Word in the profession on Saturday has been that Michigan State's administration seems determined to speak with any and all potential candidates for the job, rather than just settling on Mark Dantonio's recommended candidates (Mike Tressel or Luke Fickell). At the very least, the appearance of a full blown search seems important. Glenn Sugiyama, who is running the search for them, always likes to produce a deep roster of interested candidates.
We previously reported that Michigan State's leadership sought a diverse candidate pool. Sugiyama reached out to both Mel Tucker and Robert Saleh but both declined to move forward with the process.
Matt Campbell and Pat Narduzzi both, essentially said, "Thank you but I'm happy where I am for now." Narduzzi did so in epic fashion by the way.
We have heard of multiple NFL coaches (with NFL head coaching experience) who Sugiyama is trying to work into the process but at this time it appears Michigan State's best options might just be....the two guys Mark Dantonio has been supporting for the job.
On Signing Day -- and with the clear caveat that it was Signing Day -- sources close to Fickell told us he was telling his staff he was expecting to remain at Cincinnati. With that said, Fickell makes just below $2.5 million per year at Cincinnati, and Michigan State would be expected to double that number. Will the dollars, and Dantonio's presence get that deal done? Remains to be seen, but sources tell FootballScoop we should all have an answer to that question within the next 48 hours.
If a deal with Fickell does not get done, is Michigan State's leadership willing to move forward with Mike Tressel as the next head coach of the Spartans? If so, would he keep most of the staff that is currently in place? He has been at Michigan State well over a decade. That is a lot of continuity at a program that seems ripe for change.
If Fickell turns down the opportunity and the administration decides that it can't stomach status quo with Tressel, this is where things get interesting.
Many in the administration are hoping they might be able to pull Pat Shurmur from the Broncos (where he is set to serve as offensive coordinator this season). A former All-Big Ten Center at Michigan State, and former coach there; there is no question East Lansing is a special place for Pat. However, he has been in the league the past 20 years including two head coaching stints. He's only 54, and unquestionably could coach in the league at a high level the next 10+ years if he wants to. Source tells FootballScoop Shurmur isn't expected to leave the Broncos; but stranger things have happened.
What happens if Fickell says no, Shurmur says no thank you....could we see Butch Jones become the next man up?
Hang in there, Sparty. This should all play out soon enough.
As always, head directly to The Scoop for the latest coaching job information.
Sunday Update> Luke Fickell is meeting with Michigan State leadership now; and then it appears MSU is headed to State College. One would think Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry is getting a look. Stay tuned....
Cue the "it's getting serious music"....