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Answer to Hurricanes' woes could be simple as BVG


Sep. 20, 2006

By Dennis Dodd

CBS SportsLine.com Senior Writer



Brian VanGorder is going to get a call. If he doesn't, then Miami athletic director Paul Dee isn't doing his job.


(Insert obvious losing-to-Louisville-by-24 joke here).


Brian VanGorder is exactly the type of coach Miami needs -- someone fresh, new and off the radar.


Right now, a big part of Dee's job is to keep a short list of coaching candidates in his breast pocket.


It's either that or deciding between hiring a real estate agent or selling by owner. Kidding, kidding.


Coming off the humiliating Louisville defeat, the 'Canes look like they are headed to their third consecutive three-loss season (at least). Suddenly, Dee is on the hook for the losing and for having extended coach Admin Coker at $1.75 million per year.


That's not going to sit well with president Donna Shalala or a portion of Miami fans. Coker is on the hot seat. Dee's isn't so cool either. If the likeable Coker is asked to leave after the season, the irascible Dee might be right behind.


That's the subtext to the current Miami situation. The text should reside in Dee's pocket. It's his job right now to assemble a list of candidates in case he has to make a coaching move.


We're here to help. As a public service, we're providing a not-so-short list.


Start with VanGorder. Not exactly Butch Davis, but someone to consider. He is the first-year coach at I-AA Georgia Southern and deserves a chance to take over the crumbling dynasty.


Who is VanGorder? Young (47), upwardly mobile and accomplished.


A native of Michigan, BVG was head coach at Wayne State at age 33 for three years. He moved steadily up the ladder, catching on with Georgia in '01. He comes highly recommended by Mark Richt, who had him as Georgia's defensive coordinator from 2001-04.


In '03, VanGorder was named the nation's best college assistant. He spent last year as linebackers coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars.


VanGorder is exactly the type of coach Miami needs right now. Something fresh, new, off the radar.


Inexperienced? Sure. In that sense, he is Coker with hair, having never been a Division I head coach. But there is a lot of upside.


Georgia Southern is one of the best I-AA programs in the country, a hiccup below I-A considering the budget and facilities. The program was essentially built by the legendary Erk Russell, who passed away earlier this month.


BVG is only the fifth coach in the program's 25-year history. Russell and Paul Johnson (now at Navy) each won national championships.


"It's kind of like when Paul Johnson was here," Georgia Southern athletic director Sam Baker said. "From Day 1 it's 'How long can we hang on to him?'"


VanGorder was drawn to the job because of Georgia Southern's history of recruiting Florida. Next stop: Maybe working in Florida.


Ranking the candidates:


Butch Davis: The former 'Canes coach is tanned, rested and ready. The current favorite, if all can be forgotten from his dalliance with the NFL.


Gene Chizik: Texas' defensive coordinator is completely happy, but this might be the right time. Jobs like this don't come along every day, and guys like Chizik aren't always available.


Greg Schiano: If he had just stayed on a little longer, Schiano would have gotten the job that went to Coker. After turning around Rutgers, there is no better time for the former 'Canes D-coordinator to come "home."


Bobby Petrino: The Louisville coach would be a slam dunk if he wasn't making $2.5 million per year. Miami is not known to pay a bundle of money. Plus, the school just paid off former basketball coach Perry Clark and would have to eat the rest of Coker's contract.


Gary Patterson: The hottest young coach in America. The TCU coach has taken a small, private school to the brink of a BCS bowl. He should already be at a bigger school but loves Fort Worth. Patterson might listen. Miami could do worse.


Al Borges: At 51, Auburn's offensive coordinator is ready to make the jump to being a head coach. Like Patterson, though, he is unfamiliar with the Miami culture.


Lane Kiffin: Is the USC offensive coordinator too young? Miami would be lucky to get him. Kiffin, 31, has a couple of national championship rings and comes from a great football family. Dad Monte is D-coordinator for the Buccaneers.


John Palermo: Miami's first-year defensive line coach spent 15 years as Barry Alvarez's assistant head coach at Wisconsin. One way or another, it seems like he is going to stay in Coral Gables.


Mike Bellotti: The longtime Oregon coach has flirted with Ohio State. Would he make the big move to South Florida?


Jeff Tedford: Low-key quarterback guru at Cal would bring sizzle back to 'Canes offense.


Will Muschamp: Auburn defensive coordinator has won a national championship, coached in the NFL and currently runs one of the best defenses in the country.


Rich Rodriguez: West Virginia native wouldn't leave the Mountaineers for the hated 'Canes, would he?


Mark Stoops: This hire would be unique, to say the least. Mark is Arizona defensive coordinator for brother Mike. But Mark is a former Miami secondary coach.


J.D. Brookhart: Up-and-comer won the MAC in his second year at Akron. Won at North Carolina State this season, then lost to Central Michigan.


Barry Alvarez: What Miami calls "interest," Alvarez calls "stalking." The former Wisconsin coach (now AD) turned down interest in 1995. He spoke to Miami three times five years ago before finally breaking things off in 2001. This week, Alvarez said he wasn't interested. Again. A personal favorite of Shalala's.


Dan Hawkins: The Colorado coach would be in the top five had he stayed at Boise State. This offensive genius can't cross the goal line at Colorado.


Norm Chow: Longtime BYU and USC offensive coordinator (now with the Tennessee Titans) likes to flirt but never commit.



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schow me schiano please




Good call. He could be a potential great hire with his roots to the area and the recruiting ties he has made in S.Fla since he has taken over Rutgers. I bet he would jump at the job.

he is exactly the kind of coach needed to compete with meyer(future coaching potential is as high as anyone) and bowden(all time wins leader)...this day and age...1 championship with a team assembled by butch davis isnt good enough

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richt would be tight but i doubt he'd leave uga


jimmy would be a dream hire but i'm not sure he'd be interested. couldn't hurt to call him though.




supposedly according to LeBetard Richt has an out clause just for Da U


because he is from here (boca raton), played there and all. I agree, I would doubt he would leave. But this is a top 6 position in the country for college football.


(ohio state, texas, USC, ND, UM, Michigan 6 programs folks would pretty much kill to coach).

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