Wishful thinking or cross another name off of one Pac-12’s coaching search to-do list?
As Arizona continues searching for Rich Rodriguez‘s replacement, several names have been connected to the opening, most notably former Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin. Overnight, yet another name emerged: Western Kentucky’s Mike Sanford.
Sanford just completed his first season at WKU, guiding the Hilltoppers to a 6-7 record that included a Cure Bowl loss to Arkansas State. The 35-year-old former Notre Dame offensive coordinator has ties to the Wildcats’ conference, spending 2011-13 on the coaching staff at Stanford.
Not long after the initial report emerged connecting Sanford to the job, however, the head coach’s boss has come out and publicly proclaimed that “there is no truth” to the speculation.
Former UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel and current Troy head coach Neal Brown have also been mentioned as possibilities. According to the Arizona Daily Star, those two are likely out as candidates or, in the case of Neuheisel, never really were candidates. Another, former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich, is expected to take a job with the NFL”s Chicago Bears.
Sumlin remains the favorite to ultimately land the job, provided the two sides can come to an agreement financially.