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Texas Longhorns coaching search continues

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A look at the candidates for the two open positions on the Horns staff.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

With the news that Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire won't join the Texas Longhorns as the school's tight end/special teams coach, head coach Charlie Strong still has two open positions on his staff.

Now that National Signing Day is over and the spring evaluation period is still weeks away, there's some time for Strong to get these hires right.

Here are some current candidates for the two spots:

Gilmer head coach Jeff Traylor

One of the longest-tenured and most successful head coaches in East Texas, Traylor led Gilmer to a state title this season with help from Texas cornerback signee Kris Boyd and 2016 linebacker commit Demarco Boyd. As a result, TheOldCoach.com named Traylor the 4A Division II Head Coach of the Year. He's under consideration for the tight ends/special teams coaching position and would bring strong ties to the talent-laden East Texas region where Texas A&M is increasingly finding success.

An interview will happen on Tuesday. Right now, Traylor looks like the leading candidate to land the job.

Virginia Tech Hokies associate head coach/running backs coach Shane Beamer

Beamer's name was connected to the job much earlier in the process, but it's not clear whether he's still a serious candidate or even if he would leave Blacksburg and his father. Another potential impediment is that he might end up making a backwards move by deciding to come to Austin if he doesn't have a title similar to his role as associate head coach for the Hokies.

At this point, Texas looks much more likely to hire a successful high school coach from the state than to entice Beamer to leave Virginia Tech.

Chicago Bears linebackers coach Clint Hurtt

Strong's former defensive line coach at Louisville might be on the Texas staff now except for the show-cause penalty that hangs above him until late October of this season. That penalty is in place because when Hurtt was on the staff at Miami, he provided impermissible benefits to recruits and lied to investigators attempting to build a case against rogue booster Nevin Shapiro.

So Texas would have to appear before the NCAA's Committee on Infractions to "show cause" for why there shouldn't be any penalties for hiring Hurtt. The good news for the Horns is that the major recruiting restrictions placed on Hurtt in the early part of his penalty have come up, leaving only attendance at a regional rules seminars and a "zero tolerance" policy on further violations as the remaining hurdles Hurtt must clear before October.

Hurtt has some limited experience recruiting in the state of Texas, but his primary value on the recruiting trail would stem from his connections to South Florida, where he has a long and significant history of success.

LSU Tigers coach Brick Haley

Haley may want to leave Baton Rouge after he was unceremoniously kicked to the curb when head coach Les Miles hired Ed Orgeron to coach the defensive line at LSU and then reassigned Haley to an administrative role at the school. Known as one of the best recruiters among defensive line coaches since taking over that role in Baton Rouge in 2009, Haley also has a strong history of developing talent, as a parade of prospects moved on to the NFL from LSU during his tenure.

In the 2014 recruiting class, he had two significant recruiting victories over Texas in landing defensive end Sione Teuhema and defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao. Overall, he's landed seven players ranked in the top-10 nationally at their respective positions, along with numerous other high-level prospects.

Strong might prefer Hurtt because they've worked together before, but if Haley is available, he has the best combination of recruiting ability and proven success as a position coach developing players.