McElwain accepts, turns down Memphis

December, 8, 2011
12/08/11
11:00
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Coaching movement has been hot in the SEC of late.

But things have taken an interesting turn with Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jim McElwain. It was reported that McElwain interviewed for Memphis' head-coaching job and impressed the search committee. McElwain later accepted the job, but then turned it down for reasons that were unclear.

Sources told Al.com that finances for assistants and facilities were an issue.

The Memphis (Tennessee) Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday night that Memphis will hire TCU co-offensive coordinator Justin Fuente.

The Fresno State job is still open and McElwain's name has been mentioned for that one as well. Remember, McElwain was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach there in 2007.

But McElwain isn't the only Alabama assistant whose name is being thrown around for jobs. Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart reportedly interviewed for the opening at Texas A&M, which will be joining the SEC in 2012. Though Houston coach Kevin Sumlin appears to be the frontrunner for the job.

Smart's name was also brought up during Ole Miss' coaching search, but he wasn't believed to be a serious candidate. Ole Miss introduced former Arkansas State coach Hugh Freeze as its new head coach Monday.

Arkansas a possible destination for Randy Shannon?
The coaching search is also on at Arkansas. The Razorbacks are looking for a new defensive coordinator, after coach Bobby Petrino announced Tuesday that Willy Robinson won't be returning next year.

There are plenty of candidates out there, but there has been a lot of chatter surrounding former Miami head coach Randy Shannon.

My take: There's no question that Arkansas' defense needs some work and I believe Shannon would be a good hire. Before taking over as the Hurricanes' head coach in 2007, he was Miami's defensive coordinator for six years. During that time, Miami's defense ranked in the top 10 nationally five times. His record as a head coach might not be too flattering (he was 28-22), but Shannon knows how to coach a defense, and it sounds like he's ready to get back into coaching. But does he want to be a coordinator, or a head coach?

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