It is official. We have hired Seth Littrell as the 19th Head Coach in NT history.
We had a hunch that Athletic Director Rick Villarreal was leaning toward Littrell with his ‘schedule’ hints. Since UNC’s de facto OC is preparing his Tar Heels for the ACC Title game against #1 Clemson, it made sense.
Then came the following tweet from Pete Thamel, and the subsequent ‘me too’ tweets from Joe Shad et al.
Source: TCU's Doug Meacham has pulled his name out of contention at North Texas.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 1, 2015
If Meacham and Littrell were indeed the two finalists, it stands to reason that North Texas will hire Seth Littrell as the new head coach.
The scary thing is that his name and profile could blow up after a successful showing against Clemson. UNC’s offense been ridiculous this season, but few non-die hard college football fans know about it. Exploding for yards and points in a showdown against the number one team in the nation will raise the profile a bit.
I have no illusions about our ability to outspend the competition. North Texas may be able to compete with the majority of G5 schools, but with Houston setting a G5 precedent, I don’t know if little ol’ NT can afford to not lock up the next coach before the money gets ridiculous.
Mendez updates his post to say “yeah it’s probably Littrell” now.
NT Daily writer Scott Sidway has been tweeting his skepticism of the Meecham stuff all day.
This is exactly where I've been on this since last night. No decision, no real merit to Meacham reports/sources. https://t.co/SPiqqFxlgV
— Scott Sidway (@ScottyWK) November 30, 2015
He adds that it seems no one knows who is the favorite except the two people who likely know the decision — RV and Smastresk.
Ultimately, he’s right. Of course the guys that have been actually conducting interviews and the search know who they want. Still, that doesn’t mean we couldn’t have an idea. Both FWST and DRC got burned by their insiders. They trusted their sources enough to publish updates on this, but it seems both were burned a bit. First Vito and his ‘industry’ guys, and Mendez and his ‘sources’.
So we wait. If I had to guess on this, I’d lean toward Seth Littrell, simply because of the ‘schedule’ references Rick Villarreal made (see below at 11/29/15 update). It seems to me (and I’m guesstimating here) that Meacham has the freer schedule of the two. Seth is out here preparing for an ACC title game matchup with Clemson.
Carlos Mendez, TCU beat writer tweeted the following:
Sounds like something in Denton has changed. Littrell has big backing in some corners. Working it.
— Carlos A. Mendez (@calexmendez) November 30, 2015
No one knows anything
In the update below, we linked to Vito’s sunday night blog post letting us know that Meacham was the likely candidate but nothing was certain.
This morning he posted an update saying that someone told him Littrell was still in the race.
Later, he posted an afternoon update saying that Meacham was perhaps considering staying at TCU in light of the Cumbie-to-Texas thing. He cites yet another ‘industry source’ that says Meacham will not come here.
Football Scooped chimed in laying out the centrality of this job to a bunch of other positions. Basically, if Meacham comes here, Cumbie may not go to Texas. However, it could be that if Cumbie does leave Meacham may stay at TCU.
Finally Fort Worth Star Telegram TCU beat reporter Carlos Mendez says someone tells him Meacham definitely will come to UNT. Now this was posted before Vito posted his update above that says someone told him Meacham will not be the guy.
So we have conflicting reports that cite conflicting sources. Enjoy!
Update: Football Scoop says slow your roll, Star-Telegram
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 30, 2015
Vito reports that it might-could-be-very-well-looks-like we are getting Doug Meacham as our coach. I’m excited.
There are mixed reports, however, so I’m not too excited. We know that we need to hire a guy as soon as possible:
- North Texas has had plenty of time to make a decision since firing Dan McCarney in October. Recruiting season is upon us and North Texas needs to salvage a class.
- With more coaches being fired in the last few days, and more to come, securing the next guy so he can begin to build his staff is important.
- Athletic Director Rick Villarreal has his hands full with this hire, and the fact that the basketball team started off terribly in a make-or-break year for Tony Benford.
It feels like it will be Meacham considering his close DFW ties, his schedule — TCU doesn’t have a conference championship game to play — make it seem likely that he’ll be available to fit the timeline of an announcement.
It is interesting that RV said
“We have done our due diligence and will make a decision soon,” Villarreal said. “All of the things that we have to do are dependent on people’s schedules.”
But I could be reading too much into it. There really is very little information available to go on.
Football Scoop reports we’ve whittled down the coaching list to two names. Meacham and UNC’s Seth Littrell are the two names. The latter coordinated the explosive UNC offense under Larry Fedora. Littrell himself coached at Indiana under Kevin Wilson, Arizona under Mike Stoops, and Texas Tech under Mike Leach. Both options are Air Raid coaches, given they’ve both been under Leach or Leach proteges (Meacham).
I’m excited about either of these guys, given the offensive backwardness these last two seasons.
- Football Scoop reports that we are down to the last four candidates.
Regarding North Texas, sources tell us that none of the four below are finalists. Will update when appropriate https://t.co/Gkcu7NbKrL
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) November 25, 2015
Apparently Riley and Briles said ‘no’. Of the Texas-area candidates it may be between Meacham and Cumbie.
- Mike Jinks is a new name on the list. We vetted his résumé. I won’t add him to the above tracker because he’s likely not a serious candidate as a head coach given the criteria we’ve heard the AD is using. He wouldn’t be a terrible staff addition, however.
- The AD has talked with and interviewed several candidates as of Saturday (10/31/2105)
- The pay scale for the North Texas job has been set. The salary range is between $900K and 1.5 million dollars.
- Fox Sports Bruce Feldman reported earlier this week that 3 names were in the mix for North Texas Kendall Briles, Mike Norvell, and Everett Withers.
- Briles initially had no interest in the job, but was warming up to it after North Texas tried really hard to sell it. Well we’ve been told that Briles is no longer interested and basically you can cross him off your wish list.
- Mike Norvell is a young OC at Arizona St and we’ve been told he really wants the job.
- Everett Withers is guy who impressed the AD.
- Lincoln Riley is a name that surfaced Monday night into Tuesday. We’ve been told that UNT officials have talked and met with Lincoln. North Texas came away very impressed with Riley. The interesting part about Riley is that he initiated contact with North Texas. Now there have been conflicting reports surfacing on Riley. Those reports say that Riley and UNT have only talked and that his interest isn’t as strong as we were first told. I tend to lean towards what we reported first. Riley and UNT are too perfect for each other. Are there other power programs interested in Riley? Hard to say right now. His name hasn’t really surfaced for other jobs. He was mentioned last year for the SMU job.