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Reports: Two reject Vols

Charlie Strong declined an offer of about $3.5 million per season to become Tennessee’s coach and will sign an extension with Louisville, according to multiple media reports.

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Charlie Strong declined an offer of about $3.5 million per season to become Tennessee’s coach and will sign an extension with Louisville, according to multiple media reports.

Tennessee offered its coaching job to Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy and Louisville's Charlie Strong on Wednesday, according to media reports.

Both said no.

The Volunteers, who seek to replace the fired Derek Dooley, talked to Gundy on Wednesday morning, reported. He declined. Terms of the offer were not reported.

Gundy, 45, unavailable for comment, is a former Oklahoma State quarterback and its winningest coach at 66-35 over eight seasons. He signed a four-year extension after last season.

The Vols then turned to Strong. After a few hours, he also declined,, and reported. Tennessee offered $3.5 million annually, reported. He currently makes about $2.3 million.

All three reported that Strong, a former defensive coordinator at Florida who is 24-14 over three seasons at Louisville, will sign an extension with the Cardinals in the near future.

Strong, 52, declined comment, saying he will first address his team. But one player seemed confident Strong would stay. "All I'm gonna say is I'm not worried about my coach," center Mario Benavides tweeted after a team meeting Wednesday. "We are a family."

More coaching news: FIU fires Cristobal

MIAMI — Florida International fired coach Mario Cristobal after six seasons. Cristobal was an offensive lineman at Miami from 1989-92, including two national title teams.

The Panthers, who began playing in 2002, hired him in 2007 after going winless the previous season. He went 27-47 but led FIU to its first bowl games in 2010 and 2011.

Before this season, the Sun Belt coaches predicted FIU would win the conference title. But it went 3-9, athletic director Pete Garcia calling the season "a total collapse."

Cristobal, 42, said he was "sad" and "stunned."

"We did a lot of good things," he said. "We graduated kids. We sent kids to the NFL. We turned a lot of things around. We had one bad year."

FSU loses assistant: Florida State defensive ends coach D.J. Eliot will follow Mark Stoops to Kentucky to become defensive coordinator. Stoops was FSU's defensive coordinator before taking the UK job Nov. 27.

California: Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes was hired, replacing the fired Jeff Tedford. Dykes went 22-15 over three seasons with the Bulldogs, including 9-3 this season.

Colorado: Cincinnati coach Butch Jones called a Denver Post report saying he has agreed to take over "absolutely false."

Purdue: Darrell Hazell, who coached Kent State to its first winning season since 2001, was hired. Hazell, who replaces the fired Danny Hope, went 16-9 in his two seasons there.

Wisconsin: Barry Alvarez, the coach from 1990-2005 before becoming AD, will lead it at the Rose Bowl, reported the Wisconsin State Journal, which added the captains asked him to do so. Bret Bielema left for Arkansas on Tuesday. A successor has not been named.

Rutgers sues Big East

Rutgers filed a lawsuit against the Big East, trying to avoid paying a $10 million exit fee as it heads for the Big Ten. Big East bylaws call for the payment and 27 months' notice. The suit says the Big East has selectively enforced that, citing deals with Syracuse, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and TCU.

ACC honors: Coaches voted Florida State end Bjoern Werner the ACC's defensive player of the year. Werner, also the media's defensive player of the year, also is one of five Seminoles on the coaches' all-conference first team. (Team, 2C)

Awards: South Carolina's Jadeveon Clowney, who had a school-record 13 sacks, won the Ted Hendricks, the first sophomore named the nation's top defensive end. Werner was a finalist. … Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert won the John Mackey as the top tight end. He caught 44 passes for 624 yards and four touchdowns. Teammate Manti Te'o won the Lombardi Award as top lineman or linebacker. The Heisman finalist had 103 tackles and seven interceptions. Their coach, Brian Kelly, was named coach of the year in a vote by ABC and ESPN analysts. He also won in 2009 while with Cincinnati.

Draft: Cal receiver Keenan Allen will skip his senior season. He caught 61 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns over nine games.

Tulsa AD out: Tulsa fired AD Ross Parmley a week after he was named in a federal investigation of Teddy Mitchell, who is accused of running a gambling ring in Oklahoma City. In court documents, Parmley is described as an "admitted gambler with Mitchell."

Reports: Two reject Vols 12/05/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:26pm]
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