Former NFL and college coach Steve Mariucci didn't exactly shoot down a report that he was interested in the Arkansas job. But he also told CBSSports.com Sunday night that he had not heard from the school.
“I just had a few phone calls from my son and a few friends asking what's going on and to be honest I hadn't heard about it,” Mariucci told CBSSports.com. “It comes as a complete surprise to me.”
Asked directly if he still is interested in getting back into coaching, Mariucci said: “It has to be the right situation. I haven't ruled it out [coaching again]. I enjoy what I do now. If something that comes up that makes sense, but I've had no contact with Arkansas.”
Mariucci, 56, is a former NFL head coach with San Francisco and Detroit. He coached Cal for one year in 1996 before returning to the NFL. Mariucci is currently working as an analyst for the NFL Network.
It is not believed that Arkansas AD Jeff Long has left campus to talk to candidates. Current interim Taver Johnson could be replaced by a one-year interim with head coaching experience as a bridge to get the program to 2013. During that period, Long could take his time looking for a permanent replacement for Bobby Petrino.
Mariucci's name has surfaced along with others including Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville and current Arkansas running backs coach/recruiting coordinator Tim Horton.
“He's [Horton] been here,” Razorbacks running back Knile Davis told reporters. “He knows Arkansas. He's a great coach. He knows the team. He knows everyone here. I just feel like he would get the job done.”