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Deion Sanders, Kellen Moore on list of coaches connected to TCU search

TCU is reportedly looking to speak with both conventional and unconventional candidates as its sizes up who can fill a coaching giant's shoes.

Deion Sanders is on a list of coaches TCU is looking to interview for its vacant head coaching opening, according to a report Wednesday from Chris Hummer of 247Sports.

Sanders is joined on the list by Nevada head coach Jay Norvell and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, and Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore has expressed interest in the position, according to the report. 

TCU AD Jeremiah Donati told reporters this week he'd prefer to hire an offensive-minded head coach to replace the future Hall of Famer Gary Patterson.

“It would be very difficult to bring in a coach who’s very defensive-minded given Gary’s legacy,” Donati said. “That doesn’t mean that we’re not looking at defensive candidates, but just to be fair to the coach, when you have an iconic, Hall of Fame, legendary coach who is one of the best defensive minds that’s ever coached in college, it’s going to be very difficult for that person to fill their shoes.”

Elliott has never been a head coach and has been very choosy about leaving his perch at Clemson, where he earns $1.6 million to coordinate the offense. The Tigers have dropped from 15th to 111th in yards per play upon losing Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne to the NFL draft, so perhaps Elliott will be more motivated to find a head coaching position this winter.

Norvell is 13-4 in the past two seasons as Nevada, where he has the Wolf Pack in contention to win the Mountain West this season behind possible first-round pick Carson Strong at quarterback. He has extensive ties to Texas through his eight years as an assistant at Oklahoma and Texas.

Moore has zero coaching experience at the college level but has drawn praise for his work coordinating the Cowboys' offense. He is fresh off coordinating the club to a victory at Minnesota with quarterback Dak Prescott missing the game to nurse a strained calf.

Moore competed against TCU and Patterson three times in his record-breaking career as Boise State's quarterback from 2008-11. Two of Moore's three losses (against 50 wins) came to the Horned Frogs, 17-16 in the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl and 36-35 in Boise in 2011. Moore led an undefeated Boise State past undefeated TCU in the Fiesta Bowl to close the 2009 season, 17-10. 

Moore went 28-of-38 for 320 yards and two touchdowns in the 2011 loss as Boise State's kicker missed a field goal at the buzzer, the only home defeat of his career. 

The headliner, of course, is Sanders, who is 7-1 in his first full season as a collegiate head coach and, also, is currently hospitalized. He has missed the Tigers' last two games and is likely to make that three as JSU hosts Texas Southern on Saturday. 

“He's doing well right now. I just try to leave anything as far as medical things, just try to let him make those comments when he gets back," interim head coach Gary Harrell said this week. "When I talk to him, he's in great spirits and he's well engaged and he's continuously just helping us get better as we go throughout the weeks.”

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.