The Texas Longhorns had their new offensive coordinator until they didn't.
Despite multiple reports from Texas outlets that Tulsa Golden Hurricane co-offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert accepted the job on Thursday evening, there was skepticism from several outlets, and on Friday the news broke that Gilbert had turned down the job.
It's not immediately apparent why Gilbert decided to stay in the relative backwater of college football instead of taking a position that would have represented a clear and significant advancement for his career, but it's possible that Gilbert was concerned about the long-term job security of Texas head coach Charlie Strong and doesn't want to risk being fired after one year.
TCU Horned Frogs co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie was definitely concerned about Strong's job security:
Sources told me Texas didn't land TCU's Sonny Cumbie because administrators wouldn't tell him if Charlie Strong would be around after 2016— Anwar Richardson (@AnwarRichardson) December 11, 2015
Horns247 is also reporting that the contract negotiations went south:
Gilbert left Austin under the impression he had a three-year deal from Texas in the range 650,000 to 750,000 per year for three years, according to sources close to the situation. However, Strong had only offered Gilbert a two-year contract and the miscommunication changed negotiations completely.
So if the Longhorns missed on Gilbert because of a miscommunication about contract details, there's nothing to call that other than ridiculously incompetent and stupid.
When Cumbie turned down the position, it was understandable -- he has a good thing going on in Fort Worth and is on track to become a head coaching candidate in short order if the Horned Frogs offense continues to produce at a high level.
But missing on Gilbert is much more inexplicable and looks much worse for the program.
Now head coach Charlie Strong may have to interview a new candidate or circle back to California Golden Bears offensive coordinator Tony Franklin, who apears to be a third option after becoming the third offensive coordinator to interview for the position on Thursday.
At this point, however, it seems fair to ask an ugly two-part question.
Does anyone want this position and is Strong toast at Texas now that none of the top candidates want the job?