According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, the Memphis Tigers have whittled an initial list of 50 leading contenders to replace head coach Tommy West down to just five. Among the five are North Alabama head coach Terry Bowden, LSU Tigers assistant Larry Porter (former Memphis running back), Oklahoma State Cowboys co-offensive coordinator Gunter Brewster, Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill and Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster.
Mysteriously absent from this list are three coaches who were considered early front-runners for the position: former Auburn Tigers head coach Tommy Tuberville, Florida Gators defensive coordinator Charlie Strong and current Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. OGGOA continues to hold that Strong deserves a more prominent head coaching position; no one should be too broken up over this if it is indeed true.
There is a strong belief that Porter could be the early favorite for the job, seeing as he is an alumni who has twice been named Rivals’ “Recruiter of the Year.” Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson said earlier this week that the ability to recruit would be paramount in a coaching candidate, with head-coaching experience secondary.