Big Ten assistants likely in mix for MAC jobs


Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The Mid-American Conference currently has four head-coaching vacancies, as Toledo, Bowling Green, Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan all are looking for men to lead their football programs.

With Buffalo's Turner Gill and Ball State's Brady Hoke already being mentioned for BCS-conference jobs, more coaching turnover seems likely.

Given the Big Ten's proximity to the MAC, it's inevitable that several Big Ten assistants will be mentioned for top jobs.

Here's a look at several coaches who might get calls in the coming days and weeks.

Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell
Treadwell played and coached at Miami (Ohio), and he figures to be one of the top candidates for the RedHawks' coaching vacancy. Miami athletic director Brad Bates said many of the successful men who made up the "Cradle of Coaches" were Miami alums. Treadwell has extensive experience as an assistant, working in the Big East, Pac-10 and ACC. He's also likely in the mix at Eastern Michigan.

Ohio State co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Luke Fickell

An up-and-coming young coach, Fickell will be one to watch in the coming seasons. The Toledo Blade listed him a potential candidate for the Bowling Green vacancy, and he should be in the mix for all the MAC openings. The former Ohio State nose guard spent two years coaching in the MAC (Akron, 2000-01). Fickell might be holding out for a BCS-conference job.

Iowa wide receivers coach Erik Campbell

Campbell has been mentioned as a candidate at Eastern Michigan, which would be a natural fit for a man who spent 13 seasons down the road as a Michigan assistant. He developed a 1,000-yard wide receiver in eight consecutive seasons at Michigan and did a nice job developing Iowa's wideouts, particularly Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, as the season progressed. Campbell also recruits the Detroit area.

Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi

He earned his Master's degree from Miami (Ohio) and served as an assistant coach there from 1990-92 and again in 2003. Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio made it clear before the season that the Spartans' defense belongs to Narduzzi, who saw improved results this fall as the team went 9-3. He should get a look at Miami (Ohio), Toledo and possibly Bowling Green or Eastern Michigan.

Michigan State tight ends/offensive tackles coach Mark Staten

Another Miami (Ohio) grad who could draw interest for the RedHawks' coaching vacancy. Staten played at Miami from 1989-92 and was a graduate assistant there in 2001. He also serves as Michigan State's recruiting coordinator, an area that has improved markedly in the last year.

Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson

The only assistant coach Rich Rodriguez retained at Michigan could be in the mix for the Eastern Michigan job. Jackson has served as a Michigan assistant since 1992 and knows the area extremely well. He coached five All-Big Ten running backs with the Wolverines.