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Oklahoma football: Sooner assistants in the thick of coaching carousel

If Jay Norvell and Josh Heupel move on, could Chuck Long or Mark Mangino return to Norman?
by Jason Kersey Published: December 11, 2012

— 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.

JOSH HEUPEL 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.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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