NORMAN — College football's coaching carousel is in full swing and, as usual, some Oklahoma assistants are in the thick of it.
Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell could soon be added to the long list of Sooner offensive coordinators to land head coaching gigs.
Former Bob Stoops offensive coordinators Mike Leach, Mark Mangino, Chuck Long, Kevin Sumlin and Kevin Wilson each left Oklahoma for head coaching positions.
Heupel and Norvell, Oklahoma's co-offensive coordinators, each have been linked to jobs, and both boast impressive resumes that would make them attractive to prospective programs.
If either — or both — accept a job elsewhere, a couple of former offensive coordinators' returns might make sense under the right circumstances.
Rivals.com reported Tuesday that Heupel, who quarterbacked Oklahoma to the 2000 national championship, turned down Louisiana Tech's head coaching position.
The Louisiana Tech gig would seemingly be an attractive one for a first-time head coach. Derek Dooley was the coach there from 2007-09 before leaving for the Tennessee job, and Sonny Dykes was hired away by California last week.
Heupel, the Sooners' play caller and quarterbacks coach, helped turn Sam Bradford into a Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. He was also an OU graduate assistant during Heisman winner Jason White's career.
Heupel was named a co-offensive coordinator after Wilson left to become Indiana's head coach.
Norvell's background would seemingly make him a solid candidate for Wisconsin's open head coaching position. He grew up in Madison, Wis., and was an assistant there from 1989-94 under current athletic director/interim coach Barry Alvarez.
Bret Bielema left Wisconsin to take the Arkansas job last week.
Norvell has also been mentioned as a possible candidate at Louisiana Tech.
Another possible scenario involves Norvell leaving for an opportunity to call plays. Bielema reportedly interviewed Norvell after last season for Wisconsin's offensive coordinator position.
Norvell's coaching experience is wide ranging. He was an NFL assistant coach for six seasons, coaching the likes of Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne and Jerry Rice during his time with the Colts and Raiders.
Norvell, who has been on OU's staff since 2008, has developed a reputation as an outstanding recruiter. He's also been an offensive coordinator at Nebraska and UCLA.
MARK MANGINO/CHUCK LONG
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops returned to Oklahoma. Might some former offensive coordinators rejoin the staff?
Mangino's daughter lives in Tulsa, and he watched Oklahoma's season-finale at TCU earlier this month from the OU sideline.
He had been linked to a few head coaching openings, but for now appears more likely to ultimately land an assistant coaching job.
Mangino was OU's offensive coordinator during its national-title run in 2000 before becoming head coach at Kansas, which he led to unprecedented success during his seven-year run. He resigned after the 2009 season amid allegations that he emotionally abused players.
Long moved back to Norman after working as Kansas' offensive coordinator from 2010-11. He worked with Norman High's football team this season.
Long coached quarterbacks at Oklahoma from 1999-2005, and became offensive coordinator after Mangino left for Kansas.
He was instrumental in molding Heupel — the 2000 Heisman runner-up — and White during their highly successful careers. Long left to become San Diego State's head coach, but was fired after three unsuccessful seasons.