Auburn's reported list of coaching candidates includes a bunch of names you'd expect, but there's one you might not.
The Auburn Tigers have reportedly reached out to Louisville's Charlie Strong about their coaching vacancy (Strong denies this in "angry" fashion). Bobby Petrino, Gus Malzahn, Jimbo Fisher and Gary Patterson are all also reportedly on Auburn's list.
One under-the-radar name is UCLA's Jim Mora, whom we're told the boosters like in part due to his NFL experience. From Spencer Hall's report:
The focus at Auburn is reportedly on Petrino, but the dark horse name in the search remains Jim Mora, a favorite of some boosters and someone with everything Auburn is reportedly looking for: NFL experience, an actual college head coaching tenure now, and the ability to develop NFL talent. The latter has been one of the more substantial criticisms of Gene Chizik's tenure: both Nick Fairley and Cam Newton were JUCO transfers, and after four years the only prospects from this year's team are Phillip Lutzenkirchen and Corey Lemonier (if he decides to go into the draft.)
In a state with Nick Saban's Loutish Academy For Hang Clean Enthusiasts just cranking out whole classes of NFL draft picks, it is a legitimate concern for anyone wanting to eke out a living recruiting football players. Whether Mora's interested or not is unknown.
Mora gave himself a job-hopping reputation when he pined for a Pac-12 spot while in the NFL, so it's hard to say whether he'd leave the Bruins after a single season. Especially since he's a west coast guy -- he has no SEC experience, and neither did his dad. There's also, you know, Auburn's NCAA stuff.
Auburn could be in position to double his current salary, though it's hard to imagine UCLA just letting him walk after a season that included a win over USC and could end with a Rose Bowl.
At very least, he's one of the few names that's been tied to Auburn that's struck me as both a quality choice and not-unrealistically attainable.
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