After waiting until the day after Christmas to fire Charley Molnar, the UMass Minutemen have taken their time lining up candidates to replace the coach that brought them into the FBS era. It was reported that the target date for a hire was the middle of January and just this week a few names have risen through the rumor muck and established some credibility.
The first name, which has been thrown around since Molnar's removal, is Mark Whipple. Whipple coached the Minutemen from 1998-2003, winning a 1-AA National Championship in his first year on campus and amassing a 49-26 record. Since his departure, Whipple has had stops with the Pittsburgh Steelers (QB coach), Philadelphia Eagles (offensive assistant), Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes (offensive coordinator), and the Cleveland Browns (QB coach).
The other name, which was reported day, is that of University of New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell.
Source: UNH football coach Sean McDonnell to meet with UMass about head coaching position: http://t.co/Br6h7NdlwY— Mark Chiarelli (@Mark_Chiarelli) January 8, 2014
McDonnell has been the head coach at UNH for the past 15 years, developing ties throughout New England while building the Wildcats into one of the finest FCS programs in the country.
Both coaches are expected to interview this week.