The University of Nebraska fired former Jon Gruden assistant Bill Callahan, who coached the Oakland Raiders against Gruden’s Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII, on Friday after producing two losing seasons out of the last four years. Nebraska's 5-7 season came to an end on Friday in a 65-51 loss at Colorado. Callahan was fired the next day.
Media speculation has created a list of potential candidates for the Cornhuskers’ vacancy, and on that list is Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin, a Nebraska native who played offensive and defensive tackle at Nebraska from 1959-63, was a Cornhuskers assistant coach from 1966-72 and the school’s defensive coordinator from 1973-76.
After Tampa Bay's 19-13 victory over Washington on Sunday, PewterReport.com asked Kiffin if he had heard anything from Nebraska about the job opening, to which he replied: “Well, right now I haven’t heard anything right now, so we’ll just wait and see on that.”
When asked if he was interested in interviewing for the head coaching position at Nebraska, Kiffin, whose contract expires after the 2007 season, said, “You know, I spent a little time there, so we’ll see.”
Kiffin’s son, Lane, who is the head coach of the Oakland Raiders, discussed his father’s potential candidacy for the position when it first came open in 2004 on the Jim Rome Show last week, which fueled speculation that Kiffin could become a legitimate candidate for the head coaching job this time around.
According to the Associated Press late Sunday night, Bo Pellini, a former Nebraska defensive coordinator under Frank Solich, interviewed for the job with interim athletic director Tom Osborne, who is the winningest head coach in school history over a 25-year period. The next interviewee is expected to be University of Buffalo head coach Turner Gill, a legendary Nebraska quarterback and a former Osborne assistant coach.
Kiffin, who has been Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator since 1996, does have collegiate head coaching experience. He was the head coach at North Carolina State from 1980-82.
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Scott Reynolds is in his 25th year of covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the vice president, publisher and senior Bucs beat writer for PewterReport.com. Author of the popular SR's Fab 5 column on Fridays, Reynolds oversees web development and forges marketing partnerships for PewterReport.com in addition to his editorial duties. A graduate of Kansas State University in 1995, Reynolds spent six years giving back to the community as the defensive line coach for his sons' Pop Warner team, the South Pasco Predators. Reynolds can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org