Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Miles Back in the Running at Michigan?

Those pesky Les Miles-to-Michigan rumors won't die. Now comes word that the Louisiana State coach was on the phone last Friday with Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and university president Mary Sue Coleman.

The amended contract that Miles just signed with LSU is adding to the speculation that he might bolt. It includes the same buyout — $1.25 million — if Miles leaves the Bayou for Ann Arbor.

But LSU athletic director Skip Bertman says Wolverine fans need a reality check.

"They're frustrated because they didn't get what they want," he said. "You can't get Les Miles — the guy signed his contract. It's over."

In other coaching-related moves:
Washington State: The Cougars will introduce Paul Wulff on Tuesday as their new coach. Wulff, left, comes to Pullman from 70 miles up the road in Cheney, where he has been the Eastern Washington coach for the past eight seasons and had a 53-40 record.

The hiring of Wulff, 40, is drawing praise. Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer likes the move, as does Bud Withers of the Seattle Times. Wulff knows hardship. His mother disappeared when he was 12, perhaps killed by his dad, and he lost his first wife to brain cancer.

Duke: Things are heating up. Vanderbilt's Bobby Johnson and former UCLA coach Karl Dorrell were on campus Monday. Dorrell's visit was called a "fact-finding mission," according to the Herald-Sun. He was spotted in the passenger seat of a convertible near Cameron Indoor Stadium and, according to ACC Now, registered as himself at a Triangle hotel. Rick Neuheisel is begging for the job and reportedly told athletic director Joe Alleva, "I want the job, and I will make you proud." Neuheisel has a 66-30 record as coach at Colorado and Washington. He also rang up 52 NCAA infractions.

Houston: Oklahoma assistant Kevin Sumlin had a second interview with athletic director Dave Maggard. Sumlin has also drawn interest from Washington State.

Southern Methodist: The first job to open might be the last filled. The search enters week 7 and a representative for Terry Bowden and Jeff Bower said he hasn't been contacted. Former Minnesota and Kansas coach Glen Mason hasn't been contacted, either.

Southern Mississippi: The Oklahoman reports that the job is Larry Fedora's if he wants it. There is one hurdle before the Oklahoma State offensive coordinator takes the job. He wants Southern Mississippi to commit $1.2 million combined for his assistant coaches. Jeff Bower's staff made $800,000 this season.

UCLA: Hawaii's June Jones calls a report labeling him as a candidate for the job "an absolute lie. That's all I've got to say." A report that Texas Tech's Mike Leach will interview Tuesday was shot down by Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, who talked with Red Raider athletic director Gerald Myers.

Purdue: Is Joe Tiller, right, on the hot seat? Boilermaker fans are grumbling over the way the season is ending, including the upcoming trip to the Motor City Bowl, a lower-level and unglamorous postseason outing in Detroit. And, of course, we have the website, Fire Coach Tiller.

Tiller was 33-16 his first four seasons, only 49-38 the past seven. He is signed through 2010, but after a 27-24 loss at Indiana ended the regular season, he was asked if he would be the Boilermaker coach next season.

"I don't know why I wouldn't be," he said. "Absolutely. Absolutely."

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