Pitt's Harris also in mix

Updated: December 6, 2004, 7:40 PM ET
Associated Press

STANFORD, Calif. -- Stanford will talk to Southern California offensive coordinator Norm Chow and Pittsburgh coach Walt Harris this week about the Cardinal's head coaching vacancy.

Chow told reporters in Los Angeles on Monday that he would go to Stanford on Wednesday, where he will meet with athletic director Ted Leland.

"We'll see when we find out the specifics," Chow said when asked if he was interested in the job. "I'm sure they'll interview a whole bunch of other folk."

A Stanford source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Leland would also discuss the job with Harris. The two coaches are the top candidates to replace Buddy Teevens, who was fired Nov. 28 after three losing seasons.

Leland wants an offensive minded coach after Stanford struggled to score during Teevens' tenure. The Cardinal went 4-7 the past two seasons, losing their last five games this year. They were 0-13 down the stretch the past three seasons.

Chow has directed the top-ranked Trojans' offense for four years, and coach Pete Carroll is anxious to see Chow be recognized for his accomplishments by becoming a head coach. Unbeaten USC will play Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl for the national title.

The 58-year-old Chow hasn't been a head coach since 1970-72 at Waialua High in Hawaii. After that, he was an assistant coach at BYU for 27 years and North Carolina State for one before coming to USC.

He has tutored some of the top college quarterbacks, including Steve Young, Jim McMahon and Robbie Bosco at BYU, Philip Rivers at North Carolina State, and Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart at USC.

Chow has a doctorate in educational psychology from BYU, which would probably be a plus at a school that places as much emphasis on academics as Stanford does.

Chow, who is of Chinese descent, has talked about wanting to be the first Asian American to be head coach at a major college.

Chow also said he probably would not be interested in the opening at Utah and has talked to BYU about the opening there but has not been offered a job.

Harris, Pitt's eighth-year coach, has the 19th-ranked Panthers in the Fiesta Bowl against Utah on Jan. 1 and was named Big East Coach of the Year last week.

Pitt hasn't offered Harris an extended deal at more money than the estimated $600,000 a season he currently makes, though sophomore quarterback Tyler Palko has campaigned for the school to bring him back.

Harris, 58, has connections to the Bay Area. He grew up in South San Francisco and attended college at Pacific in Stockton. Leland was Pacific's AD when the school hired Harris as coach in 1989.

His college coaching career began at his alma mater as a secondary coach from 1971-73. He coached the linebackers at California from 1974-77 and made stops at Air Force, Michigan State, Illinois and Tennessee before becoming Pacific's head coach from 1989-91. The school eventually dropped the program.

Harris was Ohio State's quarterbacks coach in 1995-96 before going to Pitt.

Leland was traveling Monday and has said he won't speak publicly about the coaching search.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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