Rose tells Oklahoma he's not interested; BYU contract extension could be in the works
Mentioned in a previous post that the Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City reported in Tuesday's editions that BYU coach Dave Rose was being targeted by Oklahoma to replace head coach Jeff Capel, the man athletic director Joe Castiglione fired a few weeks ago. Rose was a "viable candidate," according to the newspaper. However, a tipster told me midday Tuesday that Rose has told Oklahoma officials that he is not interested in the opening. The tipster said another person is being interviewed today for the position. And columnist Berry Tramel just wrote this in his blog on the Oklahoman's website: "An OU source said Rose was contacted, but turned down a chance to pursue the Sooner job. Rose is a Utah lifer (except for his two years at Houston U. as part of Phi Slama Jama) and a devout Mormon. It wasn't a great fit." Meanwhile, word is trickling out of Provo today that BYU officials are working on a new contract for Rose (he signed a contract extension in November of 2009, just before the 2009-10 season started) that will obviously come with a hefty pay raise. Rose is said to have knowledge of the details of the contract, which would keep him in Provo and happy financially for the foreseeable future. After Thursday's NCAA Tournament loss to Florida, Rose had this to say when asked what he is looking forward to next season: "Well, the most exciting thing is the fact that you get ... to coach a team," he said. "You get to start from the beginning of the season, the offseason, and work towards it and watch guys improve, watch guys gain confidence, watch your team come together and hopefully you can be successful. But the most exciting thing for me each year is to be part of a team." The possibility of Rose leaving BYU made me think of potential replacements for the coach who just completed his sixth season as the Cougars' head coach. Many people believe that some day 30-year-old Austin Ainge, the former BYU guard and son of Cougar great Danny Ainge, will be BYU's head basketball coach. But he's probably not ready yet. Obviously, Rose's top assistant, Dave Rice, would make an excellent head coach. He's a great recruiter and a brilliant tactician, I've been told. But there's the question of whether the school would hire a non-Mormon to direct one of its major sports programs (football, basketball). Its track record suggests it would not. Certainly, current BYU assistants Terry Nashif and Tim LaComb are possibilities down the road. Both are young and inexperienced still. Both are LDS. Who else is out there in what has to be the most shallow prospective coaches pool in the country?
There's BYU-Hawaii's Ken Wagner and BYU-H assistant John Wardenburg. What about new Hawaii head coach Gib Arnold, son of former Cougars coach Frank Arnold? Would the Cougars consider giving the job to women's head coach Jeff Judkins, assuming he wants it?
Any others? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have some ideas, and I will pass those along in this space in the coming days.