AUBURN — The candidates for Auburn’s head coaching position now include TCU’s Gary Patterson and Boise State’s Chris Petersen, according to a report by al.com.
Citing “someone familiar with the process,” al.com reported Auburn has not yet interviewed any candidates to be its next football coach, after firing Gene Chizik on Sunday.
Patterson, who is 116-34 in 13 seasons at TCU, interviewed for the position in 2008. He has also been rumored to be among the candidates for the head coach position at Arkansas.
Petersen is 82-8 in seven seasons at Boise State and has been rumored to be in the running for several positions over the years. He did not address the latest speculation at a press conference on Monday.
“It’s just rumors,” Petersen said. “That’s all I really want to say about this, and I say it every year.”
Auburn is also believed to be considering former Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, Arkansas State coach and former Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, Florida State coach and former Auburn quarterbacks coach Jimbo Fisher and Louisville coach Charlie Strong.
Fisher addressed rumors of his candidacy for other positions, including Auburn and Tennessee, during his press conference on Monday.
“I’m very happy right here,” Fisher said. “I’m content to be here. I’m where I want to be. We’re building something special. We’ve got great players. We’ve got great players coming to be here. It’s a great place to live. My family is set in this community. And I plan on being here a long time.”
Fisher said his agent Jimmy Sexton had not been contacted by any schools as of Monday.
Attempts by the Montgomery Advertiser to reach Sexton, who also represents Malzahn and Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris, have been unmet.
Asked if he had any comment about the Auburn situation during his Monday press conference, Malzahn did not address it.
“No, I’m focused on what we’re doing here,” Malzahn said. “I’ve got my hands full with what we’ve got going.”
In his first year at Arkansas State, Malzahn has led the Red Wolves to an 8-3 record including 6-1 in the Sun Belt. Arkansas State can win the conference title by beating Middle Tennessee State (8-3, 6-1) at home on Saturday.
During a speaking engagement last week in Mobile, Malzahn was asked about Auburn leading up to the Iron Bowl.
“I’m very close to a lot of the players and some of the coaches,” he said to reporters at the New Horizons Credit Union 1st and 10 Club on Nov. 19. “I just wish them nothing but the best and hopefully they can finish this thing.”
Asked specifically about being a candidate for the Auburn job, he repeated his focus was at Arkansas State.
Petrino was 34-17 in four years at Arkansas before being fired following a motorcycle accident in the offseason which revealed an extramarital affair and his hiring of his mistress. He went 41-9 in four years at Louisville and was 3-10 in 2007 with the Atlanta Falcons before bolting for Fayetteville.
Read more on the Auburn blog.