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The Cajuns' coaching search casts its net, but do we have a clue - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

The Cajuns' coaching search casts its net, but do we have a clue who it's going to catch?

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Louisiana fully tilts its focus on finding a new head football coach Monday after Mark Hudspeth was fired following a 5-7 season and the Cajuns' third-consecutive losing season.

Sunday, athletic director Bryan Maggard said that he wants a proven winner, a head coach who can recruit Louisiana and will be a "relentless recruiter," a coach who will continue academic success, and a coach focused on player development.

A number of names have stolen the news cycle's headlines, coaches like Brent Pry and Matt Canada.

Here is a list of names various media outlets are tossing out there:

Matt Canada: LSU Offensive Coordinator

FootballScoop.com reports Canada has interest in the job. After one season at LSU, he may be out of Baton Rouge one way on another. All reports suggest he and Ed Orgeron butt heads. Since an extended stay at Indiana, his alma mater, Canada has bounced around as an OC, but never a head coach. It's only one season, but he does have a taste for recruiting in Louisiana.

Brent Pry: Penn State Defensive Coordinator

Pry has obvious interest from fans since he was a UL assistant from 2002-2006. Pry has been on James Franklin's coaching staff since 2011 when he took the job at Vanderbilt. Does Pry want to leave Franklin's side and home state? Pry has limited experience as a coordinator but is a warming name in 2017. This year Penn State ranked inside the top 20 in yards-per-game, and top 10 in points-against-per-game.

Tim Rebowe: Nicholls State Head Coach

Like Pry, Nicholls has direct ties to the UL. It's worth keeping in mind that Maggard is new to UL, and these ties to the school may not carry the same weight. Rebowe was a positional coach at UL for 10 seasons before landing the head coaching job at Nicholls. In three seasons he is 16-18 as a head coach. The Colonels went 8-4 in 2017, with a first round FCS playoff loss.

Lance Guidry: McNeese Head Coach

Guidry is 15-7 at his alma mater as a head coach. this year the Cowboys went 9-2, but missed out on an FCS playoff bid. Guidry has strong coaching ties to Acadiana, having spent time at Carencro High School from 1997-99 and 2005-07. He also played at Welsh High School. He'd be a true local hire, with good recruiting ties. Guidry also has two stints as an interim head coach in bowl games.

Broderick Fobbs: Grambling State Head Coach

Fobbs is one of the winnigest candidates on this list. He is 39-10 in four seasons. Playing in the SWAC, his teams don't participate in the FCS playoffs. Fobbs spent time as a graduate assistant for the Cajuns from 2000-02. He's coached in the Sun Belt and at McNeese and knows the area well.

Alex Grinch: Washington State Defensive Coordinator

Grinch is an interesting candidate having no ties to Louisiana other than Dr. Maggard. The two spent time together at Mizzou. In three season at Washington State has improved defensively. This season his team was ranked 15th in yards-per-game. 

Jay Johnson: Offensive Analyst Georgia

Johnson is an intriguing name having coached UL's offense from 2011-15. He left to be an offensive coordinator at Minnesota, but didn't get much of a chance with the Gophers after the controversial firing of head coach Tracy Claeys. Johnson spent the season as a analyst with Georgia and is inline to return to coach somewhere in 2018.

Mike Houston: James Madison Head Coach

This name has not been floated by many, or anyone else, but I think he deserves attention. Mike Houston's been named as a candidate for other Sun Belt openings. Houston won an FCS national championship in his first season at JMU, and is undefeated and the top ranked team in this year's FCS playoffs. He is 26-1 at JMU. Houston also won a Division II championship with Lenoir–Rhyne, and coached at The Citadel, a military school in South Carolina. He checks off a lot of Maggard's boxes, but has no ties to Louisiana, or the deep south. (Full disclosure I covered JMU football for three seasons.)

These are just a few of the many names being discussed for the opening at UL. With a new athletic director with little previous ties to the school it's likely the search pulls candidates off local media's radar.

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