolina: Interim head coach Shawn Elliott and interim offensive line coach Travelle Wharton did not receive raises for their new roles when Steve Spurrier stepped down, according to The State. Elliott earns $400,000 annually. In addition, Spurrier is still considering a special assistant role that would pay him $100,000 annually. 

UL-Monroe: Millsaps College athletic director Josh Brooks has joined ULM as a special assistant to president Nick Bruno. He will assume the role on Dec. 1. Brooks is a former ULM director of football operations. He had been at Millsaps since June 2014. The school's football coaching search will begin next week. The News-Star has a list of potential candidates. 

UCF: UCF has hired Buffalo athletic director Danny White for the same position, according to USA Today’s Dan Wolken. White had been at Buffalo since 2012 and previously worked at Ole Miss as senior associate athletic director from 2009-12. Other stops in his career include Cal State-Fresno and Northern Illinois. While at Buffalo, White hired football coach Lance Leipold and men’s basketball coach Nate Oats in 2015. He also hired former hoops coach Bobby Hurley, who took the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament last season. Now, White must hire a football coach at UCF.

Miami (FL): Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reports Texas head coach Charlie Strong has interest in the Miami (FL) job. The Dallas Morning News recently reported Strong didn’t have interest, and the coach told reporters, “No, I’m not going to Miami.” reports Strong has "become irritated" with the reports and that he doesn't want the job.

Houston: Per source, the school’s Board of Regents agenda includes an item seeking approval for the chancellor to “execute an amendment” to Tom Herman’s contract. The school is hoping to keep Herman around with a new package. Herman currently earns $1.45 million annually.

Louisiana-Monroe: 10 factors for candidates to keep in mind.

Coe College (IA): Head coach Steve Staker has announced his retirement. Staker spent 12 years at the school, including the past eight as head coach, posting a 55-29 record. He will remain on staff on a part-time basis. In addition, Staker’s son, offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Tyler Staker, has been promoted to head coach. 

Northwood University (MI): Interim head coach Leonard Haynes has been named the full-time head coach. Haynes became interim head coach in the summer after head coach Pat Riepma passed away. Haynes led the Timberwolves to a 5-6 record in 2015.

Southern Virginia: Head coach Jason Walker will not return after gong 1-19 in two seasons. Offensive line coach Matthew Edwards has been named interim head coach.

Houston Texans: Asked about reported interest (and disinterest) in the Maryland head coaching job, Bill O’Brien said Monday night, “These things get thrown out here by the media, and I will not respond to those things. I know you have to ask that and it’s not directed at you, but anyone can say anything. They can just throw it out there and say anything. All I know is that I’m head coach of the Houston Texans and we just had a great win, and I’m damn proud to be the head coach of the Houston Texans."

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday November 17, 2015

Hawaii: CollegeAD reports the school’s advisory committee in its coaching search includes associate athletic director Carl Clapp, head athletic trainer Eric Okasaki, director of compliance Amanda Paterson, baseball coach Mike Trapasso, former athletic director Hugh Yoshida, assistant professor Dan Harris-McCoy, vice chancellor of students Lori Ideta and vice chancellor of enrollment Roxie Shabazz.

New Orleans Saints: Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan has been dismissed, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The Saints are last in the NFL in scoring defense. Ryan spent three seasons with the Saints. Sean Payton said earlier Monday that a decision had yet to be made, despite a morning report. Defensive assistant Dennis Allen was promoted to the coordinator role. 

Cal: The school has begun contract-extension talks with Sonny Dykes. Cal is 6-4 this year, and the program is bowl-eligible for the first time since 2011. Dykes is in the third year of a five-year deal that pays him $2 million annually. That is the lowest salary in the Pac-12. Read more here.

Illinois: Interim chancellor Barbara Wilson has begun putting together a search committee to find the school’s next athletic director and tells the News-Gazette she will “probably” use a search consultant. Wilson will make the AD hire, rather than the next chancellor. No decisions have been made on interim head coach Bill Cubit’s future, and the timeline to find a full-time head coach remains unclear. 

Central Methodist (MO): Head coach Jody Ford has resigned. Ford spent the past eight seasons at CMU, including the last four as head coach, posting a 13-30 record.

Texas: Oklahoma State attorneys have requested witnesses for their contract lawsuit against Texas offensive coordinator / offensive line coach Joe Wickline. The trial is set for May 2016. According to The AP, the witness list includes Charlie Strong, Jay Norvell, Shawn Watson, quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and former athletic director Steve Patterson. OK State is seeking $600,000 in buyout money, claiming his move to Texas after the 2013 season was a lateral move.

Cal: Athletic director Mike Williams tells the San Jose Mercury News that, “It is my intention to keep (Sonny Dykes) here.” Multiple reports in recent weeks have indicated that Dykes is frustrated at Cal, but he told the paper last week, “This is where I want to be.”

Detroit Lions: Arizona State senior offensive analyst Ryan Silverfield will join the Detroit Lions as assistant offensive line coach, according to Sports Illustrated’s Thayer Evans. Silverfield spent 2014 at Toledo and 2008-13 with the Minnesota Vikings, including the final three years as assistant offensive line coach.

Wisconsin-Eau Claire: Per source, head coach Todd Glaser will not return. Glaser spent 10 seasons leading the program. Eau Claire went 0-10 this season.

West Virginia Wesleyan: Head coach George Shehl has resigned. Shehl posted an 11-19 record in three seasons as head coach, going 2-8 in 2015.

Springfield College (MA): Head coach Mike DeLong has announced his retirement after 32 years leading the program. DeLong posted a 201-139-2 record and led the program to 11 postseason appearances and five NCAA Tournament appearances. 

Tarleton State (TX): Head coach Cary Fowler has resigned. Fowler spent eight seasons on staff, including six as head coach. TSU went 30-32 under Fowler, winning the 2013 Lone Star Conference championship. 

Whittier College (CA): Head coach Todd Stratton has resigned. Stratton served as head coach for four years, posting a 5-23 record.

Louisiana-Monroe: Athletic director Brian Wickstrom tells The News-Star that a history of winning will be among the biggest criteria in the school’s coaching search, and president Nick Bruno will be a big part of the process. In addition, Todd Berry will be paid $300,000 for the remainder of his contract, which ran through December 2016.

Missouri: Gary Pinkel says he will give input on the coaching search if athletic director Mack Rhoades asks him, saying, ”This is a really important hire.” Here is more from Pinkel.

Miami (FL): The school is using Korn Ferry for its head coaching search. In addition, a search advisory committee will include board of trustees members Hilarie Bass, David Epstein and Steve Saiontz, deputy athletic director Jennifer Strawley and former players Jonathan Vilma and Vinny Testaverde.

New Orleans Saints: Sean Payton says Rob Ryan is still his defensive coordinator, but he will meet with the general manager, and changes are expected.  

South Carolina: The school is paying Steve Spurrier the remainder of his 2015 salary partly out of concern they would have had to pay him even more, according to USA Today. Spurrier is set to earn as much as $1.1 million remaining on his 2015 contract year. USA Today has the details.

Northeastern Oklahoma A&M: Per source, offensive line coach / run game coordinator Chris Jirgens has resigned. Jirgens spent three seasons at NEO and was part of three of the top 10 offensive performances in school history in 2013.

New Orleans Saints: Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will be dismissed, according to Fox Sports’ Alex Marvez. Ryan has been with the Saints since 2013. New Orleans is last in the NFL in scoring defense. (Update above)

UAB: Braden Rayburn has joined the UAB staff as a student assistant and recruiting assistant. 

Oregon: Defensive backs coach John Neal has moved to the press box on game days.

USC: The LA Daily News reports Pat Haden never intended to step down this weekend, despite rumors. The paper reports the rumors were so rampant that people in the athletic department had wondered if it was true. 

Here are today’s News, Notes & Quotes.