Several high-profile SEC assistant coaches could be strong candidates for the head coaching vacancy at Central Florida.
Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins, Florida associate head coach Randy Shannon and Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal have all been linked to the UCF job, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel’s Shannon Green.
The UCF job was vacated on Oct. 25 when long-time coach George O’Leary retired. O’Leary was responsible for changing the national perception of the UCF program, and the athletic department wants to find a coach who will continue that legacy.
Muschamp, Collins, Shannon and Cristobal all have strong recruiting backgrounds in the state of Florida, which makes them attractive candidates. Muschamp and Gene Chizik, the former Auburn coach and current North Carolina defensive coordinator, have expressed “high” interest in the job, according to the report. However, Muschamp said earlier this week that neither he nor his representatives had been contacted about any coaching jobs.
UCF introduced Danny White as its new athletic director last Thursday, and the expectation is that he will attempt to hire a new coach quickly. Multiple coaching positions are already open around the country, with more expected to open up after the regular season ends this week. Other coaches mentioned as possibilities in the report include Nevada coach Brian Polian, who worked for O’Leary and for White’s father in the past, and St. Louis Rams quarterback coach Chris Weinke, the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback at Florida State who was the coach at IMG Academy, one of the top producers of talent in Florida, before leaving for the NFL.
It appears as if many of the top SEC assistant coaches have a chance to fill UCF’s vacancy.