FAU's long list of possible coaches includes Leach
Florida Atlantic's athletic director says his long list of possible candidates to succeed coach Howard Schnellenberger includes former coaches Mike Leach, Randy Shannon and Jim Leavitt.
The 77-year-old Schnellenberger, the coach since the program's first season in 2001, plans to retire at the end of this year. The program reaches a milestone Saturday when it christens a $70 million, 30,000-seat on-campus stadium.
Athletic director Craig Angelos said Wednesday he'll begin a formal search for Schnellenberger's successor soon and hopes to hire someone around the end of the season.
Leach coached at Texas Tech, Shannon at Miami and Leavitt at South Florida. All were fired within the past two years.
''They're great people, and I'm trying to cast a wide net, whether it be a current head coach, former head coach or current assistant coach,'' Angelos said. ''I've talked to people informally, and I've compiled a notebook of people I wanted to talk to, but I haven't really started looking at it too much yet. After Oct. 15, I'm sure I'll spend a lot more time on it.''
Leach went 84-43 in 10 seasons at Texas Tech before he was fired in December 2009 following allegations he mistreated a player who had a concussion. Leach denied the allegations and sued for wrongful termination.
Shannon went 28-22 in four seasons at Miami and was fired a year ago. The program is now immersed in an NCAA investigation stemming from allegations a Ponzi schemer provided money, sex, cars and gifts to 72 players over a nine-year period ending in 2010.
Leavitt was fired in January 2010 after a school investigation concluded he grabbed one of his players by the throat during halftime of a game and slapped him in the face, then lied about it. Leavitt, who went 95-57 as the only head coach in the first 13 years of the program, received $2.75 million in the settlement of a lawsuit he filed against the school.