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Two Big 12 assistants to reportedly interview for Texas Tech job

Plus, we talk about the realistic possibility of a former Red Raider head coach returning to Lubbock.

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and Baylor associate head coach Joey McGuire will interview for the Texas Tech vacancy, Don Williams reported for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Thursday.

The two are among the more than 20 coaches the Texas Tech search committee has researched, but are believed to be the first to formally interview. McGuire is set to interview today and Grinch on Friday, according to the report.

McGuire presents many of the same traits as Jeff Traylor, who on Sunday signed a 10-year contract extension to remain at UTSA rather than pursue the opening in Lubbock.

McGuire has never been a head coach or coordinator at the college level. He got to Baylor through building a Hall of Fame career at Cedar Hill High School, south of Dallas, where he went 141-42 with three state championships. He joined Matt Rhule's Bears staff and was retained by Dave Aranda, where he has coached on both sides of the ball. Presently, McGuire coaches outside linebackers in addition to serving as Aranda's associate head coach.

"The key with him is what kind of coordinators can he bring, because he's not an Xs and Os guy and he's pretty open about that," a college football source told Williams. "He has to have people who are actual practitioners and ball coaches that can come with him. That's all key is what's the staff going to look like around him."

As I mentioned in our podcast, among the coaches I've met in more than 15 years in college football -- which is plenty but far from all of them -- the only coaches that rivaled McGuire on an interpersonal communication level were Pete Carroll and Mack Brown. 

As for Grinch, the young, fiery Oklahoma coordinator would go a long way toward solving the Red Raiders' ongoing defensive problems. Though this year's unit ranks 88th, the 2020 Sooners placed 26th in yards per play, a rapid improvement from the 102nd-ranked unit he inherited after the 2018 season.

Historically speaking, Texas Tech has had great success hiring Oklahoma coordinators.

And speaking of former OU coordinators and former Texas Tech head coaches, Williams reports Mike Leach's name has come up with the Tech search committee."He's being considered," a source told Williams. "He's in the mix."

Williams writes that Leach still believes he's owed upward to $2 million related to his contentious 2009 firing and that the coach wouldn't even consider speaking with Texas Tech representatives without being paid up front. (Tech believes it has fulfilled its obligations to Leach.)

I can vouch for this. Interviewing Leach years ago for something unrelated to his exit, Leach asked me, "Would you mention that Texas Tech still owes me $2 million?" He has also attempted to rally social media fervor on his behalf against his former employer.

Nevertheless, plenty in Lubbock still fondly remember his 84 wins in 10 seasons -- peaking with a No. 2 ranking in 2008 -- and so his name will always be brought up when the Tech job opens.

In addition to the purported favorite Sonny Dykes, other coaches listed as persons of interest by the Avalanche-Journal include Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze, Texas A&M defensive coordinator Mike Elko, and Detroit Lions offensive coordinator (and former Red Raider) Anthony Lynn.

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