NJ Summary article on all the candidates. EZ will probably reject all of them to further establish his independence.
NEWARK — Delaware’s rise to football prominence began in 1940 with a new coach who had Duke University ties.
Bill Murray had been a standout player with the Blue Devils who began his coaching career at the Winston-Salem Children’s Home before being discovered by Delaware. He coached the Blue Hens through 1950 before leaving to become Duke’s coach.
With Delaware in the market for a football coach again, Duke defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has surfaced as a possible candidate, The News Journal has learned.
Knowles was the head coach at Cornell from 2004 through 2009 before leaving for Duke to rejoin coach David Cutcliffe. He had served on Cutcliffe’s staff at Mississippi in 2003 and was in the running to become Nebraska’s defensive coordinator when Cornell hired him.
“This guy would be great for the job,” said one person familiar with Knowles’ background and the Delaware position. “He’s got everything they’re looking for.”
Attempts to reach Knowles on Friday were unsuccessful.
Delaware dismissed K.C. Keeler on Monday with athletic director Eric Ziady citing concerns about the state of the football program and its direction.
“We must reinvigorate our program and re-energize our supporters,” Ziady said.
Keeler, a former Blue Hens linebacker, was 86-52 in 11 seasons with three NCAA title game appearances, highlighted by the 2003 I-AA championship. His predecessors Murray, Dave Nelson and Tubby Raymond – each a College Football Hall of Famer – also won national championships.
Some early speculation has centered on Rutgers offensive coordinator Dave Brock, who said Friday he would not comment.
The job also is expected to interest many coaches with Delaware connections. That includes Delaware offensive line coach Gregg Perry, long popular among former Blue Hens; 29-year-old ex-backup quarterback Ryan Carty, who coordinates the Chip Kelly-installed offense at New Hampshire; Rutgers linebackers coach Dave Cohen, a UD assistant under Raymond and Keeler’s defensive coordinator in 2003; and Bill Cubit, former Western Michigan coach now the offensive coordinator at Illinois.
Knowles, 47, is a Philadelphia native who was a high school teammate of Rich Gannon, the All-American Delaware quarterback who was NFL MVP with the Oakland Raiders in 2002.
Knowles was an All-Ivy League defensive end at Cornell. He was then an assistant coach at Cornell and at Western Michigan, where he coordinated the defense, before becoming coach of the Big Red, which he guided to a 26-34 record over six seasons.