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Outgoing Louisiana State football coach Bill Arnsparger was one...

By
DENNY HAMILTON

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Outgoing Louisiana State football coach Bill Arnsparger was one of four people recommended Friday for the vacant Florida athletic director's post.

Arnsparger, who is resigning as coach of Southeastern Conference champion LSU after their Sugar Bowl game Jan. 1 with Nebraska, interviewed for the Florida job before the football season, but later withdrew his name from consideration.

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Arnsparger went to LSU from the NFL Miami Dolphins, where he was the defensive coordinator.

There has been speculation Arnsparger resigned to take the Florida position, but Florida officials have steadfastly denied any deal has been made. Gator officials said no timetable had been set to name an athletic director.

Others recommended by a search committee charged with finding a replacement for Bill Carr were: Richard Young, athletic director at Washington State; Fred Gruninger, athletic director at Rutgers University; and Dr. David Wagner, athletic director at Georgia Southern University.

Seach committee members have said they are not even sure Arnsparger, who also is reportedly up for the athletic director's job at LSU, could take the job.

'We're not even sure if he's available,' committee chairman Bill Elmore said.

LSU's board of supervisors also met Friday, and acting athletic director Larry Jones recommended Tiger defensive coordinator Mike Archer to succeed Arnsparger.

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LSU Chancellor James Wharton reportedly wanted Arnsparger, who has led the Tigers to two Sugar Bowls and one SEC title, to stay on as permanent athletic director.

Archer, 33, would be the youngest major college head coach in the country.

Florida's athletic department has been in search of a leader since Carr, a former Gator All-America center, resigned in June. LSU has been looking for an athletic director since Bob Brodhead resigned in October amid charges he violated the state Code of Ethics.

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