Two candidates withdraw from football search

It turns out that not everyone wants to be the next Jack Siedlecki.

The two coaches said to be the University’s top choices to take the helm of the Yale football program have withdrawn their names from consideration for the post, and a spokesman for the Yale Athletics Department said Thursday that a new coach will not be announced until next week at the earliest.

A person familiar with the search process, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential deliberations, told the News this week that University of Massachusetts coach Don Brown and Holy Cross coach Tom Gilmore were seen as the two frontrunners to succeed Siedlecki, who last month announced his retirement after 12 seasons as Yale’s head football coach.

But both coaches have since decided not to pursue the Yale position. Gilmore told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette on Wednesday that he plans to remain at Holy Cross, and officials in the UMass athletic department told the Springfield, Mass., television station WWLP on Thursday that Brown has decided to take himself out of the running for the Yale job.

Steve Conn, the director of Yale Sports Publicity, said by telephone Thursday that the announcement of a new football coach would not be made this week. He did not say who was under consideration for the post, nor did he confirm or deny whether Brown and Gilmore were the University’s top choices.

“We’re waiting to announce it and nothing is going to happen this weekend,” Conn said. “We’re not sure when it’s going to happen, but we hope it’s going to happen soon so that everyone will know who the coach is. Hopefully it will be sometime next week, or it might be the following.”

For weeks, Brown had been seen as a top contender for the head coaching job, a position for which Siedlecki beat him out 12 years ago. Brown was the defensive coordinator under legendary Yale coach Carm Cozza from 1987 to 1992, and rumors began circulating among football players shortly after Siedlecki’s resignation that Brown might be tapped to return to Yale.

It is unclear who remains under consideration for the position now that Brown and Gilmore have withdrawn from the search. Citing unnamed sources, the New Haven Register reported Wednesday that three other candidates have been interviewed by the Yale Athletics Department: Steve Addazio, the offensive line coach at Florida and the former head coach at Cheshire (Conn.) High School; Jim Fleming, the defensive coordinator at Akron; and Dave Shaw, the offensive coordinator at Stanford.

Another rumored candidate for the position, Yale defensive coordinator Rick Flanders, told the Register last week that he was not interested in succeeding Siedlecki. “I like the job I have,” he said.

Jorge Castillo contributed reporting.

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