It seems like there is news about the coaching search every day, which I guess is a good thing. So here is an update:
- Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley has taken the head coach opening at New Mexico. This is either a sign that Daryl Gross didn’t like Locksley as a candidate, or he wants someone with head coaching experience. I hope for the latter.
- According to NFL.com, New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride is a candidate. God I hope this is not true. Other than his success with the “run-and-shoot” offense with the Houston Oilers and his current success with the Giants, Gilbride is not a good coach. I’m a Bills fan and I remember being thoroughly unimpressed with him during his tenure as our offensive coordinator. If we’re going to hire another NFL assistant, hire Mark Whipple or Doug Marrone.
- Speaking of Marrone, a NY Daily News writer (and Syracuse grad) puts up an interesting case for Marrone as the head man with the Orange. And I have to agree with Brent Axe, this piece gave me chills and makes me think that Marrone could be the right man for the job. Anyone who would consider this his “Boeheim job” would get my attention, and Marrone has. If we get passed over by Holtz and Gill (the two likely front runners) I think the job is his.
- So Skip and Doc Gross are in New York City together and should be meeting to discuss the job. That, combined with Auburn’s interest in Turner Gill should put Skip in the lead to land this thing. Donnie Webb says that Skip’s wife also bought an Orange sweater. And who in their right minds would do such a thing? (In the same article, Donnie says that he believes Al Golden is still a candidate and his statement saying he wasn’t interested was a front)
So if I’m handicapping this race right now I’d say Holtz is the favorite, followed by Gill, Marrone, Golden, and Addazio. I don’t expect Rogers or Gilbride to get anything more than an obligatory interview. While I think Mark Whipple would be a good coach I don’t think Gross is going to seriously consider him (but I’ll have more on that later).
For now I think we have a 48 hour period where Skip could lock this up and get a deal done. I don’t know how serious Auburn is about Gill, but Gross needs to act fast on Holtz, because if we get strung along by him, we need to lock up our second choice. And at this point that seems to be Gill. We can’t afford to lose both guys in one week and then have Daryl try to sell us that the guy we end up with was his first choice.