USC made the decision to fire Lane Kiffin before October, allowing for plenty of time to properly structure a game plan for hiring a replacement to lead the football program moving forward. Now, according to a report, the Trojans will hire a search firm to help form the search for a new head coach for 2014 and beyond.
According to a report by Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com, USC is expected to rely on the services of Korn/Ferry International in their search. The same search firm has previously helped the New York Jets hire a general manager and the firm is also currently assisting the University of Texas in their search for a new athletics director.
Search firms are common in coaching searches around college football of course, so USC making use of one should come as no surprise.
It is interesting to make note of the firm’s current project with Texas because there has been plenty of speculation surround the Texas football program concerning the future of head coach Mack Brown. If Texas reaches a point were the school opts to cut ties with the football coach, would the same search firm be helping Texas find a new head coach at the same time they are on the lookout for a head coach at USC?
That may be a bit unlikely, but is worth thinking about. It is probably not all that common for a search firm to be assisting in the searches for similar vacancies at different locations, but considering USC and Texas could be the potential crown jewels of the off-season coaching carousel, it would be interesting to see it play out.
The odds are USC will have narrowed down their search or perhaps even have a new coach hired by the time Texas makes any sort of decision on Brown’s future. Right now though, Brown’s job may be secure with the Longhorns currently undefeated in Big 12 play and in position to win the Big 12’s automatic BCS bowl berth. If that happens, there would be little chance Texas removes Brown as head coach.
The win against Oklahoma may have been enough to save the job for now anyway.
Lovie Smith is not a big fan of fighting amongst his Illinois players, a lesson he shared with his aptly nicknamed Fighting Illini squad Wednesday evening.
According to the Decatur Herald & Review, Illinois’ spring practice session yesterday came to an abrupt and premature end after a fight between players broke out. The names of those involved in the fisticuffs are not known as the media hadn’t been permitted to view practice.
From the Herald & Review‘s report:
…a source said Smith wanted to send a strong message about how he hates fighting and considers it an inexcusable transgression that robs the rest of the team of a chance to concentrate on getting better.
The field was cleared at about 5:35 p.m., nearly an hour before practice was scheduled to end. The players were sent to the locker room and the field was quickly cleared of equipment. Reporters were told there would be no interviews and were told to vacate the Memorial Stadium facility.
The Illini, which finished 3-9 in their first season under Smith last year, kicked off spring practice feb. 14 and will conclude it March 10 with the annual spring game.
With spring practice getting set to kick of en masse all across the country, there’s more of the expected personnel attrition settling in and coming to light.
On his Twitter account Wednesday, Andy Dodd announced that it is in his “best interest” to transfer from LSU and continue playing college football elsewhere. “This decision was not an easy one, but it is what’s best for me moving forward,” the offensive lineman wrote.
Dodd was a three-star member of the Tigers’ 2013 recruiting class, rated as the No. 17 guard in the country.
After taking a redshirt as a true freshman, the lineman played in eight games the next two seasons. He played in six games, with one start, in 2016.
Another graduate transfer has made a move, albeit with a slightly different bent than most others.
Auburn confirmed Wednesday that Casey Dunn has been added to Gus Malzahn‘s football roster. The center comes to The Plains as a graduate transfer, which makes him eligible for the 2017 season.
He also comes to Auburn from Jacksonville State, an FCS school that would’ve made him immediately eligible aside from the grad transfer exception. Oh, and his new position coach is excited to have him in the personnel fold as well.
The past two seasons, Dunn was an FCS All-American. While Dunn comes to the Tigers as a center who started 27 games at that position for the Gamecocks, he could play anywhere along the interior of the Tigers’ offensive line.
Malzahn is also very familiar with Dunn’s talent as the lineman started for the JSU squad that took him to overtime in 2015.
Earlier this week, Brad Lambert added a longtime Power Five assistant to his Charlotte coaching staff. Not long after, he has added another.
The 49ers announced in a release that Keith Henry has been hired by Lambert as his running backs coach. The 49ers’ coach at that position last season, Damien Gary, will shift to wide receivers.
Henry and Lambert (pictured, left) were on the same staff at Wake Forest, so they have a previous working relationship.
“Keith brings a lot of experience to our program,” said Lambert in a statement. “Having coached on both sides of the ball, he brings an added dimension of a defensive perspective to our offense. We’re really glad he’s coming on board with us. He’s a North Carolina native who’s played in North Carolina and has recruited for many, many years in North and South Carolina. That will be a huge benefit to our program with the relationships he’s built over the years.
“He’s been very successful and been a part of winning football at Ohio, Wake Forest and Catawba.”
Henry spent 11 seasons with the Demon Deacons (2001-11). He coached on the defensive side of the ball for the first 10 years before spending his final season with the ACC school as special teams coordinator. His last job on the offensive side of the ball came as wide receivers coach at Ohio in 1996.