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Coach Candidates Thread (OP Updated 12/22)


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1 minute ago, toddc said:

Hot Board 4.0: Leading candidates in Auburn coaching search

VIP  ByNATHAN KING 
 

 

 

 

Who are the names to keep an eye on in the race to become Auburn's next head coach? Auburn Undercoverwill update this hot board with our top candidates as the search heats up.

VERSION 4.0

We're updating the board Thursday evening with our tier listing of candidates, ranked by what we deem to be their current likelihood of becoming the program's next head football coach. Those at the top are hot, those at the bottom are not.

We've added a handful of new faces, and have moved some names up and some down following some new intel received over the past 24 hours.

TIER 1

 

10106964.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,off (Photo: Auburn Athletics)

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: Tier 1

Intel: Steele has been our frontrunner for a few days now, and even as the search committee has been solidified and other candidates are being more closely examined, we believe he's still the man to beat. He's been making friends at Auburn since he arrived and is heavily supported by many involved with the decision. 

Steele will receive an interview.

Background: Currently the highest-paid assistant coach in college football and the team's current interim head coach, Steele is in his fifth season directing Auburn’s defense to being one of more consistently strong units in the SEC.

He worked under college football greats Johnny Majors at Tennessee, Tom Osborne at Nebraska and Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Now in his 40th year in the industry, the Tennessee alum has also held assistant defensive positions with the Carolina Panthers, Alabama, Clemson, LSU and now on the Plains. Auburn thinks very highly of his ability to develop talent and implement a standard.

He was last a head coach 18 years ago at Baylor, where he was fired after going 1-31 in the Big 12.

—> Head to The Bodda Getta message board for the most recent intel on Steele and other candidates here <—

TIER 2

 

 

Steve Sarkisian (Photo: Stuart McNair, 247Sports)

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Spot on Hot Board 2.0: Tier 2

Intel: Sarkisian showed interest in the Auburn job earlier this week, and the committee will now grant him an interview.

Background: Is Sarkisian ready to be a head coach again? The Alabama offensive coordinator has spurned a few big jobs over the past couple years — like Colorado and the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator opening — to stay on Nick Saban’s staff. 

Many think he’s waiting for a bigger opening, and Auburn certainly qualifies as such.

Following an ugly exit at USC, he went from Alabama offensive analyst to Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, and now back to Tuscaloosa, running the best offense in the nation.

Sarkisian went 46-35 in seven seasons as both Washington and USC’s head coach, and had at least four losses in each of his six full campaigns as a head coach. But he’s been one of the nation’s top assistants recently and has put his energy toward rebuilding his career over the past five years. 

If he isn’t given the keys at Auburn, he’ll likely land somewhere else in the near future.

Louisiana head coach Billy Napier

9554205.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: Tier 4

Intel: It appears Auburn's committee will grant Napier an interview.

Background: Could Napier’s success in the Sun Belt translate to the SEC?

In three years at Louisiana, Napier’s first head-coaching job, the Ragin’ Cajuns have won their division each season, including a program-record 11 wins last year.

Prior to Napier’s arrival, Louisiana had never won double-digit games in a season. At 9-1 in 2020, it looks set up to do so for the second straight year.

Napier’s resume before landing the Louisiana job included quarterbacks coach at South Carolina, wide receivers coach at Alabama, and offensive coordinator at Clemson and Arizona State.

Napier was reportedly linked to the Mississippi State and Baylor openings last season, and he parried the South Carolina job earlier this month with a public statement that he was staying put in Lafayette.

Auburn would undoubtedly be the biggest job Napier’s been tied to yet. The question would be where he wants more time to develop with little-to-no pressure at Louisiana.

TIER 3

 

 

8810409.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty)

UAB head coach Bill Clark

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A            

Intel: We can confirm Clark and Auburn have been in contact this week.

Background: No one on this list knows the state of Alabama like Clark.

Clark played at Jacksonville State before bouncing around Alabama high schools until 2008, when he landed the South Alabama defensive coordinator job. He parlayed five years of success with the Jaguars into a head-coaching job with his alma mater before he took over as UAB’s head coach from 2014 on.

Clark was a guiding force for the UAB community when the football program was nixed in December 2014. He held steady with his commitment to the players and to the program, and vice versa.

Since UAB football was reinstated prior to the 2017 season, the Blazers have gone 8-5, 11-3 and 9-5, with a current record of 4-4 in 2020.

UAB won Conference USA in 2018 with its best season in program history. Clark was named Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.

8787853.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Sandra Dukes, USA TODAY Sports)

Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: Brahms has shown interest in the job this week and desires an interview with the committee.

Background: After cutting his teeth at multiple assistant gigs across the country, Brohm landed his first head-coaching job in 2014 with Western Kentucky after he spent the previous season as the team's offensive coordinator.

WKU went 30-10 under Brohm, including a 12-2 season in 2015 and back-to-back Conference USA titles from 2015-16. His success with the Hilltoppers led to a Power Five head coach opportunity with Purdue, where he's compiled a 19-25 record since taking over in 2017. 

In the four years prior under coach Darrell Hazzel, Purdue won only nine games and had zero bowl appearances. 

When Malzahn's seat was hot in 2018, Brohm was thought to be a possible option should Auburn choose to move on. Tiger fans quickly rescinded those hopes when Auburn blasted Purdue, 63-14 in the Music City Bowl.

TIER 4

 

9591223.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Cory Fravel, 247Sports)

 Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: We know that Elliot is on the search committee's list.

Background: The former Clemson receiver (2000-03) is having one of the most successful starts to a career of any young coach in college football.

He coached around the state of South Carolina before finding his way back to Clemson under Dabo Swinney in 2011 as the Tigers' running backs coach. Since, he's been promoted twice — in 2015, when he added co-offensive coordinator to his running back duties, and this season, when he took over the full-time offensive coordinator role after Jeff Scott left.

In 2017, he took home the Broyles Award for top assistant coach in college football. Elliot has been a part of five consecutive Playoff appearances with Clemson, including two national titles.

 

9955780.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: ACC, 247Sports)

 Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: The same can be said for Venables that's true for Elliot: He's on Auburn's list.

Background: Programs have long tried to lure Venables, one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation year over year, away from Swinney and Clemson. And for years he's turned them down.

52COMMENTS

After an eight-year stint as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator, Venables has been on Swinney's staff since 2012. His defenses, which consistently produce multiple high-round NFL talents, has been a massive factor in the Tigers' run of five straight College Football Playoff appearances and two national titles.

Auburn would need to view Venables as a significant upgrade from Steele in terms of a program-builder.

 

9888278.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Caleb Saunders/WVU Football)

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown 

 

Spot on Hot Board 3.0:N/A

Intel: We've learned Brown flirted with South Carolina about its head-coach opening, prompting a yet-to-be reported contract extension from West Virginia. He's on Auburn's list, as well.

Background: One of college football's youngest coaches at 40 years old, Brown took the West Virginia job in 2019 after winning double-digit games in three straight seasons — including a Sun Belt championship  at Troy. 

He's also held offensive coordinator roles at Kentucky and Texas Tech. West Virginia is 7-10 in the Big 12 since he took over the rebuilding job.dy took home Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year honors in 2011. 

 

8739826.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Getty)

Longtime NFL coach Dan Quinn

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: Quinn is considered a candidate on the Auburn search committee's list and very well may land an interview.

Background: The former Atlanta Falcons head coach (fired after an 0-5 start this season) has reportedly been flirting with some college programs about coordinator and head coach openings already, and he would surely think the Auburn job to be attractive.

Quinn’s past few years in Atlanta didn’t get the job done, but he did take the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016. Prior to taking over in Atlanta, Quinn held the position of D-line coach for the 49ers, Dolphins, Jets and Seahawks, as well as a two-year stint as the Florida Gators’ defensive coordinator from 2011-12.

">247Sports

Hopefully it’s Bill Clark with Sark as OC and Dan Quinn as DC.

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2 minutes ago, toddc said:

Hot Board 4.0: Leading candidates in Auburn coaching search

VIP  ByNATHAN KING 
 

 

 

 

Who are the names to keep an eye on in the race to become Auburn's next head coach? Auburn Undercoverwill update this hot board with our top candidates as the search heats up.

VERSION 4.0

We're updating the board Thursday evening with our tier listing of candidates, ranked by what we deem to be their current likelihood of becoming the program's next head football coach. Those at the top are hot, those at the bottom are not.

We've added a handful of new faces, and have moved some names up and some down following some new intel received over the past 24 hours.

TIER 1

 

10106964.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,off (Photo: Auburn Athletics)

Auburn defensive coordinator Kevin Steele

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: Tier 1

Intel: Steele has been our frontrunner for a few days now, and even as the search committee has been solidified and other candidates are being more closely examined, we believe he's still the man to beat. He's been making friends at Auburn since he arrived and is heavily supported by many involved with the decision. 

Steele will receive an interview.

Background: Currently the highest-paid assistant coach in college football and the team's current interim head coach, Steele is in his fifth season directing Auburn’s defense to being one of more consistently strong units in the SEC.

He worked under college football greats Johnny Majors at Tennessee, Tom Osborne at Nebraska and Bobby Bowden at Florida State. Now in his 40th year in the industry, the Tennessee alum has also held assistant defensive positions with the Carolina Panthers, Alabama, Clemson, LSU and now on the Plains. Auburn thinks very highly of his ability to develop talent and implement a standard.

He was last a head coach 18 years ago at Baylor, where he was fired after going 1-31 in the Big 12.

—> Head to The Bodda Getta message board for the most recent intel on Steele and other candidates here <—

TIER 2

 

 

Steve Sarkisian (Photo: Stuart McNair, 247Sports)

Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian

Spot on Hot Board 2.0: Tier 2

Intel: Sarkisian showed interest in the Auburn job earlier this week, and the committee will now grant him an interview.

Background: Is Sarkisian ready to be a head coach again? The Alabama offensive coordinator has spurned a few big jobs over the past couple years — like Colorado and the Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator opening — to stay on Nick Saban’s staff. 

Many think he’s waiting for a bigger opening, and Auburn certainly qualifies as such.

Following an ugly exit at USC, he went from Alabama offensive analyst to Atlanta Falcons offensive coordinator, and now back to Tuscaloosa, running the best offense in the nation.

Sarkisian went 46-35 in seven seasons as both Washington and USC’s head coach, and had at least four losses in each of his six full campaigns as a head coach. But he’s been one of the nation’s top assistants recently and has put his energy toward rebuilding his career over the past five years. 

If he isn’t given the keys at Auburn, he’ll likely land somewhere else in the near future.

Louisiana head coach Billy Napier

9554205.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: Tier 4

Intel: It appears Auburn's committee will grant Napier an interview.

Background: Could Napier’s success in the Sun Belt translate to the SEC?

In three years at Louisiana, Napier’s first head-coaching job, the Ragin’ Cajuns have won their division each season, including a program-record 11 wins last year.

Prior to Napier’s arrival, Louisiana had never won double-digit games in a season. At 9-1 in 2020, it looks set up to do so for the second straight year.

Napier’s resume before landing the Louisiana job included quarterbacks coach at South Carolina, wide receivers coach at Alabama, and offensive coordinator at Clemson and Arizona State.

Napier was reportedly linked to the Mississippi State and Baylor openings last season, and he parried the South Carolina job earlier this month with a public statement that he was staying put in Lafayette.

Auburn would undoubtedly be the biggest job Napier’s been tied to yet. The question would be where he wants more time to develop with little-to-no pressure at Louisiana.

TIER 3

 

 

8810409.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Icon Sportswire, Getty)

UAB head coach Bill Clark

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A            

Intel: We can confirm Clark and Auburn have been in contact this week.

Background: No one on this list knows the state of Alabama like Clark.

Clark played at Jacksonville State before bouncing around Alabama high schools until 2008, when he landed the South Alabama defensive coordinator job. He parlayed five years of success with the Jaguars into a head-coaching job with his alma mater before he took over as UAB’s head coach from 2014 on.

Clark was a guiding force for the UAB community when the football program was nixed in December 2014. He held steady with his commitment to the players and to the program, and vice versa.

Since UAB football was reinstated prior to the 2017 season, the Blazers have gone 8-5, 11-3 and 9-5, with a current record of 4-4 in 2020.

UAB won Conference USA in 2018 with its best season in program history. Clark was named Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year.

8787853.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Sandra Dukes, USA TODAY Sports)

Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: Brahms has shown interest in the job this week and desires an interview with the committee.

Background: After cutting his teeth at multiple assistant gigs across the country, Brohm landed his first head-coaching job in 2014 with Western Kentucky after he spent the previous season as the team's offensive coordinator.

WKU went 30-10 under Brohm, including a 12-2 season in 2015 and back-to-back Conference USA titles from 2015-16. His success with the Hilltoppers led to a Power Five head coach opportunity with Purdue, where he's compiled a 19-25 record since taking over in 2017. 

In the four years prior under coach Darrell Hazzel, Purdue won only nine games and had zero bowl appearances. 

When Malzahn's seat was hot in 2018, Brohm was thought to be a possible option should Auburn choose to move on. Tiger fans quickly rescinded those hopes when Auburn blasted Purdue, 63-14 in the Music City Bowl.

TIER 4

 

9591223.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs
(Photo: Cory Fravel, 247Sports)

 Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliot

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: We know that Elliot is on the search committee's list.

Background: The former Clemson receiver (2000-03) is having one of the most successful starts to a career of any young coach in college football.

He coached around the state of South Carolina before finding his way back to Clemson under Dabo Swinney in 2011 as the Tigers' running backs coach. Since, he's been promoted twice — in 2015, when he added co-offensive coordinator to his running back duties, and this season, when he took over the full-time offensive coordinator role after Jeff Scott left.

In 2017, he took home the Broyles Award for top assistant coach in college football. Elliot has been a part of five consecutive Playoff appearances with Clemson, including two national titles.

 

9955780.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: ACC, 247Sports)

 Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: The same can be said for Venables that's true for Elliot: He's on Auburn's list.

Background: Programs have long tried to lure Venables, one of the best defensive coordinators in the nation year over year, away from Swinney and Clemson. And for years he's turned them down.

52COMMENTS

After an eight-year stint as Oklahoma's defensive coordinator, Venables has been on Swinney's staff since 2012. His defenses, which consistently produce multiple high-round NFL talents, has been a massive factor in the Tigers' run of five straight College Football Playoff appearances and two national titles.

Auburn would need to view Venables as a significant upgrade from Steele in terms of a program-builder.

 

9888278.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Caleb Saunders/WVU Football)

West Virginia head coach Neal Brown 

 

Spot on Hot Board 3.0:N/A

Intel: We've learned Brown flirted with South Carolina about its head-coach opening, prompting a yet-to-be reported contract extension from West Virginia. He's on Auburn's list, as well.

Background: One of college football's youngest coaches at 40 years old, Brown took the West Virginia job in 2019 after winning double-digit games in three straight seasons — including a Sun Belt championship  at Troy. 

He's also held offensive coordinator roles at Kentucky and Texas Tech. West Virginia is 7-10 in the Big 12 since he took over the rebuilding job.dy took home Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year honors in 2011. 

 

8739826.jpg?fit=bounds&crop=620:320,offs (Photo: Kevin C. Cox, Getty)

Longtime NFL coach Dan Quinn

Spot on Hot Board 3.0: N/A

Intel: Quinn is considered a candidate on the Auburn search committee's list and very well may land an interview.

Background: The former Atlanta Falcons head coach (fired after an 0-5 start this season) has reportedly been flirting with some college programs about coordinator and head coach openings already, and he would surely think the Auburn job to be attractive.

Quinn’s past few years in Atlanta didn’t get the job done, but he did take the Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2016. Prior to taking over in Atlanta, Quinn held the position of D-line coach for the 49ers, Dolphins, Jets and Seahawks, as well as a two-year stint as the Florida Gators’ defensive coordinator from 2011-12.

">247Sports

I’m just sad they didn’t give Kiffin a tier 

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7 minutes ago, AuburnTiger4Life said:

You haven’t been paying attention then. Back to the basketball forum you go. 

Perhaps not. I’ve been forced to watch the Holiday featuring Cameron Diaz and Jude Law. It’s simple awful. 
 

Catch me up? Last I heard MC was completely off the table. Have more names emerged in the coaching carousel?

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1 hour ago, Gowebb11 said:

I’m not sure that was all. Gus needed to be a better recruiter and hire more great recruiters rather than safe but inexperienced coaches. 

You're correct in it all. This situation is such crap. And the clarify, I'm definitely glad he's gone. 

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3 hours ago, auburnphan said:

There are lots of occupations that I would like to see morality, Head Football Coach is not one of them where I prioritize it.

I’m sorry and respect your opinion, but this statement really bothers me!!  Believe me I want to win as bad as anybody. HATE LOSING, and try my best to avoid it. But let’s not let a W override everything else.  The #1 responsibility of our coach is and should always be turning boys into men. I said it before in the recruiting thread about Mullin after he started that riot in one of their games this year.

I would have a real hard time and don’t think I could let my son play for a guy like that. So let’s not let the pursuit of championships override the moral responsibility that coaches have.  Their will be parents that put their trust in our coach to take care of their kids. At a very pivotal age when their boys become men!!

 

Edited by TXaubie
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2 minutes ago, woodford said:

I really hope these dumb rich guys are not seriously considering Dan Quinn. Oh my god he is the NFL version of Gus!!! Does absolutely NOTHING with high level talent. I’m a Falcons fan, I know. 

If they’re considering Kevin Steele and Will Muschamp, then I would not be surprised if they’re considering Dan Quinn. Shoot, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised is they rehired Gus for 6 million

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5 minutes ago, Maverick.AU said:

I still question bringing a coach here that has had a drinking problem when AU football makes 90% of AU fans drink more than normal lol 

Sark would bring character risks similar to Freeze, Saban-PTSD similar to Smart, HC record failures similar to Kiffin, and recruiting region inexperience similar to Quinn.

So if we are trying to go for the worst possible candidate, Sark is it.

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No Freeze? No Kiffin? Not even consideration? So we have zero proven head coaches. 

We have a DC who was essentially fired from two jobs in a row. Came here and has dipped and dipped. Terrible HC experience and he's somehow in the top tier and the only one in that tier?

Sarkisian ahead of head coaches is weird. I like him but not as my #2. If he's the next closest then we're in trouble. 

The way this tier chart is set up tells you how not serious we are about this program. Not even a single "wow" name on there.

Missing on Cristobal will be one of the worst misses in my life as an AU fan.

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1 minute ago, AUscw2011 said:

Cristobal has not put pen to paper on that contract yet and he’s had it over 6 hours now. Napier I believe should be 2nd pick. I still hang on Sunday we get a word. 

Which means if he ends up at Auburn, he will be overpaid like Gus.   Oregon's deal is fair for his resume, considering they obviously know him and like him.  I could see paying him slightly more, but 7.1 when he is at 4.6.  Stupidity

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1 minute ago, Zeek said:

No Freeze? No Kiffin? Not even consideration? So we have zero proven head coaches. 

We have a DC who was essentially fired from two jobs in a row. Came here and has dipped and dipped. Terrible HC experience and he's somehow in the top tier and the only one in that tier?

Sarkisian ahead of head coaches is weird. I like him but not as my #2. If he's the next closest then we're in trouble. 

The way this tier chart is set up tells you how not serious we are about this program. Not even a single "wow" name on there.

Missing on Cristobal will be one of the worst misses in my life as an AU fan.

Eh. Cristobal is ONE candidate. Eggs in one basket and all that. We're starting to sound like Tennessee with Gruden.

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3 minutes ago, Zeek said:

No Freeze? No Kiffin? Not even consideration? So we have zero proven head coaches. 

We have a DC who was essentially fired from two jobs in a row. Came here and has dipped and dipped. Terrible HC experience and he's somehow in the top tier and the only one in that tier?

Sarkisian ahead of head coaches is weird. I like him but not as my #2. If he's the next closest then we're in trouble. 

The way this tier chart is set up tells you how not serious we are about this program. Not even a single "wow" name on there.

Missing on Cristobal will be one of the worst misses in my life as an AU fan.

Well just from what Jboy said earlier, what was said the ncaa would do is evidently enough to deter Us from freeze. He also said he thinks lane may try to play it as a PR move 

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2 minutes ago, Zeek said:

No Freeze? No Kiffin? Not even consideration? So we have zero proven head coaches. 

We have a DC who was essentially fired from two jobs in a row. Came here and has dipped and dipped. Terrible HC experience and he's somehow in the top tier and the only one in that tier?

Sarkisian ahead of head coaches is weird. I like him but not as my #2. If he's the next closest then we're in trouble. 

The way this tier chart is set up tells you how not serious we are about this program. Not even a single "wow" name on there.

Missing on Cristobal will be one of the worst misses in my life as an AU fan.

Like I just said. Cristobal and Steele have literally been the only two names that have been mentioned from credible sources. All the others have been simply pipe dreams drummed up by message board users and random Twitter people sourcing their information from message boards(sup lil Mook). 

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