Even though it appears that we will escape the coaching search season without any serious interest or targeting of State coach Dan Mullen, that may not be the case for the entire Bulldog coaching staff.
Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports reports this morning that Florida International University (FIU), who last week fired Mario Cristobal after three seasons with the Panthers, has interest in MSU Co-Defensive Coordinator Geoff Collins.
Heard from FIU source school has interest in MissSt DC Geoff Collins & Texas DC— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) , whose dad was Mayor of Miami.December 8, 2012
You may also recognize the other name listed as being a target for FIU. That's right: former Bulldog Co-Defensive Coordinator Manny Diaz, who is coming off a rough season with the Texas Longhorns, is also a reported target for the Panthers.
Both coaches have ties to the university and/or the area of Miami, Florida where FIU is located. Collins was the Defensive Coordinator for the Panthers in 2010 under Cristobal before Dan Mullen hired him away to come to State in 2011.
Diaz also has ties to the area, as he grew up there, and graduated high school from Miami Country Day School. His father, Manny Diaz Sr., was also Mayor of the City of Miami from 2001 to 2009. He still resides there.
Although there is reported at this time that there is "interest" on the school's part in Collins, it is still early, and we do not know the level of interest that Collins has in return. One certainly could not blame him for taking the opportunity to be a head coach, especially at a school that he is familiar with.
Collins is one of the hot names in the assistant coaching ranks in college football, so if he does not pursue this opportunity, expect him to continue to receive interest in the future. That's a good thing, by the way. You certainly don't want to lose coaches, but it shows that we've made good hires when schools want to hire coaches away from State.
We will keep you updated as further information becomes available to us.