Less than a week after getting canned by Kansas, Turner Gill is reportedly in the running to get right back on that head-coaching horse.
According to the Birmingham News, Gill is one of a group of finalists for the UAB head-coaching job that also includes Auburn running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Curtis Luper, Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, former Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and Houston offensive coordinator Jason Phillips. A total of eight coaches interviewed for the position at various points this week in Atlanta, the News reported.
The job could be offered to one of the gaggle of candidates as soon as this weekend or, possibly, early next week.
Gill is certainly the most experienced, at least as far as head coaching experience goes, of those under consideration. After two seasons and a 5-19 record at Kansas, which was preceded by four years at Buffalo as the MAC school’s head coach, Gill was fired Sunday. He certainly wouldn’t need the money that would come with the Blazers job — which, to be blunt, wouldn’t be much, relatively speaking; Neil Callaway, who “resigned” the day after Gill was fired, made “just” 446,800 in 2011 — as he was owed some $6 million for the remaining three years on his KU contract and the school said it will fulfill the terms of that contract.
Of the other finalists, only McGee has been mentioned in connection to other vacancies. The Razorbacks coordinator interviewed for the FAU opening last week, although that job may be filled by another candidate in short order; it was reported Thursday night that Nebraska defensive coordinator Carl Pelini has been offered the position and is expected to accept the offer.
Interestingly, McGee replaced Paul Petrino, another UAB candidate, as UA’s coordinator after head coach Bobby Petrino’s brother left for the Illini.
As if this day wasn’t busy enough, Ole Miss announced late Monday evening star-crossed offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil‘s suspension has been capped at seven games, meaning he’ll miss Saturday’s trip to Memphis but return in time for Texas A&M visit to The Grove on Oct. 24.
From the university:
The University initially withheld Tunsil from competition at the start of the season as both the NCAA and the University examined several alleged improper benefits. During the course of the process, it was determined by the NCAA that Tunsil received impermissible extra benefits that included the use of three separate loaner vehicles over a sixth-month period without payment, a four-month interest-free promissory note on a $3,000 down payment for purchasing a used vehicle, two nights of lodging at a local home, an airline ticket purchased by a friend of a teammate, and one day use of a rental vehicle. In addition, it was determined that Tunsil was not completely forthcoming when initially questioned by NCAA investigators regarding the loaner vehicles. He later corrected his account and since apologized.
As part of his reinstatement conditions, the NCAA imposed a seven-game suspension, ordered Tunsil to pay the value of the extra benefits to a charity, perform community service, and he will also make the vehicle down payment.
Said Tunsil: “I take full responsibility for the mistakes I made and want to thank everyone for their continued support. I want to apologize to my teammates, coaches and the entire Ole Miss family for how my choices affected our program. This was a learning experience, and I’m looking forward to being back on the field with my team and redeeming myself. The last 10 months have been a physical and mental battle for me, but I love playing this game more than anything else. I want to be here for my teammates who are depending on me to finish what we started together.”
The news is, obviously, great for Tunsil and head coach Hugh Freeze personally, as well as the entire Ole Miss football program. It’s also a nice plus for NFL scouts, as it means Tunsil’s first live action of 2015 will come against possible future No. 1 draft pick Myles Garrett.
Hope he’s been practicing.
Say it ain’t so, Steve.
According to a report from Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated Monday evening, Steve Spurrier is set to retire.
Spurrier, 70, is a legend the likes college football has never seen before and never will again.
He was a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida, then returned to his alma mater and turned the program into a juggernaut, leading the Gators to 122-27-1 record from 1990-01 and a national championship in 1996. After a stint with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, Spurrier landed at South Carolina, where since 2005 he’s racked up a school record 86 wins.
But those wins slowed down of late. After an SEC East championship in 2010 and three straight 11-2 seasons from 2011-13, the Gamecocks fell to 7-6 in 2014, and are off to a 2-4 mark this fall. With the possibility of losses to nemeses old and new like Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida and Clemson ahead, Spurrier, it appears, would rather fade away quietly to the putting green.
Perhaps no two sentences summarize Spurrier, then and now, more precisely than this:
Combined with his three years at Duke, Spurrier closes up shop with a 228-89-2 mark, and a bust in the coaches’ wing of the Hall of Fame waiting for him.