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Search committee created to find next UH coach

College Football Notes

December 8, 2011
Staff reports and The Associated Press

The University of Hawaii has formed a search advisory committee to screen candidates and make recommendations for the vacant head football coaching position, the school announced Wednesday.

The six-member committee is composed of community and university leaders, many with prior experience in such searches and in collegiate and professional football, according to a UH press release.

The Warriors program is in search of a head coach after Greg McMackin announced his retirement Monday following the completion of his fourth season. UH finished 6-7, missing out on a bowl game for the second time under McMackin.

The committee members are Dr. Rockne Freitas, a former offensive lineman for the Detroit Lions who is currently the vice president for student affairs and community relations at UH; Bank of Hawaii president and CEO Peter Ho; attorney Bert Kobayashi Jr.; Duane Kurisu, owner of PacificBasin Communications and the Hawaii Sports Network; Dr. Edison Miyawaki, a minority owner of the Cincinnati Bengals; and Jean Rolles, vice president of community affairs for Outrigger Enterprises, Inc.

The committee's first meeting is scheduled for Monday.

The school said athletic director Jim Donovan is still in the process of creating a timetable for the coaching search.

* NORTH CAROLINA: Southern Mississippi coach Larry Fedora has accepted an offer to become North Carolina's next football coach, two people familiar with the situation said Wednesday.

They said the framework of a deal is in place, though it isn't final yet. Both spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the school isn't commenting publicly on its search.

Fedora has guided the 22nd-ranked Golden Eagles (11-2) to a school record for wins, with the last coming over the weekend against unbeaten Houston in the Conference USA championship game.

Fedora would replace Butch Davis, who was fired shortly before training camp amid an NCAA investigation into improper benefits and academic misconduct within the program. The school then promoted defensive coordinator Everett Withers to interim coach. Withers led the team to a 5-1 start, though the Tar Heels stumbled down the stretch by losing four of six.

Southern Miss faces Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24, while North Carolina plays Missouri in the Independence Bowl two days later. It wasn't immediately clear who would coach the teams in the bowl games.

* BIG EAST: The Big East introduced Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida as its newest members on Wednesday, effective 2013.

The new conference will span four time zones, 3,000 miles from coast to coast and, eventually, have 12 teams.

"The Big East Conference is the first truly national college football conference," commissioner John Marinatto said Wednesday during a teleconference with the university leaders from the five schools.

The Big East, depleted by the planned departures of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, is trying to rebuild as a 12-team football conference with a western division.

Boise State and San Diego State, which currently play in the Mountain West Conference, will join the Big East only for football. Houston, SMU and UCF will be leaving Conference USA and joining the Big East in all sports.

The Big East has also been pursuing Air Force and Navy as football-only members, but it seems Air Force is no longer a possibility. Lt. Gen. Mike Gould, the superintendent of the academy, said the school will stay in the Mountain West.

Boise State's other sports teams compete in the Western Athletic Conference, while San Diego State is reportedly finalizing a deal to have its other teams compete in the Big West.

The Big East has only five football members committed to the conference beyond this season: Connecticut, Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and USF. It also has seven schools that do not play major college football and Notre Dame, which competes in the Big East in everything but football.

Marinatto has pledged to hold Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia in the conference until 2014, in accordance with the Big East bylaws. West Virginia wants to join the Big 12 in 2012 and has sued the Big East to get an early release.



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