Amid the flow of information surrounding Arizona State’s pursuit of a football coach, it is not easy to distinguish fact from fiction. During the nine days since the school fired Dirk Koetter, the rumors and names attached to them have swirled.
Few have been verified, thanks to athletic director Lisa Love conducting an airtight search.
On Monday, a broadcast report surfaced stating that former Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis and Boston College coach Tom O’Brien are “in the running” for the job.
Sources close to McGinnis, a Tennessee Titans assistant, said that he has not been contacted by ASU and does not want to be part of a drawn-out interview process. Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo, through a school spokesman, said that ASU has not requested permission to speak with O’Brien.
ASU’s media relations department has not been told to prepare for an imminent coaching announcement.
As she did in her search for basketball coach Herb Sendek, Love has kept her impressions and plans confined to a very small circle. She is not one to confide in boosters, and she has not conducted interviews since announcing Koetter’s firing on Nov. 26.
“When (coaching candidates) are people who are already employed,” she said then, “you have to do things with a high degree of confidentiality.”
Titans offensive coordinator Norm Chow was reportedly interviewed by ASU and North Carolina State on Sunday, and he will probably be linked to the vacancy at Stanford, which fired Walt Harris on Monday.
Coaches making the Sun Devil rumor rounds include Tulsa’s Steve Kragthorpe, Texas-El Paso’s Mike Price, Texas Christian’s Gary Patterson and Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English. Fresno State coach Pat Hill has expressed interest in the ASU job, sources said.
The longer ASU waits to find a coach, the more challenging it will be to salvage a 2007 recruiting class.
National signing day is Feb. 1. A four-week “dead period” — where any kind of recruiting contact or evaluation, on or off campus, is prohibited — begins on Dec. 17.
On Dec. 20, junior-college transfers who intend to enroll at Division I-A schools for the spring semester can sign letters of intent. Terry Mixon, a safety from Grossmont (Calif.) College, had orally committed to ASU but re-opened his recruitment in the wake of Koetter’s departure.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils move on in their preparations for the Hawaii Bowl against Hawaii on Christmas Eve.
The team conducts the first of 15 allotted bowl practices today. ASU will work out seven times before departing for Hawaii on Dec. 18.