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Published: Wednesday, 12/6/2000

Vanderlinden among thick list for Rockets coaching job

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Ron Vanderlinden was fired as the University of Maryland's football coach on Nov. 19 after four losing seasons and a 15-29 record.

He hopes he's not unemployed very long.

But whether Vanderlinden will be hired as the University of Toledo's new coach won't be determined for perhaps two weeks.

He is one of eight former or current head coaches who have either applied for the UT opening, or are being considered for the vacancy, accord-ing to documents obtained from the university.

“I clearly would be interested,” Vanderlinden said last night. “I think that would be a great job.”

Others with head coaching experience among the list of 41 candidates include Cornell's Pete Mangurian, Richmond's Jim Reid, Massachusetts's Mark Whipple, Northern Iowa's Mike Dunbar, and former coaches Bob Wagner of Hawaii, Bob Simmons of Oklahoma State, and Paul Schudel, the former Ball State coach who currently is the offensive line coach at Virginia.

Dunbar, 51, was a former UT assistant under Gary Pinkel. He has compiled a 29-15 record in four seasons at Northern Iowa, a Division I-AA school.

Simmons, 47, is a former Bowling Green player and Falcon assistant coach. He was fired by Oklahoma State last month after compiling a 30-38 record in six seasons.

Vanderlinden, 45, was a Bowling Green graduate assistant in 1978. A Livonia, Mich., native, he also has had coaching stops at Michigan, Ball State, Colorado and Northwestern.

His base salary at Maryland was $142,333, and his overall package was reported to be worth between $225,000 and $250,000.

Under Vanderlinden, the Terrapins had a 7-25 record in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and a 2-22 mark against schools other than Wake Forest and Duke.

Pinkel, who accepted the job at Missouri last Thursday, was the most successful coach in UT history, posting a 73-37-3 record in 10 seasons.

He also had a base salary of $111,000 at UT, but incentives pushed the maximum to $210,000.

The Rockets finished the season ranked No.25 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, yet were not chosen for a bowl game.

Vanderlinden said he had yet to be contacted by UT athletic director Pete Liske.

“I think Toledo has a great program,” Vanderlinden said. “I have known Gary Pinkel for a long time and I think he did a great job there. I think I could do well there, too.”

The list also includes five NFL assistant coaches, including Indianapolis Colts defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, Dallas Cowboys offensive assistant Buddy Geis, Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, Minnesota Vikings quarterbacks coach Alex Wood, and Green Bay Packers linebackers coach Bo Pelini.

Two former UT assistants who have since joined Pinkel's staff at Missouri - defensive coordinator Tom Amstutz and offensive coordinator Dave Christensen, also are on the list.

Liske is planning to interview both men this week. Amstutz and Christensen plan to attend UT's football banquet Friday night at the student union on campus.

Other prominent names under consideration for the UT job are Penn State quarterbacks coach Jay Paterno, son of legendary coach Joe Paterno; former Missouri defensive coordinator Rick Hunley; Ohio State defensive coordinator Fred Pagac; OSU tight end coach/recruiting coordinator Bill Conley; Michigan defensive line coach Brady Hoke; UCLA offensive coordinator Al Borges; Purdue offensive coordinator Jim Chaney; Notre Dame offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers; Michigan State wide receivers coach Don Treadwell and associate head coach/secondary coach Mark Dantonio.



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