NIRMALENDU MAJUMDAR / AP Enlarge
One of the candidates to be the next University of Toledo head football coach is helping prepare Florida to compete in this weekend's Southeastern Conference championship game.
Dan McCarney, who was the head coach at Iowa State for 12 seasons, is in his first year as the Gators' defensive line coach. No. 2 Florida plays No. 1 Alabama on Saturday in the Georgia Dome for the SEC title.
UT is thought to have interest in McCarney, 55, and he has also been mentioned as a possible associate head coach to Bill Snyder at Kansas State. McCarney acknowledged on Sunday he has been hearing his name in reports about job openings, but wouldn't discuss any of the specific positions.
"It's a compliment, I think, to the program I'm a part of right now and the success we're having this year," McCarney told reporters in Gainesville, Fla.
McCarney has spent the majority of his career in the Midwest, leading Iowa State from 1995-2006. He also worked as an assistant coach at Iowa, his alma mater, and Wisconsin.
The connection to UT is that McCarney and Rockets athletic director Mike O'Brien are both from Iowa City, Iowa. O'Brien also worked at fellow Big 12 school Kansas State from 1997-2001. Toledo played a home-and-home football series with Iowa State in 2006 and 2007.
O'Brien has declined to comment on specific candidates to replace Tom Amstutz, but he is also believed to be considering Missouri defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus and Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops, among others.
McCarney took the Cyclones to five bowl games in his final seven years as head coach. His best season was 9-3 in 2000, which included the school's first bowl win. With a career record of 56-85 he holds the most wins of any coach in Iowa State history.
Iowa State had winning
records in three other years under McCarney, including a 7-5 campaign in 2004 that earned him the 2004 Big 12 coach of the year award. He resigned in 2006 in the midst of a 4-8 season. McCarney reportedly was a finalist for Northern Illinois' head coach opening last season.
McCarney told reporters he understands the urgency of schools wanting to move quickly to replace a coach but wouldn't talk to representatives from any program until after Saturday's game.
"Right now, all of us as assistant coaches are focusing," McCarney said. "Our time and our concentration and our loyalty and our dedication is to Urban Meyer, and to these players and to this program to make sure we do everything that we can to win the SEC championship and to get to the national championship game.''
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