Tommy Tuberville will be announced as the new coach at Cincinnati on Saturday night, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Tuberville leaves Texas Tech after three seasons in Lubbock. Prior to that he was at Auburn for 10 years and Mississippi for four. He is expected to be announced as the Bearcats' new coach at a 6:30 p.m. ET press conference Saturday. He replaces Butch Jones, who Friday was introduce as the new coach at Tennessee.
Tuberville would not seem like a natural fit at Cincinnati, but he has a relationship with athletic director Whit Babcock dating back to when both worked at Auburn. Tuberville had an undefeated season at Auburn in 2004 as the Tigers finished No. 2 in the nation. They were shut out of the BCS national championship matchup by USC and Oklahoma.
Tuberville was 20-17 in three seasons at Texas Tech, replacing Mike Leach. Tuberville had never fully settled in Lubbock; his name came up in job speculation last year. This season was marred by an altercation Tuberville had with graduate assistant Kevin Oliver during the Red Raiders' 41-34 overtime victory over Kansas. Tuberville downplayed the incident when it first happened, but apologized for it later.
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The Red Raiders lost four of their last five games to finish 7-5. They will play Minnesota in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas on Dec. 28.
The 58-year-old Tuberville's career record is 130-77.
The ability to lure Tuberville out of the Big 12 counters assertions by some that the Bearcats had lost prestige in recent weeks. Cincinnati's inability to join Rutgers and Louisville in fleeing the floundering Big East, coupled with Jones' chasing of multiple open jobs – he interviewed at Colorado and Purdue before taking the job at Tennessee – diminished the football program's stature. But landing a coach who has 13 winning records in 17 seasons – including six years of nine or more victories – was a major boost for the Bearcats.
Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was thought to be a leading candidate at Cincinnati. He was defensive coordinator at the school from 2004-06 under Mark Dantonio and was a candidate to replace Dantonio until being passed over for Brian Kelly.
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