What Do We Know?
We know that Louisville Coordinators Shawn Watson (OC) and Vance Bedford (DC) have interviewed today with Jurich for the position. I’m curious on how competitive either of these would be. Obviously Watson and Bedford have completely different personalities.
Watson is very calm, rarely fiery, in the box on game day Offensive Coordinator. Coach Watson obviously was a huge reason for Teddy Bridgewater’s Development and has stated his desire to be a head coach. I’m a little surprised he was mentioned for any other jobs in this cycle, but NFL teams have reportedly inquired into Coach Watson as a QB/OC. Watson’s offense finished 28th in the nation in 2013.
Vance Bedford is famous with Louisville fans for his “Get on the Train” Speech and certainly has the support of the Louisville locker room. Every time Vance speaks he fires people up. I don’t know if I could handle Monday press conferences each and every week with my blood boiling, but I’m also somewhat surprised that Bedford is interested. Not because he isn’t a good coach (he is awesome) or because of anything Louisville related. I just never got the sense that Bedford wanted to be a Head Coach. Bedford is an excellent Corners coach and Defensive Coordinator, his defense finished #1 in the nation in 2013.
What Might Be Happening?
There are a lot of names being thrown around. Without talking to Tom Jurich directly, it is hard to tell which candidates are serious and which are just names on a board. So let’s run through real quickly on each of them.
Jim McElwain: Has a $4M buyout with Colorado State, which is convenient since Charlie Strong’s buyout was $4.375M. I’ve heard from sources in Alabama who are extremely high on McElwain and believe he is a legitimate candidate for the job. Seems like the buzz is building somewhat on Coach McElwain.
Chad Morris: Highest paid assistant coach in college football, but was a High School Coach 4 years ago. Obviously quickly rising up the ranks, and will get a head coaching job. I’m not hearing any more buzz about Morris now than I did a few days ago.
Pat Narduzzi: Lots of buzz surrounding Narduzzi. Word is that Narduzzi started putting together a preliminary staff if offered the job. Narduzzi’s defense was #2 in country in 2013 and word is that Don Treadwell would be his OC. I’m not keen on Treadwell running the offense, and that may be holding him back. We will see.
Derek Mason: Buzz on Mason is QUIET. If it gets much quieter we’ll take him off the board. I was excited initially in hearing his name, but his West Coast resume may be holding him back. Sometimes though, when things go quiet that’s the place where something is happening.
Bobby Petrino: Easily the fans’ favorite candidate. Card Nation remembers winning games in a big way under Petrino and the achievements Louisville Football enjoyed during his tenure. I hear that Jurich is intrigued by Petrino making a return, but has a Board and Boosters worries. Plus there is the matter of Petrino’s hiring practices at Arkansas and the various flirtations CBP had with other schools while at Louisville……Petrino has been humbled, but his ability to recruit new players as well as the current locker room may be the big question.
Rich Rodriguez has been mentioned for the job since the beginning. I really never felt like that was a real possibility, but Rich Rod has been able to leverage Louisville’s interest into a raise & an extension with Arizona. We are taking him off the board.