Could a return of the RichRod be in the offing? Some signs seem to be pointing in that general direction.
According to 247Sports.com, Rich Rodriguez is in Oxford Saturday morning interviewing with Matt Luke for the vacant Ole Miss offensive coordinator job. Our buddies at FootballScoop.com subsequently tweeted that they “can confirm Rich Rod was there yesterday and is there this AM.”
Rodriguez was fired as the head coach at Arizona in January of this year after claims of sexual harassment couldn’t be substantiated. The coach acknowledged after his dismissal that he “had a consensual extramarital affair with a woman who is not affiliated with the University,” but “will vigorously fight the fabricated and groundless claims” contained in a $7.5 million lawsuit filed by his former assistant.
That former assistant, Melissa Wilhelmsen, accused Rodriguez of verbally and physically harassing her, including a number of instances in which she alleges he made passes at her breasts or allowed others to do so in his presence. In his own legal filing, Rodriguez labeled the lawsuit as nothing more than a thinly-veiled extortion attempt.
There have been rumors that the suit has been settled, although the accuser’s attorney told the Arizona Daily Star in early October that “it will be 60 to 90 days before the lawsuit moves ahead.” From the Daily Star‘s report:
Phoenix attorney Augie Jimenez said that he is awaiting a “right to sue” letter from the state’s attorney general’s office. In sexual discrimination/harassment cases, such a letter is necessary to file a lawsuit.
In six seasons as the head coach at Arizona, Rodriguez posted a 43-35 record. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Michigan (2008-10) and West Virginia (2001-07). The last time he held the title of offensive coordinator was at Clemson from 1999-2000.
Rodriguez was out of coaching for the 2018 football season.
Luke is looking to replace Phil Lungo, who left Oxford earlier this month to take the same job on Mack Brown‘s first North Carolina coaching staff.