Big names mentioned on WSU's list of candidates

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by KREM 2 Sports

KREM.com

Posted on November 29, 2011 at 7:06 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 30 at 12:37 AM

PULLMAN -- Washington State athletic director Bill Moos says he has six or seven names on his short list for the vacant head coaching position.

Moos fired Paul Wulff on Tuesday, and says his focus turns immediately to finding his replacement. He hopes to have a new head coach in place within the next two or three weeks.

Moos discussed several potential candidates during his press conference in Pullman. Among the names confirmed on his list are former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti, Houston's Kevin Sumlin, and possibly recently fired Dennis Erickson.

Leach was fired in 2009 by Texas Tech after allegedly forcing one of his players to stand in a dark garage as punishment. He filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school and the case is still being appealed. Leach is also rumored to be a top candidate for several other open positions.

Bellotti hasn't coached since 2009 either. Moos says he's not sure how serious Bellotti is about getting back into coaching. He resigned as the schools head coach and athletic director to pursue a career in broadcasting with ESPN. Moos says he hasn't talked to Bellotti since last year's national championship in Phoenix.

Sumlin was interviewed by Washington State when the head coaching job opened in 2007. He was picked for the job, so he went to Houston. He's since turned that football program around, leading the Cougars to an undefeated season and a chance to win the Conference USA championship.

Erickson was fired by Arizona State on Monday. Moos didn't necessarily say that Erickson is on his short list, mostly because he never expected him to be available. Erickson is no stranger to the Palouse. He was the head coach at Idaho from 1982-1985 and then again in 2006. He also led Washington State from 1987-1988.

One of the names not on Moos' list is former Boise State head coach Dirk Koetter. He's currently the offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville's head coach Jack Del Rio was fired on Tuesday.

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