The halcyon days for Akron football, at least in this century, consist of a trio of seven-win seasons and an outlier eight-win campaign.
Otherwise since 2000, the Zips have 17 seasons of six-or-more losses.
And, yet, with new athletics director Charles Guthrie at the helm and a renewed emphasis on the football program, Akron is drawing considerable interest for its football job in the aftermath of Tom Arth's dismissal earlier this month.
The Zips spoke earlier with University of Tennessee running backs coach Jerry Mack, per a source with intimate knowledge of the conversation, though Mack, a former offensive coordinator / assistant head coach at Rice, has since withdrawn from consideration.
Additionally, Notre Dame special teams coordinator Brian Polian has been linked to the job; the former Nevada head man and architect of Irish teams units that have helped the program be in contention for a third College Football Playoff appearance in four seasons also graduated from Cleveland-area John Carroll University and has maintained strong Ohio ties.
Additionally, multiple sources tell FootballScoop that Bobby Petrino – the former Atlanta Falcons, Arkansas Razorbacks and Louisville Cardinals head coach – is another name to monitor for the Zips' vacancy. Petrino has his current program, Missouri State, into the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs for the second time this calendar year; the Bears also earned a playoff berth in the spring season.
Additionally, Memphis defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre has registered his interest in both the Akron job as well as the Jacksonville State opening. MacIntyre has extensive history coaching in the South and earned Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors at Colorado five years ago; he has not coached in Ohio though.
Another intriguing name, who first was mentioned to FootballScoop some 10 days ago as his name circulated through the prep high school ranks in Ohio, is former Marshall head coach Doc Holliday. A staple at Marshall University before he was nudged into retirement after last season, Holliday won 85 games guiding the Thundering Herd and punched eight bowl-berths that he turned into six postseason wins.
Former Akron defensive coordinator Todd Stroud, now a special assistant to Manny Diaz at Miami is on the list, as is Canes' running backs coach Eric Hickson. Several other coaches have been vetted by CSA including Ron Cooper, Eddie Faulkner, Luke Getsy and more.
Akron is utilizing the services of Todd Turner of Collegiate Sports Associates to lead the screening, with Guthrie in command of the search. This one is expected to come together early next week.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest coaching news.