Eight days removed from firing Gus Malzahn, Auburn is still in search of its next head coach.
Here’s the latest on where things stand with the Tigers’ coaching search as of early Monday afternoon:
— UAB head coach Bill Clark has emerged as a name to keep an eye on for the job. While there has been pushback from top Auburn boosters regarding Clark as a top candidate, he is a well-respected figure in the coaching world based on his work at UAB. Led by Clark, the Blazers have had four straight winning seasons since the program returned from a two-year hiatus and just won their second Conference USA title in the last three years. Auburn reached out to Clark late last week to gauge his interest in the job and whether he’d be willing to interview, according to sources. Clark talked to Auburn again this weekend and was expected to have additional communication with Auburn officials this afternoon. Clark, an Anniston native, has deep ties throughout the state from his time as the Jacksonville State head coach, South Alabama defensive coordinator and a long-time high school coach.
— Kevin Steele has not interviewed with the Auburn search committee, according to sources. The Auburn interim head coach emerged as a serious candidate early in the search with influential Auburn boosters pushing him as the Malzahn replacement. The backlash to a potential Steele hire was severe with fans initiating a “Stop Steele” email and social media campaign that was geared toward getting the attention of Auburn administrators. There are still boosters advocating for Steele to get the job, according to sources, but his chances have diminished in recent days.
— Auburn talked to Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables on Monday but the expectation is Venables will stay at Clemson. Venables has two sons, Tyler and Jake, currently playing at Clemson and makes $2.4 million annually as Dabo Swinney’s defensive coordinator.
— Auburn requested an interview with Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian and sources indicated that they expected him to interview on Sunday but Sarkisian ultimately declined the interview request.
John Talty is the sports editor and SEC Insider for Alabama Media Group. You can follow him on Twitter @JTalty. Matt Zenitz is the senior SEC football reporter for Alabama Media Group. You can follow him on Twitter @MZenitz.