LSU’s search for a defensive coordinator may last several more days, possibly through the weekend, and the position continues to receive interest from top-flight college coordinators and some NFL coordinators.
But any new names? That we don’t have.
John Chavis left LSU for Texas A&M, and the Tigers continue to search for a replacement. (Bill Feig)
Coach Les Miles has kept the search for John Chavis’ replacement tight-lipped, and only a handful of candidates have emerged. Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop is one of few who have officially and seriously interviewed for the position.
The search for Chavis’ replacement could “linger,” according to Footballscoop.com, a trusted and often accurate site with deep roots in the college coaching community.
LSU has been “flooded” with interest in the position from a host of coaches, including NFL assistants, one source close to the staff told The Advocate. Former and current NFL coordinators have applied, the source said.
It’s not a stretch to think LSU could pull an NFL assistant coach or coordinator. Georgia, for instance, recently hired St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for the same position.
Surging salaries for assistants in major college football makes the transition from pro to college more understandable. Sixteen college football assistants last year made at least $800,000 a year, according to USA Today.
LSU paid Chavis the third-most among college assistants: $1.3 million, a salary that’s expected to remain similar for his replacement. In September 2009, the Los Angeles Times, citing an NFL source, reported that the average NFL defensive coordinator made approximately $850,000, a number that’s likely risen.
Monday marks the 13th day the Tigers will be without a defensive coordinator after Chavis bolted for the same job at Texas A&M a day after LSU lost the Music City Bowl to Notre Dame.
The recruiting dead period ends on Wednesday, a day first thought to be a deadline of sorts for Miles to hire a coordinator. It doesn’t necessarily appear that way any longer.
LSU will host highly rated prospects for official visits the three next weekends leading up to National Signing Day on Feb. 4, but the biggest of the groups – especially for defensive players – is expected to be next weekend (Jan. 23-25), said Shea Dixon, a recruiting reporter for 247Sports.
“They’d need someone before Jan. 23,” Dixon said.
Brick Haley is a candidate to be promoted to DC. (Bill Feig)
LSU defensive line coach Brick Haley is an in-house candidate, and one former LSU star – Marcus Spears – is pushing to get the job.
Miles, assistant director of football operations Dean Dingman and Miles’ agent, George Bass, are leading the search, multiple sources said. Miles, an offensive-minded coach who rarely dabbles in the defense, is “taking time” with the search and knows “the importance” of the hire, sources said.
Haley, 48, has been on LSU’s staff since 2009. He’s been a defensive coordinator once – for three years at Baylor in 1999-2001. He coached linebackers for the Bears and has been a linebackers coach at three other stops during his coaching career.
Haley’s promotion could make room for a popular name: Ed Orgeron. The former Ole Miss coach and longtime Southern California defensive line coach is out of a job and lives in Mandeville.
Shoop, 48, pulled his name from the search after interviewing with Miles last week. He was not offered the job during the interview but was not ruled out for the gig, sources said.
He received a new three-year contract, according to multiple reports.