Auburn athletics director Jay Jacobs continued to keep himself busy in New York as his search for the Tigers’ next head football coach entered its sixth day.
Jacobs added Buffalo’s Turner Gill, Ball State’s Brady Hoke and Louisiana Tech’s Derek Dooley to his list of interviews for Auburn’s head football coaching vacancy, according to the Birmingham News, bringing the total to five.
Georgia assistant Rodney Garner and Miami offensive coordinator Patrick Nix are the other two.
“We’ve talked to a handful of people and still have some more people to talk to,” Jacobs told the News in New York, where he is attending the National Football Foundation’s Hall of Fame awards banquet.
News broke late Monday that Jacobs had interviewed Gill. The former star quarterback and assistant coach for Tom Osborne at Nebraska has led a remarkable turnaround at Buffalo, which has gone from one of the worst programs in the Football Bowl Subdivision to MAC champions in three years.
Buffalo officials had no comment on the situation.
Dooley interviewed Tuesday with Jacobs. The second-year Louisiana Tech coach was in New York with Bulldogs linebacker Quin Harris, who was being recognized as one of the nation’s top scholar-athletes.
Dooley, whose name came up in connection with the Mississippi State vacancy last week, made a statement through the school.
“Obviously, representatives from Auburn spoke with many people around the annual National Football Foundation event,” he said. “I was one of the many, but any further comment on this matter would be inappropriate at this time.”
The 40-year-old son of Georgia coaching legend and Auburn alum Vince Dooley, Derek is 12-12 in two years with Louisiana Tech. Before that, he served as an assistant for Nick Saban, first at LSU and later with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
Dooley also is Louisiana Tech’s athletics director.
Hoke denied an ESPN report that he would interview for the job, but a story in the Muncie (Ind.) Star Press cited anonymous sources saying he would indeed meet with Auburn officials.
Hoke was in New York during the weekend to do a “Top Ten” list on the Late Show with David Letterman, a Ball State alumnus.
Neither Hoke nor Ball State had an official comment.
In Auburn, a group of students marched to the president’s mansion in a show of support for Tommy Tuberville.
About 70 students protested the school’s treatment of Tuberville. They claim he was forced to leave after 10 years as the Tigers’ coach, according to the Associated Press.
The students chanted Tuberville’s name, sang the school’s fight song and vowed to show up at the next meeting of the Auburn Board of Trustees.
Note: Two Tigers made the coaches’ all-SEC team, which was released Tuesday. Defensive end Antonio Coleman was a first-team selection. Defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks made the second team.