List of potential Notre Dame coaching candidates

List of potential Notre Dame coaching candidates
November 30, 2004

Tyrone Willingham was fired Tuesday after three seasons as Notre Dame's head football coach. Who will replace him? Here's a list of potential candidates.

Urban Meyer. The second-year Utah coach is the favorite to replace Willingham. He spent five seasons as Notre Dame's wide receivers coach before leaving South Bend in 2001 to take his first head coaching job at Bowling Green. He is an impressive 21-2 in his two years with the Utes, including a perfect 11-0 mark and an all-but-certain BCS bowl berth this season.

Jeff Tedford. Like Meyer, the third-year Cal coach is mentioned as a candidate for virtually every high-profile coaching job. Tedford, who's recognized as the game's top quarterback guru, turned down an offer to coach the Chicago Bears, but Cal's lack of state-of-the-art facilities may force him to achieve his goals elsewhere. His Golden Bears are 9-1 and fourth in the BCS rankings.

Butch Davis. He stepped down as the Cleveland Browns head coach Tuesday but will likely return to the college ranks. The only question is where. Before taking the Browns' job, Davis was 51-20 at the University of Miami, leading the Hurricanes to a No. 2 ranking in 2000.

Bobby Petrino. His offensive genius has turned Louisville into one of college football's most entertaining teams. The Cardinals set 10 school offensive records in finishing 9-4 last season. This year, they're averaging 49.8 points and 538.2 yards per game – both marks are best in the country – and are currently seventh in the BCS rankings at 9-1.

Barry Alvarez. Alvarez is a former Notre Dame assistant (1987-89) and one of the most respected head coaches in college football, so he has to be included on any list for the Fighting Irish's top job. He's firmly entrenched at Wisconsin, though, as head coach and director of athletics.

Jon Gruden. He was the popular pick the last time Notre Dame had a vacancy. Instead, Gruden left the Oakland Raiders to take over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, leading the Bucs to a Super Bowl title. A rough last two seasons in the NFL, however, may cause him to follow in the footsteps of his father Jim, who was an assistant at Notre Dame.

Lou Holtz. Hey, the Irish haven't won a national championship since he left South Bend and he's available. Why not?

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Updated on Tuesday, Nov 30, 2004 3:29 pm, EST

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