Prankster Calls Ken Wisenhunt To Gauge Interest In A Potential UT Head Coaching Position

Scott Boehm

Texas is falling victim to the same prankster who harmed the USC coaching search.

Want to know what 32 year old college dropouts do in their free time? Well, according to a Deadspin report on Thursday, some like to prank call professional coaches and pretend to be affiliated with coaching searches.

Ken Tarr, an unemployed Los Angeles resident, recently claimed responsibility for the string of faulty head coaching contacts at USC as well as a number of other fake "job-opening" phone calls. His efforts lead to a USC press conference where Athletic Director Pat Haden publicly condemned Tarr's actions and warned other potential candidates about his habits. It appears that Tarr has moved away from the Trojan coaching search and provided Deadspin with intel on his next victim: The University of Texas.

"I just left three messages for the San Diego Chargers, and I'm expecting to hear back from them at any moment," he said. "I want to hear what you have to say, but I'm offering John Pagano interest in the University of Texas job. I'm offering Ken Whisenhunt something, uh, I just wrote down. And my next thing is, I'm trying to reach Will Muschamp and just offer him some defensive coordinator position for some small school, to see if he gets insulted or not."

Tarr contacted Deadspin a few hours later and provided them with video of his conversation with Wisenhunt. That video is in the embedded link, but below is a partial transcript.
Whisenhunt: And what kind of position are you talking about?

Tarr:
Well, it's been talked about quite a bit about Mack Brown, and unfortunately, Mr. Dodds is going to be resigning. The potential is maybe, you know, for you to lead the program. I wanted to first, like, reach out. Eventually, of course, Mr. Dodds will be calling himself. I'm actually in Los Angeles, and I was going to maybe see about arranging to go down to San Diego in the next couple days. Like I said, I don't want to create a stir or anything. I'm just basically trying to gauge whether or not you've got a passion for Longhorn football at all.

Whisenhunt: Sure. Sure, I think it's a great program. I've got a lot of respect. I've had a lot number of guys in my program. Sam Acho is one of the guys that played under me, and I have a lot of respect for the program, and certainly the history of it. So, absolutely.

Tarr: Excellent, excellent, great. Well, I like a lot of what you're doing with the young man from Chadron State—Woodhead—and I keep following the team, and as it will progress I think we'll probably be reaching out to a lot of different candidates. I'll make it very clear that you're the one that I would like to select, and we'll go from there.

Whisenhunt: Sounds good.

Wisenhunt, who spent four years developing a dominant Steelers offense before winning playing in a Super Bowl as the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, did not shy away from expressing interest in a Longhorn coaching position.

So what does this mean in the big picture? Probably nothing. Early indications on some pay-sites believe that potential head coaches are already being vetted by "football people." What's more interesting here is how easy it is to dupe football coaches over the phone and extract important information from them.

Of course, at this point in the season, even the head coaching search itself is technically speculation. Still, Wisenhunt is a proven successful coach, so throw his name into the rumor mill.

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