When Chris Rippon resigned as Marshall’s defensive coordinator in November we penned a list of potential replacements, jump ahead to January and our post is irrelevant. Shortly after Marshall started searching for a replacement, Charleston Daily Mail sports editor Chuck McGill tweeted that former Thundering Herd defensive coordinators Rick Minter and Steve Dunlap were not in the running. Around the same time Tom Bradley was a rumored candidate but, the ex-Penn State defensive coordinator told footballscoop.com he was not interested.
The other names on our list, Arizona assistants David Lockwood and Bill Kirelawich, and Louisville’s Tommy Restivo were eliminated when we learned Marshall’s next defensive coordinator would have prior experience in that position.
According to Herd head coach Doc Holliday, he will probably announce Rippon’s replacement next week but, that still gives us a few days to speculate.
The latest rumor centers around Temple’s defensive coordinator for the past two season, Chuck Heater. Heater and Holliday worked together at Florida under then head coach Urban Myer. When Holliday took the Marshall job many thought Heater would be named the Herds defensive coordinator but, the former Michigan standout followed another Florida assistant, Chuck Addazio to Temple where he was tasked with leading the Owls defense. In Heaters first year Temple’s defense finished 13th in the nation, holding opponents to just under 14 points per game. This past season was a little bit different, replacing a number of starters the Owls struggled, giving up over 31 points per game, ranking 91st among FBS teams. Heater is looking for work after Addazio took the head coaching position at Boston College and hired Connecticut defensive coordinator Don Brown to fill the same role on his staff.
Another name to look out for is Vanderbilt defensive backs coach George Barlow. A all Southern Conference safety at Marshall from 1986-1990, Barlow has prior defensive coordinator experience at James Madison and New Mexico. Named defensive coordinator at JMU prior to the 2004 season, Barlow helped the Dukes to their first FCS National Championship that year. At New Mexico, he was promoted to interim head coach in September of 2011, taking over for Mike Locksley who was fired midseason.