FAU Interim Coach Wright Man For Job
By Peter Burke
Brian Wright is in uncharted territory right now. A little more than a month after being named interim head coach at Florida Atlantic University, Wright has guided the Owls to an undefeated November and bowl eligibility for the first time since 2008.
It wasn't that long ago when Wright was plotting X's and O's as offensive coordinator under second-year head coach Carl Pelini. But then came Pelini's abrupt resignation (which later was amended by FAU's interim president to be a termination instead) on Oct. 30 amid allegations of illegal drug use.
FAU athletic director Patrick Chun asked Wright to take over for Pelini, the Owls were 2-6 and appeared to be spiraling toward a fifth consecutive losing season. Then, on the first Saturday in November, Tulane happened.
A surprising 34-17 upset win against the Green Wave during homecoming weekend seemed to set the tone for the games that followed. While it's true that the combined record of FAU's final three opponents (Southern Miss, New Mexico State and Florida International) was 4-32, the Owls are in the midst of their longest winning streak since FAU won three in a row under Howard Schnellenberger in 2010.
Is FAU's 4-0 record under Wright good enough to remove the interim tag from his title?
Wright told reporters Monday that Chun hasn't spoken "in depth" with him about the job, but he expects that conversation to happen soon. If FAU wants him, Chun had better not wait too long. Wright said he's already been in contact with other schools.
"It is that time of year and, at the point that I'm at right now, obviously, you don't know your future," Wright said. "So there have been a few discussions."
Although he's stated that he wants to be a head coach, Wright said he hasn't ruled out returning to play-calling duties if the opportunity were right.
"Well, I would entertain a lot of different opportunities but certainly want to be a head coach," Wright said. "I want to be the head coach here, first and foremost."
Wright said he wouldn't expect to be in a position of turning down jobs, whether that's at FAU or elsewhere.
"I am confident that I will have that opportunity," Wright said. "I have said it before. I'm a man of faith. I believe that God will put us in a position to be coaching somewhere, like I said. Hopefully, it is his will that it will be here and, if not, I believe I will be coaching somewhere and I believe that I will have the opportunity to be a head coach and, if not now and if not this year, certainly in the immediate future."