With corpse of Tommy West‘s Memphis coaching career not even cold yet, the rumor mill has already started churning out a list of potential replacements.
According to ESPN.com, the two biggest names on the early speculation front are former Auburn coaches — Tommy Tuberville and current Div. II North Alabama coach Terry Bowden.
Another Auburn coach — this one a current one — is being linked to the opening by ESPN as well — offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. LSU assistant Larry Porter, a former Memphis running back, is also a name being mentioned in connection to the job by the website.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal mentions, among others, Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong.
According to FootballScoop.com, Oklahoma State co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewer and Auburn assistant Trooper Taylor (no relation) could be under consideration as well.
Athletic director R.C. Johnson, who informed West this morning that his nine-year run as coach was over, said head coaching experience was not an absolute prerequisite, but that the ability to recruit will be paramount.
Such criteria would seem to indicate that a candidate such as uber-recruiter Taylor would be a viable option for the opening.
Johnson said a search for West’s successor would begin immediately, and that he’s already been inundated with interest in the position.