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COACHING SEARCH LIVE THREAD DAY 8

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Oh dang, have we had some interviews or what?

Mississippi State v Louisiana Lafayette Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Alright, back to the work week grind. I hope you’re getting a little time off for Christmas, which allows for more time spent in front of the computer refreshing different sites for hope of news on Auburn’s coaching search.

Word is that Auburn has started to interview coaching candidates, including:

  • Kevin Steele
  • Steve Sarkisian
  • Billy Napier
  • Brent Venables
  • Neal Brown
  • Bill Clark

Hey, that’s a new name at the bottom! Auburn is going through both guys with experience turning around Group of Five schools in Alabama in Clark at UAB and Neal Brown with his Troy experience.

As for Brown, I don’t know how big his coaching circle is, which was a criticism of the anti-Gussers (a legit one at that), since offensive minds didn’t want to come and coach under Malzahn and have little autonomy to implement their ideas. It would have to be his system.

Other than that, Clark is obviously a former high school coach in the state, and his rise at UAB has been helped by a number of special waivers during the program’s rebirth. He was able to get players in ways that other schools didn’t have access to, and he suffers from the same issues as Brown — a limited coaching circle. He was in high school ball until 2008, and even then he was only at lower level schools in-state until taking the UAB job in 2014.

And you may notice that Tony Elliott’s name is absent from the list above. He has apparently declined interest and won’t interview. Go off, king.

If I had to place the above names in an order of preference at this point, I’d go:

  1. Brent Venables
  2. Billy Napier
  3. Steve Sarkisian
  4. Kevin Steele
  5. Neal Brown
  6. Bill Clark

Let’s see what pops up today, y’all. War Eagle!

UPDATE: Well, well, well, the people seem to have spoken.

Also, word on the street is that Billy Napier has taken the slight lead in the coaching search. Let’s funnel some of you toward Friend of the Program Justin Ferguson to learn a little more about this guy, particularly his offense and his recruiting.

UPDATE: Oh, sorry, kidding.

There are a number of reasons that he could be turning down the head coaching job, one of which is control. If Auburn won’t give him the keys to the bus and the house and the shed and the storage unit, then he might not want it. Bill Clark reeks of Derek Dooley to me, I’m sorry.