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Names surfacing for ASU coaching job

Arizona State’s disappointing late-season
collapse that
has seen them drop four straight games and finish the
regular season
with a 6-6 record has cost Dennis Erickson his job.

No surprise there and now the attention turns to who might
his replacement be.

Arizona Sports’ very own Paul Calvisi tweeted
on
Saturday
the first group
of names to surface for the now vacant head coaching
position in
Tempe, and the list doesn’t not include any big name
veteran coaches a
la Rich Rodriguez, who was hired last week by the
University of Arizona.

It does include three men with head coaching experience:
Houston head
coach Kevin Sumlin, Eastern Michigan head coach Ron
English and
former Miami coach Randy Shannon. Others on the Calvisi’s
list are
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Oregon
offensive
coordinator Mark Helfrich and Tennessee defensive
coordinator Justin
Wilcox.

Both English and Helfrich have coached at ASU; English was
a graduate
asssistant under Bruce Snyder from 1994 to 1995 and the
defensive
backs coach under Snyder and Dirk Koetter from 1998 to
2002. Helfrich
was Koetter’s quarterbacks coach from 2001 to 2005.

Sumlin, of the names above, appears to be the hottest
commodity.
He’s coached at the University of Houston since 2008 after
a successful
stint as the co-offensive coordinator at the University of
Oklahoma. The
Cougars are currently 12-0 and in line for a BCS bowl
spot. Sumlin’s
overall record at UH is 35-16. His contract with Houston
runs through
the 2015 season after he signed an extension in January of
2010. The
reported buyout of his contract is $600,000.

English took over a dreadful Eastern Michigan program in
2009 on the
heels of fifteen consecutive losing seasons. The Eagles
went 0-12 in
2009, 2-10 last season, and finished up their regular
season at 6-6 after
a loss on Friday at Northern Illinois.

Smart, 35, heads up the top defense in the nation at
Alabama. The
Crimson Tide ‘D’ holds opponents to under 200 yards of
offense and 9
points per game. Smart has been the coordinator since
2008, and in
that time the Tide have not ranked lower than 5th
nationally in total
defense.

Helfrich took over the Oregon offense after three years as
Colorado’s
offensive coordinator. In 2010, when the Ducks played for
the BCS
National Championship, they boasted the top offense in the
country
(530.7 yards and 47 points per game).

Shannon, a former Miami linebacker, joined Dennis
Erickson’s staff at the
‘U’ in 1991 and was part of the Hurricanes’ national
championship team
that season. He became the defensive coordinator in 2001,
when he
won the Frank Broyles Award, presented annually to the top
assistant
coach in the country. The ‘Canes won the National
Championship that
season. Shannon became the head coach in 2007, and guided
Miami to
a 28-22 record over four seasons before being fired
following the 2010
campaign.

Wilcox is the youngest and greenest of the bunch. He’s
only 35 years
old, and has been a defensive coordinator for only six
seasons, first at
Boise State and then Tennessee, where he joined Derek
Dooley’s staff in
2010.

Arizona Sports’ Paul Calvisi contributed to this
report