Lead candidates emerging at Michigan?


The Brady Hoke era officially came to a close on Tuesday December 2nd. As we come to the close of the 2nd week of the search for his successor, and as recruiting goes “dead”, I reached out to some sources in Michigan and within the profession to attempt to update coaches as to where this search stands and is headed. Based on those discussions, this is where Michigan appears headed…

Most of the senior leadership within Michigan athletics and on their board of regents now understand that Jim Harbaugh is unlikely to come to Michigan and I am told Hackett has been told it will be acceptable to hire a “college coach” before the end of the NFL season if he finds the one he is willing to stand behind.

Per sources, Hackett and his staff have discussed both Jim Mora and Dan Mullen with the Regents. Sources in Michigan that I have spoken with believe that if either Mora or Mullen were willing to come, then Hackett would support those hires.

Last year Jim Mora was offered the head coaching position at Texas and turned it down despite the fact that the offer was significantly more than $4 million per year. When that happened, I spoke with two sources very close to the situation and wrote about that. Mora turned down that opportunity because this simply wasn’t the right time for he and his family to leave California. Jim has four children, one who had just begun college out there, two in high school and one in junior high (at the time). They have just built a house, etc…the timing wasn’t right then to leave for another college job, and quite honestly, I don’t see that changing for this opportunity at Michigan. With that said, it would seem to be a substantial waste of resources for Michigan to pursue someone who they have no shot at, so clearly Michigan feels he is willing to consider the opportunity. Sources in Michigan told me, UM officials believe that Mora is frustrated with not being able to get UCLA to the top and think he might be willing to make a move to Michigan. The L.A. Times reports that Mora is making $3.25 million this season.

I spoke with sources in the past few days who are close and very familiar with Dan Mullen. Both sources said to me that with Dan, it’s not about being the highest paid coach in his state / conference/ whatever (which is more important to some coaches than many people understand), what drives Dan is his desire to win a national championship. Both sources explained to me how they felt Michigan would provide a potentially easier route to the college football playoffs; and hence the opportunity to win a national championship. Said one, “This might have been Dan’s most talented team ever, and in a year when LSU, A&M and Arkansas were down, he still didn’t even win his division.” Mississippi State athletic director Scott Stricklin stated quite a while back that they were hopeful to be able to reach an extension with Mullen; but that extension hasn’t been signed yet… When I asked sources familiar with Michigan’s search if they would characterize Mullen as a lead candidate, the response was “I don’t know that Hackett felt that way last week; but it certainly seems like he considers him a very viable candidate now.” Mullen’s current salary is approximately $3 million under his current deal; it is unknown what Mississippi State’s new offer to Mullen is at this time in the proposed extension. Note that Hugh Freeze just signed an extension bringing his base salary up to $4.3 million for the upcoming season.

Sources in Michigan reminded me several times that these aren’t the only candidates that Michigan plans in person visits with this week (I was told earlier in the week they planned to meet with 10+ candidates); but they say¬†Hackett seemed most excited / animated with speaking about Mora and Mullen.

Based on everything I’ve heard, I don’t think you can completely eliminate the possibility that Michigan will wait on an NFL coach; but it appears based on what they have heard back from coaches and their search advisors that Michigan is allotting their time in the coming week on successful college head coaches.

One name that I truly haven’t heard from sources in Michigan; but I continue to hear from coaches is Joe Moglia at Coastal Carolina. A number of coaches I have spoken with feel Moglia might just be the perfect coach to invest in Michigan football. What he has done in his short time at Coastal has been awfully impressive. Will be interesting to see if the search firm suggests the same to Hackett.

As always, we’ll keep you posted as things become more clear on The Scoop.



  1. Mike Oxlong

    December 13, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    This is the most uninformed, waste of writing I’ve seen on the MI hiring yet……

    It makes me now know I can’t trust you or your site on any other information you put out….

    You have no idea what’s going on with the MI head coaching job search…you’re trolling for website hits…and I’m sorry I gave in….

    What a joke…

  2. Hannah Patrick

    December 13, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Joe Moglia = Gerry Faust

    Coastal Carolina = Archbishop Moeller HS

    Joe has already led a mutiny over his former AD at Coastal Carolina to get that guy fired and inserted himself as the “Chair” of Athletics. Total Borgia-esque power play.

    If Michigan were to make this hire it would be the most ridiculous move in the history of college football.

    So, for that reason, please hire Joe Moglia, because a lot of us hate Michigan with a passion.

  3. Bo Tedesco

    December 13, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    LOL be more wrong. You can’t.

  4. Chris

    December 13, 2014 at 11:51 AM

    So, we should believe you on this because…? You’ve been consistently wrong on the Michigan head coaching search. Just stop.

  5. DP

    December 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    Neither Mullen nor Mora are candidates. You must be running with very dated info.

  6. Brad

    December 13, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Dumbest/most uninformed thing I’ve read today. Footballmakeupascoopforclicks.com

  7. Pingback: Latest Non-Harbaugh Michigan Coaching Rumors | MGoFish

  8. Johnny

    December 13, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    I just don’t get it. You have consistently destroyed your site’s reputation throughout the Michigan coaching search. You are incredibly uninformed and the fact that you threw Mogila out there makes it clear that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    You should probably sit the rest of this search out, champ.

  9. Dale

    December 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Moglia is 65 years old with something like 3 years head coaching experience. Are you for real?

  10. Freddy

    December 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Is this website a satire website like the Onion?

  11. Pingback: Coaching Carousel Update – UCLA Football’s Jeff Ulbrich Says Mora Will Stay, but Still Possible to U of Michigan? | the UCLA SPORTS Digest

  12. Brad

    December 13, 2014 at 6:36 PM

    I like your work, Scott, and appreciate the service you offer. But you might need to reconsider whether your Michigan source(s) are feeding you false info. Your report on the AD search was false. Your initial report on JH saying no was false. Why would any Michigan fan trust what you say, at this point? And throwing Joe Moglia’s name out there, as good of a coach he may be, is not helping your credibility. Michigan football is in crisis and they need a big name hire… even if he’s the ideal fit for the job (which I don’t think is the case, anyway), he wouldn’t get so much as a sniff.

    Anyway, I know other Michigan fans have been killing you on this but obviously this is a touchy situation for us. I won’t deny the fanbase is stuck in the past a bit and overestimates the attractiveness of the job. But your reporting thus far has contradicted what most, if not all the insiders in Ann Arbor have been saying. Will be interesting to see how this reaches its conclusion. Hackett has told the players they will have a coach by the first of the year, so we’ll know soon!

  13. H Adams

    December 13, 2014 at 7:34 PM

    An Ole Miss alum run website saying that Mullen is leaving. Again? Like last year? And the year before? And the year before? I think folks will eventually realize you don’t know what you are talking about.

    • JF Wheeler

      December 14, 2014 at 6:41 PM

      Dan Mullen will be the Mississippi State Football Coach for as long as he wants. BTW, you’re comment about his Bulldogs not winning the West Division. You’re correct. Alabama came in FIRST and Mississippi State SECOND. He is building a powerhouse at Mississippi State and will continue in that direction. ole miss (Mississippi) is so worried about Dan Mullen that they start these rumors every year. Seems like you have been consistent in that area, but Only the “rumors” which are stirred up by “the school up north” (tsun) ole miss. Plus, Dan doesn’t like cold weather, even though he grew up in New Hampshire. AD Scott Stricklin and Coach Dan Mullen will have a contract renewal in place when the time is right.

      • jfwheeler

        December 14, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        Written by Scott Roussel – Truly bogus reporting from an ole miss alum. You should be called out for this. Dan Mullen is Mississippi State’s coach and you are reporting rumors for the very reason of helping your ole miss rebels in recruiting. Shame on you !!

  14. GoBlue!

    December 13, 2014 at 8:14 PM

    Enter sad face….I miss the Schembechler days dammit!!!!!

  15. Jay

    December 13, 2014 at 8:34 PM

    Anyone who looks to the scoop for any real info is an idiot.. This site was once great about 10 years ago when they actually had coaching Info , hot seat and good rumors.. Now it’s terrible no info , they are to busy kissing coaches asses and writting articles about teams getting new helmets.. Just look at the recent openings and hires at Nebraska , oregon state … Not even close on any of it.. All they do now is report after the fact ..

  16. Pingback: Report: Dan Mullen, the most recent candidate to top Michigan’s wishlist | CollegeFootballTalk

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  18. Brad

    December 14, 2014 at 11:04 AM

    Looks like I’ll be getting all of my scoops from your brother going forward.

    What a joke.

    Credibility absolutely toast.

    • Mike

      December 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Yet you still continue to post under several names?? Don’t like the site…stay the F off…..easy process dude.

  19. Pingback: Michigan Coaching Search: Wolverines have discussed Dan Mullen as potential next head coach | Michigan Wolverines

  20. JF Wheeler

    December 14, 2014 at 6:56 PM

    Hey, Scott Roussel aren’t you a Graduate and/or Alum of the University of Mississippi (ole miss) ??

    Interesting you are spreading rumors about Coach Dan Mullen at Mississippi State University ( Your school’s rival and a coach that has beaten ole miss 4 out of the last 6 years !! )

  21. All Those Commenting

    December 14, 2014 at 11:42 PM

    So, since everyone else that’s commenting on this post clearly knows what Michigan is doing, please enlighten those of us who obviously don’t have the vast range of sources you do. Either that, or shut up since you’re just running your mouths

    • Mike

      December 15, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      There is only one candidate. His name is Jim Harbaugh.

      • John

        December 15, 2014 at 11:18 AM

        So what happens when he tells y’all no?

  22. DonnieDD

    December 15, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Why not go after a proven coach like Steve Addazio from BC? Building a winner there as he did at Temple. BC has the strong academic reputation that is important to Michigan. Develops players. Personality. Deep ties to Florida and knows the inner workings of Urban Meyer. Addazio would be a star in AA!

  23. Pingback: Hot Reads: Charlton Warren Staying with NU | Hail Varsity

  24. InTheKnow

    December 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

    You Michigan fans really are living in the past. You would be lucky to get a Dan Mullen at this point. He is an ok coach, will never make it to the next level at Miss St. Jim Harbaugh ain’t walking through that door.

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