It was reported earlier this week that Hue Jackson is a candidate for the open Arizona State offensive coordinator position. Herm Edwards confirmed as much on local radio in Arizona on Monday.
“I’ve known Hue for quite some time,” Edwards told the Doug & Wolf show. “So we have a relationship, but we haven’t decided who the coordinator’s going to be yet.”
As fun as it would be to imagine Herm, Hue and Marvin Lewis linking arms to run Arizona State football, Jackson is not the only candidate for this job.
Sources told FootballScoop that Oregon State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren and Boise State offensive coordinator Zak Hill are candidates for the position.
Lindgren has spent the past two seasons running Oregon State's offense, where he has improved an offense that scored 20.7 points a game upon his arrival to 31.2 a game this fall. Prior to Oregon State, Lindgren deposited coordinator stints at Northern Arizona (2006-11), San Jose State (2012) and Colorado (2013-17).
Outgoing Arizona State offensive coordinator Rob Likens made $700,000 in 2019, $200,000 more than the $500,000 Oregon State paid Lindgren. In scanning the publicly-available list of Pac-12's offensive coordinator salaries, Arizona State paid Likens well within market value, while Oregon State is at the low end -- though the school is working to change that. “Although you can never guarantee folks staying around, we like our chances in that area,” Oregon State AD Scott Barnes told the Oregonianon his efforts to boost the Beavers' salary pool.
Hill has been on Bryan Harsin's staff in Boise since 2016, and has worked as the Broncos' sole offensive coordinator for the past three seasons. He was Eastern Washington's passing game coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the seven seasons before that.
Hill's Bronco offense ranks 13th nationally in scoring (37.3 points per game) and 38th in yards per play (6.21). By comparison, Arizona State rated 94th in scoring and 61st in yards per play.
He currently earns $310,000 in Boise.
Hill's Boise State team is set to host Hawaii for the Mountain West championship on Saturday.
While neither Lindgren nor Hill have the resume to match Jackson, both are active college football offensive coordinators, a job Jackson hasn't held since 2000.
Taking the Arizona State job removes the possibility of an NFL return for Jackson -- at least through next December -- and also would require him to recruit, something he hasn't done since before today's recruits were even born.
Perhaps a middle road exists, where Jackson joins the staff in an advisory role -- similar to what Marvin Lewis does now at Arizona State -- while Lindgren, Hill or another candidate takes the offensive coordinator title and responsibilities.
Edwards told Doug & Wolf he wants to have an offensive coordinator hired within the next two weeks, and other candidates could emerge during the process.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.