Coaching Carousel: Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter in USC Rumor Mill

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

The second-year Fresno State coach has put together quite an encore to his 2012 conference co-championship. Big money schools with head coach vacancies have taken notice, and the men of Troy are first among them.

It's never too early to crush fresh gossip about coach movements into a fine powder.

Since the USC Trojans fired Lane Kiffin a month ago, the rumor mill has been in fine form. There have been no shortage of candidates bandied about to help restore some luster to the program, and perhaps it should come as no surprise that the latest edition of the lengthy wish list includes the best and brightest from the Mountain West.

The Eugene Register-Guard lists several prominent candidates, from former Trojan (and current Denver Broncos defensive coordinator) Jack Del Rio to Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian.  Boise State head coach Chris Petersen is likely to receive overtures, as well, an annual rite at this point, but the name gaining momentum is Fresno State's Tim DeRuyter.

DeRuyter's Bulldogs are established in the BCS mix at the moment, and barring a stunning collapse is likely to get long looks from many universities.  Southern California, as the Register-Guard speculates, may perceive him as the perfect antidote to a Kiffin hangover:

Haden was annoyed by some of Kiffin's immature words and actions, but DeRuyter would seem to be more his style.  The 50-year-old Long Beach, Calif. native is a graduate of the Air Force Academy and served 7 1/2 years of active duty.

It is interesting that the newspaper regards DeRuyter as something of a disciplinarian to which the unpredictable Kiffin is a natural foil.  When one considers that USC's dynasty was fronted by Pete Carroll, who was (and is) a player's coach, it seems as though it would make more sense to find a coach with similar characteristics.  It is also interesting that DeRuyter is generating so much interest despite the fact that he has no prior ties to the university, something that might make him a tough sell to certain segment of the Trojan fanbase.

On the other hand, Carroll also made his bones on the defensive side of the ball before becoming a head coach, like DeRuyter.  As the wins pile up, the rumors will only become more intense and all Fresno fans can do is wait and watch what happens.

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