Norvell is re­ported can­di­date for K-State open­ing

Coach: I’ve got one of best jobs in coun­try

The Commercial Appeal - - Sports - Evan Barnes Mem­phis Com­mer­cial Ap­peal USA TO­DAY NET­WORK - TEN­NESSEE

As the Mem­phis foot­ball team is pre­par­ing for the Birm­ing­ham Bowl on Dec. 22 against Wake For­est, the coach­ing carousel has be­gun swirling around head coach Mike Norvell and his staff.

The Tigers saw tight ends coach Will Hall leave this week to be­come Tu­lane’s of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor. Norvell’s name con­tin­ues to be in mul­ti­ple re­ports for head coach­ing va­can­cies, the most re­cent be­ing Kansas State.

On Fri­day, af­ter the Tigers' first prac­tice since los­ing in the AAC cham­pi­onship game to UCF, Norvell echoed what he said last week when his name came up in con­nec­tion for the now-filled va­can­cies at Louisville, Colorado and Texas Tech.

“I’ve got one of the best jobs in the coun­try re­gard­less of con­fer­ence or place. I’m ex­tremely happy here and I think we’ve got a spe­cial op­por­tu­nity for what we’re build­ing,” Norvell said. “We’ve got a great sit­u­a­tion and we’re work­ing ex­tremely hard to fin­ish this year and put our guys out win­ning a bowl cham­pi­onship.”

Kansas State paid pre­vi­ous coach Bill Sny­der $3.5 mil­lion this past sea­son, his 27th with the pro­gram. Norvell made $2.6 mil­lion this year at Mem­phis and his buy­out would be $500,000 if he were to leave for an­other job.

Not only is Norvell is the high­est paid non-Power 5 coach in the coun­try, his coach­ing staff is also the high­est paid among non Power Five pro­grams.

Since Norvell ar­rived at Mem­phis af­ter the 2015 sea­son, he's had to deal with at­tri­tion on his staff. Af­ter his first sea­son, he watched then-of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Chip Long leave to be­come Notre Dame's of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor.

Last sea­son, four as­sis­tant coaches were hired by Power-5 pro­grams, in­clud­ing of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Dar­rell Dickey at Texas A&M.

A re­port emerged Fri­day that de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Chris Ball is a can­di­date for the va­cant head coach­ing po­si­tion at North­ern Ari­zona. Norvell men­tioned that other as­sis­tants had been ap­proached for job of­fers but turned them down.

"It's some­thing that we un­der­stand as part of suc­cess," Norvell said.

Ball con­firmed that he had been ap­proached by North­ern Ari­zona but said that he had not made a de­ci­sion.

"It's an honor but noth­ing has been set in stone. I love it here at Mem­phis, my fam­ily loves it here at Mem­phis," said Ball.


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