InsideTulsaSports - TU coaching search off to fast start
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TU coaching search off to fast start

The search for the next head football coach at the University of Tulsa is off to a fast start. TU already has an interview scheduled with a rising offensive coordinator.
A source tells that Tulsa officials are expected to meet with TCU's Doug Meacham soon. The Horned Frogs sit at No. 3 in the most recent College Football Playoff Rankings, and Meacham was recently named a finalist for the Broyles Award, which honors the top assistant college football coach in America.
Meacham is in his first year as co-offensive coordinator for TCU and has helped design an offense that ranks No. 3 nationally in scoring (46.1 points per game) and No. 5 in total offense (525.8 yards per game).
The meeting with Meacham appears to be one of several candidate interviews for TU, as Tulsa Athletic Director Derrick Gragg has a whirlwind schedule over the next two weeks. There are also rumors that TU could be meeting with Texas A&M offensive coordinator Jake Spavital soon as well.
"Over the next week to 10 days, I'll be on the road for an extensive amount of time with open-ended plane tickets, and we're going to talk to some good candidates," Gragg said in a Tuesday radio interview with KBTZ. "Everybody knows about Tulsa nationally, and they know that you can win here, and that's why our candidate pool is going to be pretty good."
On Monday, Gragg originally said TU would like to have a new coach in place by winter break, and he expanded on that Tuesday.
"You want someone on staff before Christmas if possible, before the holidays, because it gives you at least a few days to maybe salvage some recruiting," he explained.
Tulsa plans to cast a wide net when looking at candidates.
"We will talk to some sitting head coaches, we'll talk to former head coaches and we'll talk to coordinators," said Gragg. "I think it's very important for the people involved to have a lot of experience on the college level.
"Coordinator is important, because it shows that you're capable of running at least half the team. Obviously the coordinator reports to the head coach, but when you've been a coordinator on this level, I think it gives you a wide breadth of experience, and it's something that translates very well into becoming a head coach."
Like the recent basketball coaching search, Tulsa has hired a search firm to assist with several aspects of the football search.
"You don't want to talk to a lot of agents if you're sitting in my seat, that's what the search firm does," Gragg explained. "I don't want to have a lot of personal contact until I sit down and talk to a person. They do the prescreening, and then I get to sit down with those that are really serious."
Doug Meacham and Jake Spavital are just two of several names that surfaced early as potential candidates. Other possibilities include Penn State assistant Herb Hand, Louisiana Lafayette head coach Mark Hudspeth, Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery, Utah State head coach Matt Wells, Colorado School of Mines head coach Bob Stitt and East Carolina offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley.
Other possibilities that appear to be actively pursuing the job are Tennessee Titans linebacker coach Lou Spanos, Missouri defensive coordinator Dave Steckel, Texas A&M assistant David Beaty, Tampa Bay Buccaneers special assistant Butch Davis and former Arkansas and Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt.
"Tulsa has hired a firm for their coaching search and they have shown some interest in me," Nutt told SWNN am1037 in a radio interview on Wednesday morning. "It would be a great opportunity."
Several other names have been mentioned by various media outlets, as coaches from across the country reportedly throw their hat in the ring. Stay tuned to our Coaching Search Updates in Hurricane Alley for a full list of potential candidates, as well as continued updates on Tulsa's coaching search.