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Update of candidates for Tulane football coaching position

While Rich Rodriguez may visit with Tulane this week about their head football coaching position, there are other names associated with the job.

Another source tells sportsNOLA.com that Mike Leach may speak with Tulane officials as well.

The former Texas Tech head coach guided the Red Raiders to 10 consecutive winning seasons and bowl games in Lubbock. He posted an impressive 84-43 record. He has built prolific passing teams everywhere he has been, including as an offensive coordinator at Kentucky with Tim Couch and at Oklahoma under Bob Stoops.

He beat Oklahoma in 2005 and beat Texas in 2008, major accomplishments for Texas Tech.

While at Tech, he received interest from both Washington and Auburn for their vacant head coaching positions.

Leach was fired following a controversy over the alleged inappropriate treatment of Adam James, the son of former SMU and New England Patriots star Craig James, an ESPN analyst.

Having been passed over for higher profile jobs since leaving Texas Tech, Leach may listen if Tulane has genuine interest. Both he and Rodriguez may see Tulane as a means to rehabilitating somewhat tarnished images in otherwise outstanding coaching careers.

Another name to watch in the Tulane coaching search include Texas defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Manny Diaz, who served as an assistant previously at Mississippi State, Middle Tennessee, North Carolina State and Florida State.

Jeff Jagodzinski is another name under consideration. Jagodzinski previously served as the head coach at Boston College, was the head coach of the UFL Omaha Nighthawks in 2010. He was fired after one season.

Jeff Jagodzinski, former head coach of the Boston College Eagles, watches on the sidelines.Jeff Jagodzinski, former head coach of the Boston College Eagles, watches on the sidelines.

Jagodzinski was a graduate assistant at LSU in 1987 and 1988 under Mike Archer and served as an offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Jagodzinski also served as an NFL assistant with the Atlanta Falcons. The resume is strong but Jagodzinski was fired at Boston College after interviewing for the vacant New York Jets head coaching job despite being told not to do so by BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo.

Jagodzinski was fired by current Tampa Bay head coach Raheem Morris before the Buccaneers played their final preseason game in 2009.

Steed Lobotzke is the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Wake Forest. He has been at Wake Forest for 11 seasons.

Lobotzke is widely regarded as an offensive innovator with his spread principles. He worked with Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe at Ohio University prior to going to Wake Forest. He also coached at his alma mater, Air Force Academy.

New Orleans Saints wide receivers coach and New Orleans native Curtis Johnson is another consideration. Johnson has been with Sean Payton since Payton joined the Saints in 2006. He has presided over a productive wide receiving corps, including Marques Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson.

A no-nonsense, tough disciplinarian, Johnson made his mark at the University of Miami from 1996 through 2005 as both an excellent assistant coach and marvelous recruiter. He recruited the New Orleans area very well for the Hurricanes and coached the likes of Reggie Wayne of John Ehret, Santana Moss and Houston Texans star Andre Johnson. Miami won the national championship in 2001.

Prior to Miami, Johnson was an assistant at California, SMU, San Diego State and Hawaii. At San Diego State, Johnson recruited Marshall Faulk from Carver to the west coast. Johnson can recruit and knows the territory. He attended St. Charles High School.

Two high profile assistants with New Orleans ties are worth real consideration. LSU running backs coach Frank Wilson and Alabama associate head coach and running backs coach Burton Burns have apparently not heard from Tulane.

A former St. Augustine star and New Orleans native, Burns coached at Tulane for four seasons before joining Bowden at Clemson. He also coached at Southern University after serving his alma mater, St. Aug., as a very successful assistant coach.

Wilson also graduated from St. Augustine and attended Nicholls State. He served as a very good head coach at O. Perry Walker and served one year as Director of Athletics for the New Orleans Public School System before becoming a top college assistant at Ole Miss, Southern Miss and Tennessee before coming back to Louisiana to LSU.

Les Miles gave Wilson a ringing endorsement for the Tulane job on October 19. Wilson was named National Recruiter of the Year by Rivals.com for his 2011 recruiting for LSU.

With all due respect to Chris Scelfo, who did a respectful job at Tulane, Rodriguez should have gotten the job in 1998. Instead, he found the grass, the fields greener elsewhere. This time around, perhaps sound rationale could prevail. That could be a good thing for Tulane football and long-suffering fans.

At the very least, the list of potential candidates to succeed Bob Toledo is encouraging, promising. Following Bowden's departure, Cowen and Dickson have tried and failed to replicate that success with their hires. It is time to try, try again.