Gators after Boise State's Pease
Published: Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 6, 2012 at 4:15 p.m.
Will Muschamp lost to his mentor, Nick Saban, on the football field this season. But will he beat him in the battle for a new offensive coordinator?
Muschamp and Saban apparently are after the same man — Boise State offensive coordinator Brent Pease, according to Sun sources.
Muschamp may have the advantage because he moved on Pease first, shortly after Charlie Weis left to take the Kansas job on Dec. 9. Saban lost his offensive coordinator, Jim McElwain, five days later to Colorado State.
The Sun confirmed that Pease and his wife are in Gainesville on Friday to meet to with Muschamp about the job.
"Nothing done," Muschamp wrote in a text to Sun sports columnist Pat Dooley.
Meanwhile, Saban is in New Orleans preparing Alabama for Monday night's BCS Championship Game against LSU. Pease is expected to interview with Saban on Tuesday.
Pease was the Boise State wide receivers coach for five years before becoming the offensive coordinator this season. His offense was among the most productive in the nation.
He's also been an offensive coordinator at Baylor, Kentucky and Montana.
Given what's happened over the past few days, it is evident that Pease has emerged as a top target for Muschamp.
Jacksonville University coach and former Gator quarterback Kerwin Bell apparently is no longer considered a candidate, according to sources close to Bell. He was never offered a position on Muschamp's staff, neither the offensive coordinator job or the quarterbacks' coach position.
The number of potential candidates for the job seems to be dwindling, leading to speculation that interim offensive coordinator Brian White, the running backs coach, will be promoted to full-time coordinator. But at this point, sources say, the job has not been offered to anyone yet, including White.
And now Pease has emerged as the possible front-runner.
Muschamp said after the Jan. 2 Gator Bowl that there is no timetable to hire a new offensive coordinator. He said the important thing is to find the best fit for the job.
Sources confirmed that Bell had about a four-hour interview with Muschamp on the JU campus the week before the Gators arrived in Jacksonville to practice for the Gator Bowl. Bell also attended every UF practice on the JU campus.
But according to sources, there have been no further conversations about the job between Bell and Muschamp.
The day before the Gator Bowl game, sources said it appeared that New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, a former UF quarterback, had emerged as a leading candidate for the job and chances were good a deal would be struck after Jan. 2.
But with so many head coaching jobs coming open in the NFL, Schottenheimer has taken his name out of consideration for the UF job, sources said.
Another potential candidate apparently now out of play is Oklahoma co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell, who also was considered for the same position at Wisconsin. Norvell said earlier in the week that he will remain at OU.
One name still on the UF list, apparently at the top of the list, is Pease.
As for Bell, there is a chance he could emerge as a candidate for the vacant offensive coordinator's position at Auburn. Bell and AU coach Gene Chizik were friends and walk-on teammates at Florida in the early 1980s.
Contact Robbie Andreu at 352-374-5022 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also check out Andreu's blog at Gatorsports.com.
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