Christopher Smith

Texas AD Gives Coaching Search Update

Created on Dec. 31, 2013 2:50 AM EST

The Texas coaching search has remained silent, eerily so, in contrast with all the back-channel discussions and leaks prior to Mack Brown's resignation slash retirement.

New athletic director Steve Patterson interrupted that Monday with his first public comments regarding the search, telling reporters he wants a coach in place by Jan. 15.

"We have to be back open for business in the middle of the month once the dead period ends," Patterson said, according to ESPN. "The coach has to put together a staff and get up and running, keep the recruits we got and fill up any spots we've got open."

Patterson is heading the search with help from Korn/Ferry International, the same firm that assisted in hiring the AD earlier this fall, the Austin American-Statesman has reported.

According to the Dallas Morning News, the search is focused on Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, Baylor coach Art Briles, Vanderbilt coach James Franklin and Louisville coach Charlie Strong. The latter is among those who have denied interest, though Strong (2/1 odds) topped a list provided by Bovada as a short-lived prop bet Dec. 17.

Briles, according to an Austin American-Statesman report Saturday, would take the job if offered. Briles has said glowing things about Baylor when questioned, though he hasn't issued an outright denial.

"There's a lot of interest," Patterson told reporters. "There's interest that's sincere, and there's interest that's, 'Help me get a better contract.'"

Reports teaming the Houston Texans and current Penn State coach Bill O'Brien continue to circulate as well. If O'Brien heads to the NFL, the USC, Texas and Penn State jobs all would come open during the same hiring season. The Trojans, of course, hired Steve Sarkisian from Washington.

Brown coached his final game at Texas on Monday night, losing to Oregon in the Alamo Bowl.

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