Posted by Chip Patterson
Tim Brewster's mid-season firing from his post as head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers had led to an early spin of the coaching carousel. But what would college football be if we couldn't sit around discussing coaching rumors. Tony Dungy, reportedly one of Minnesota's top targets, has already declined interest in the job. It has been suggested that Minnesota should seek the services of former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach, and he has already stated he is willing to listen to anybody. Jeff Horton, the Golden Gophers first-year offensive coordinator, has found himself assuming the duties of the departed Brewster and has already begun endorsing candidates for the open position when he was speaking to the media on Tuesday.
"Scott Linehan would be an awesome candidate," said Horton, who was chosen to coach the Gophers' final five games this season after Tim Brewster was fired Sunday. "He would bring his record here with the Vikings, and their offense speaks for itself. He's coached in college before. He knows the college game, and he's been on the highest level in the pros."
Linehan has spent the better part of the last decade bouncing from several different positions in the NFL. He served as the offensive coordinator at Minnesota (including the high-octane 2004 season, referenced above), Miami, and served the same position for the last two seasons with the Detroit Lions. Linehan's only head coaching experience was a brief stint with the St. Louis Rams that included an 11-25 record and getting fired four games into his third season. Horton has spent the last four season working on Linehan's staff (2006-2008 with St. Louis, 2009 with Detroit), and clearly wants to get his "close friend" back into the college game. Linehan's last college coaching experience was serving as offensive coordinator from 1996-2001 at Washington and Louisville.
Linehan does not bring the type of resume that Leach would, and might not be the first choice of fans and boosters. The Pioneer Press suggested on Tuesday that Minnesota might pursue former Golden Gophers quarterback Marc Trestman. Trestman, now head coach of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes, would not address the situation with the Canadian press.
For more breaking news and analysis follow us on Twitter @CBSSportsNCAAF or subscribe to our RSS Feed.