Originally created 12/03/99

College notebook: Rodriguez Red Raiders' top choice

After two visits to Texas Tech's campus, one including a tour of Lubbock's residential areas, Clemson offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez has become widely regarded as the top candidate for the school's top coaching job.

The school hopes to announce a decision as early as next week.

On Thursday, Texas Tech Athletics Director Gerald Myers said the school has narrowed its list to about half a dozen candidates, one of whom fits what Tech is looking for in a successor to longtime coach Spike Dykes.

Myers wouldn't say which one.

"We are looking for someone who has been a winner, been associated with winning programs and winning teams," Myers said. "We are looking for someone who runs a good offensive system, a productive offensive system. Someone who has a good balance between their offensive system and their defense."

Rodriguez, Oklahoma offensive coordinator Mike Leach and New Mexico State head coach Tony Samuel are among the frontrunners, Myers has said.

The school also has looked at Florida State offensive coordinator Mark Richt and Georgia Tech offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported.

GEORGIA TECH: Athletics director Dave Braine announced the awarding of a feasibility study for the expansions of Bobby Dodd Stadium/Grant Field and the baseball stadium, Russ Chandler Stadium, to the Atlanta architectural firm of Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart and Stewart.

The feasibility study will look at a variety of options for adding capacity to Bobby Dodd Stadium, including the removal of the upper east stands and replacing it with a new upper east deck. Also, the addition of seats between the west stands and the Wardlaw Center and the east stands and Wardlaw Center, enlarging the North stands to connect with the East and West stands, additional box seating in all of the new areas, and adding a new football office complex in either the West or North stands will be considered.

BROYLES AWARD: The architects of the No. 1 offense and the No. 1 defense in the country are among five assistant coaches who are finalists for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant college football coach.

Ralph Friedgen of Georgia Tech, Joe Lee Dunn of Mississippi State, Bud Foster of Virginia Tech, Greg Davis of Texas and Tim Rose of East Carolina are the finalists.

Nominations for the award were submitted by head coaches and a panel of former head coaches selected the finalists. The winner will be announced Dec. 8.

Friedgen is a finalist for the second straight year. He is the offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, which leads the nation in total offense with 509 yards per game and is second in scoring with almost 41 points a game.

OFFICIAL SUSPENDED: Ronnie Fuqua didn't work the Georgia-Georgia Tech game. But the suspension of the officials from that game is keeping him from the SEC championship game.

Fuqua is a part of the SEC's top officiating crew that handled the Georgia-Georgia Tech game, in which Jasper Sanks should have been ruled down at the Tech 1 instead of fumbling the ball near the end of regulation. Georgia Tech won in overtime.

But Fuqua was in Knoxville, subbing for a Tennessee graduate as the back judge in the Vanderbilt-Tennessee game. Fuqua has to wait until next week to see if he will be assigned to a bowl game.


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