The Times West Virginian

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Bob Herzel

December 16, 2007

Who will replace Coach Rod?

MORGANTOWN — Now who?

That’s the burning question as Rich Rodriguez is being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor today.

Here’s a quick handicap on what would appear to be the top candidates even before the West Virginia administration moves toward a replacement:

3-1 Doc Holliday

A former Don Nehlen assistant, Holliday is well versed in the spread offense having served under Urban Meyer as associate coach at Florida. Holliday is considered one of the top recruiters in the state of Florida. He has coached for 30 years, been to 19 bowls and coached in two national championship games, including WVU’s 1988 Fiesta Bowl meeting with Notre Dame. Holliday coached at WVU from 1979 to 1999 and at North Carolina State from 2000 to 2004 before moving on to Florida.

5-1 Terry Bowden

A WVU graduate and the son of Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, Terry’s first year as a major college coach saw him lead Auburn to an 11-0 record. He finished his stay there with a 47-17-1 mark, resigning in mid-year 1998 when he suspected he was about to be fired. He previously coached at Samford and recently served as a football commentator for ABC-TV. Bowden predicted earlier this year that he would be coaching a major college team next year.

6-1 Jimbo Fisher

Fisher, also a West Virginian, played quarterback for Terry Bowden and was named Division II Player of the Year. He coached under Bowden at Auburn, then went to LSU where he was considered one of the best offensive coordinators in America, coaching quarterbacks Josh Booty and JaMarcus Russell, last year’s No. 1 NFL draft pick. Fisher joined Bobby Bowden at Florida State this year and recently signed a contract that designated him as Bowden’s replacement when he retires. The contract is said to have an escape clause if he is offered the West Virginia job.

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Bob Herzel
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