By Bill Koch
The Cincinnati Enquirer
The football coach who replaces Rick Minter at the University of Cincinnati will be expected to lead the Bearcats successfully into the Big East Conference, build on the foundation that's in place and create a buzz in that will lead to higher attendance.
Those are three of the main items on athletic director Bob Goin's wish list as he begins the search for the school's 36th football coach. Beyond that, Goin said there are no specific requirements for the new coach.
Minter was fired Monday after 10 years at UC, where went 53-63-1 record , went to four bowls and won one Conference USA co-championship.
Those with head coaching experience and assistant coaches without it are welcome to apply. The UC athletic director said he will consider so-called big-name coaches as well as those who aren't so well known.
"We'll do some pursuing, too," Goin said.
Goin also suggested that the school will not shy away from considering a coach who might command a hefty salary.
"If there's a high-profile coach out there that we think is the best fit for us, I'm not embarrassed to talk to anybody in this country about it," Goin said, "because that person can also generate enough interest and revenue to make it very worthwhile for everybody, so I'm not afraid of that.
"I have enough contacts that there will be some people that maybe you won't consider high profile but I do."
UC football coach Rick Minter speaks to members of the press after being relieved of his position Monday.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)
Two candidates who might receive consideration are Utah head coach Urban Meyer and Greg Hudson, the defensive coordinator at Minnesota. Both have ties to UC.
Meyer, who coached Bowling Green to a 17-6 record in two years, is in his first year at Utah, where the Utes are 9-2. He's known for his wide-open, balanced offensive attacks. He was a defensive back at UC from 1982-84.
Hudson worked with Minter at UC from 1997-2000 as linebackers coach and assistant head coach. He began as linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator at Minnesota before being promoted this year to defensive coordinator.
Another interesting possibility is Mike Price, the former Washington State coach who was fired last April after four months on the job at Alabama for his conduct in a Pensacola, Fla., strip club.
Price, 57, has been actively campaigning for another chance to be a head coach. He took two Washington State teams to the Rose Bowl.
Goin said there is no timetable for selecting Minter's successor. The search will be handled at the outset by a screening committee which will be announced later this week. That committee will pass along candidates to an evaluation and recommendation committee.
The UC athletic director said he will not be rushed by concerns over losing recruiting time.
"We're identifying our coach of the future," Goin said. "I'm not going to let one recruit or two recruits dictate who we select.
"If someone surfaces immediately and everybody thinks that's the best fit, we'll do it, but we're going to take the time necessary to get the job done."
In the meantime, Goin said, the current assistant coaches will be retained and will be expected to carry on with recruiting until a new head coach is hired. Associate athletic director Paul Klaczak will serve as a transition officer who will work with the assistants.
Goin said he believes the UC job will attract top candidates because of the Bearcats' move to the Big East in 2005.
"It's just not going to be something we're going to hand out because nobody else wants it," Goin said.
Whoever gets the job, Minter said, will find the challenge to be formidable.
"This is a hard job," Minter said. "I never had to say that publicly but it was always out there. It's a difficult place. It's a metro school. You're in the heart of the Big Ten. And the (Mid-American Conference) was always a big thorn in our side.
"The bar's been raised. Whoever comes in here is going to have to answer that bar. It'll be a challenge to keep up with everybody that's out there, but if they think a new direction is what they need to do that, then that's their choice."
Minter's UC records
*Played in a bowl game
By the numbers
4-5-1: Minter's record against rival Miami.
55: Most points scored by a Minter team (1995, vs. Northern Illinois).
63: Most points allowed by a Minter team (1998, Syracuse).
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