The drama that is the search for a new Arizona State University head football coach continues to march on. We trust that someday, somehow, someway the school will end up finding someone to take over the Sun Devils from Dennis Erickson. Meanwhile, the latest name that emerged as a leading candidate for the job, Utah's Kyle Whittingham, appears to be off the market.
Here's the latest from the newspapers in Salt Lake City:
Utah football: Utah, Whittingham have new deal in works | The Salt Lake Tribune
Even as Utah coach Kyle Whittingham continues to be mentioned in the coaching rumor mill as a candidate for openings at Arizona State and Penn State, the Utah Utes are preparing to make him a slightly richer man.
Utah Utes: Kyle Whittingham gets a raise | Deseret News
University officials have confirmed that Whittingham's salary, which includes UnderArmour and other monies, will increase from $1.7 to $2 million per year covering the next five seasons.
Reading those reports carefully, however, it does not say with full certainty that Whittingham is staying, just that he agreed to a raise in pay. Given all that's gone with search, the one thing we've learned is not to count out anything until there's a press release from ASU. So far, no one has been hired so no one else can be rules out. Right?
As for other names to ponder, one that seems to be getting some play in the rumor mill (warning, this only a rumor) is Tennessee defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox. Here's what Sun Devils blog House of Sparky has to say about him:
ASU Coaching Search: And Then There Was One? - House Of Sparky
This seemingly leaves Wilcox as the one candidate whose consideration has not waned or been eliminated entirely. Wilcox has seemingly been at or near the top of ASU's list for the last several days and his position can only be strengthened as the search enters its third week. He has generated a lot of positive traction with his terrific performance leading the defenses at Boise State from 2006-2009 and for the last two years at Tennessee
It's a good thing this coaching search stuff isn't a distraction to the players as they get ready for a trip to the Vegas Bowl.