Texas coaching search: Red McCombs' candidate and Jim Mora interest

USA TODAY Sports

More Chucky and a new coach seriously onto the radar.

One Texas mega booster has a preference for the next head football coach of the Texas Longhorns, as Red McCombs told the San Antonio Express-News on Thursday that his recommendation is NFL analyst Jon Gruden, and there's a new name to seriously put on the list of potential candidates.

Never mind that athletic director Steve Patterson said explicitly in Mack Brown's resignation press conference that the next coach will have extensive experience in college and while Gruden did work in college for some time at the start of his career, it's been decades since he has and he was never even a coordinator at that level.

Still, McCombs believes that Gruden is the best out there and that Chucky comes highly recommended by football people. Or maybe he's just providing coverage for the real targets in the search.

So there's that, as McCombs doesn't exactly help the perception that no one is really in charge of the hiring process at Texas, already fueled by the manner in which the discussions with Nick Saban's agent Jimmy Sexton became public as part of Wallace Hall's dirt-throwing political strategy.

Meanwhile, the prospects of news coming out about an interview with Baylor head coach Art Briles increase by the moment with the Bears now finished with their season after a disappointing performance against Central Florida that has some Texas fans questioning Briles and his ability to produce in big games outside of Waco.

Another name surfacing with UCLA done with their season is Jim Mora, Jr.:

Throw him onto the list of names now connected to the Texas job in terms of some type of contact or interest and slot him in the tier below Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher and possibly Briles in terms of potential top targets.

There was also a report from Barking Carnival that co-offensive coordinator and play caller Major Applewhite is out, having agreed to a severance package from the university, but he denied that report to the American-Statesman. A denial that means very little, as Applewhite probably wouldn't officially be out until the next coach is in place -- he's definitely looking into other options while perhaps holding out a small bit of hope that he can stay at Texas.

The coaching coach is heating up with new rumors and reports seemingly by the moment with less than two weeks until the date Patterson wants to have a hire in place.

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