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Tuesday UM coaching search update; Dolphins roster moves

Couple quick things:

Former Georgia coach Mark Richt has been meeting today with UM athletic director Blake James and has emerged as Miami's top target in its coaching search, according to multiple sources. (Susan Miller Degnan and I both are reporting this.)

UM entered the meeting believing Richt was interested in the job.

Richt, who was a quarterback at UM from 1978 to 1982, won between 10 and 13 games in 9 of his 14 full seasons at Georgia. He was 9-3 this season before Georgia decided to replace him on Sunday.

A high-ranking UM official said Richt fills all the boxes UM wants in a coach: proven, successful, a skilled recruiter (including in South Florida), someone who isn't tarnished and would represent the university well.

"And he's a clean guy; no BS around him," the official said. "The job is his if he interviews well" and if he chooses UM over other suitors.

Virginia also reportedly is pursuing Richt, and Maryland has been mentioned as a possibility.

Another source said even though Richt has interest, Miami also had to sell him on coming here, to an extent.

Topics such as UM's facilities, infrastructure and the resources available to pay assistants were expected to be addressed. Richt's wife also has to be assured that Miami is an ideal place to live; the Richts have been living in a college town (Athens, Ga.) for the past 15 years.

Butch Davis, former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano and Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen also have interviewed for the UM job.

Schiano's interview went well, according to sources. One UM source said some key decision makers have him second on the list behind Richt.

There are conflicting views internally about Davis. Some key UM people believe he's a flawed candidate and worry about NCAA penalties against North Carolina during his tenure, even though he wasn't directly implicated by the NCAA and even though the academic cheating scandal predates his arrival.

Davis has some strong support inside UM (including at least two big-dollar trustees and a member of the search committee), but a source said he still has a lot of obstacles and that James still has reservations about hiring him. He's still a possibility for the job, but he's not the first choice.

There would be complications with Mullen, who has a buyout in his Mississippi State contract and has a salary that UM might be reluctant to match. But he's still very much in play, if Richt says no to UM.

Though Blake James likes Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, he told UM he wouldn't be available for an interview until after the NFL season, Dave Hyde reported.

DOLPHINS MOVES

The Dolphins shuffled their roster today, waiving defensive tackle C.J. Mosley, who has a calf injury, and plucking defensive tackle Robert Thomas off the Patriots' practice squad. Thomas was undrafted out of Arkansas in 2014.

Ndamukong Suh was Miami's only healthy DT before the signing of Thomas, which hasn't been announced. Jordan Phillips had his arm in a sling with a shoulder injury but said Monday he would play Sunday against Baltimore. Earl Mitchell has a calf injury.

The Dolphins also re-signed Jacques McClendon, giving them needed depth at center while Mike Pouncey's foot injury heals. Miami waived linebacker James Michael Johnson to make room for him.

 

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