With his wife fighting cancer, Arkansas State head coach Blake Anderson is stepping away from the football part of his life temporarily to be with his family. Arkansas State announced the news Monday evening. Defensive coordinator David Duggan will take over as the interim head coach until Anderson is ready to return to the team.
“Coach Anderson has decided to take a leave of absence during this difficult time to be with his wife, Wendy, and his family,” a statement from Arkansas State Vice Chancellor for Intercollegiate Athletics Terry Mohajir said in a released statement. “We will continue to pray for peace for his family and provide assistance any way we can.”
Anderson has been dividing his time between football and being with his wife, but there comes a time when you have to realize there is much more to focus on than football. This is certainly one of those times, and good for Arkansas State to allow their head coach to do what he needs to do during this troubling time for his family.
Cancer sucks, plain and simple.
It did not take long for people to start talking about who the next head coach at Ole Miss will be following the Thursday night resignation of Hugh Freeze. And somehow, one of the betting favorites has quickly become former Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley.
As noted by Rocky Top Talk, the Tennessee blog on SB Nation, the former Vols coach and current assistant with the Dallas Cowboys is listed as the second most-favored coach to take over at Ole Miss, listed at +500 according to BetOnline. SMU head coach Chad Morris is the current betting favorite on the betting website, with Morris listed at +300 to be the next coach of the Rebels.
Other names on the board include former LSU head coach Les Miles (+800), and former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly (+1400). FAU head coach Lane Kiffin has been having fun trolling about the Ole Miss fallout on Twitter, yet he is also on the board at +1600.
For what it is worth, interim head coach Matt Luke has also been given odds to keep the job, and he is listed at +1200.
Here are the latest odds as listed by BetOnline;
- Chad Morris +300
- Derek Dooley +500
- Blake Anderson +700
- Les Miles +800
- Mike Norvell +1000
- Brent Venables +1200
- Scott Frost +1400
- Chip Kelly +1400
- Neal Brown +1600
- Lane Kiffin +1600
- Mike MacIntyre +1600
- Charlie Strong +1600
- Willie Fritz +2000
- Bryan Harsin +2000
- Bobby Petrino +2500
So place your bets wisely. But if you choose to place your money on Dooley, you might as well just send me your money instead.
Georgia spiced things up by giving fans a chance to design a play for the spring game. Arkansas State stepped things up a notch and gave a fan a chance to coach a game. this rare opportunity came at a price, but all for a good cause. The Red Wolves Foundation raised $11,700 in an ebay auction, giving Nick Bhardwaj a chance to pad his coaching resume.
Bhardwaj is the founder and CEO of Beyond Games, a developer of mobile games based out of San Francisco. According to the terms of the ebay auction, he will get the chance to coach Arkansas State for the entire spring game, provide the pregame and halftime speech to the team and a whole lot more. Bhardwaj will get to call the shots on big plays.
He will also get a traditional postgame Powerade bath from the team.
Even head coach Blake Anderson, who is in no way in danger of losing his head coaching gig of course, is excited to step back and let someone else take control in the spring game.
This is a fantastic way for Arkansas State to get a chance to jump out and make some headlines with the spring game,r regardless of how it works out. Best of all, this could become something that continues to be a tradition at Arkansas State for years to come.
And if the mobile game plans do not pan out, Bhardwaj may have a chance to get into the coaching game.
Arkansas State’s spring game is scheduled for Friday night, April 18.
Helmet sticker to Dr. Saturday.