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Fedora still Southern Miss front-runner; hunt not over

By Mike Baldwin Published: December 9, 2007
STILLWATER — Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Larry Fedora is still considered the front-runner to be named head coach at Southern Mississippi but USM athletic director Richard Giannini said a decision probably won't be made this weekend.

Fedora interviewed with Giannini on Tuesday. Fedora and his wife, Christi, flew to Hattiesburg, Miss., on Friday. After spending most of the day with Giannini, Fedora is believed to be the odds-on favorite. Giannini, though, emphasized on Saturday it's not a done deal.

"We are going through the process that we have been on,” Giannini told the Biloxi Sun Herald. "Obviously, we had a guy come to Hattiesburg and we have a second guy we are looking at. The process isn't over, yet.

"I don't think anything will happen over the weekend. That pretty much says it all.”

According to sources, Fedora is in Stillwater and is expected to attend today's practice, OSU's only bowl practice scheduled until final exams end on Friday.

Giannini said he might interview at least more candidate on Tuesday. According to sources in Mississippi, that candidate is believed to be Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson.

"My list is more than two (names),” Giannini said. "I could bring more than two to campus. Everybody (in the media) thought the guy we brought in (Fedora) was the guy. And at the end of the day, maybe he is the guy. I don't want to make the wrong decision.”

According to sources, one major issue in negotiations is Fedora wants assurances his assistants would receive competitive salaries up to $1.2 million combined a year. Southern Miss assistants received $800,000 combined this past season.

USM offensive and defensive coordinators made $130,000 this season.

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