If there’s a college football head coaching vacancy, Jeff Fisher is most likely a rumored candidate for said job.
The former Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams head coach has been linked to head coach openings at the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Montana State and a few others over the last several years. And currently he has been mentioned as “in the mix” for the open University of Southern California head coaching job, according to a report from Brett McMurphy of The Action Network.
The 63-year-old Fisher is one of a handful of candidates that includes current Penn State and former Vanderbilt coach James Franklin, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell and Iowa State coach Matt Campbell.
USC is looking for a replacement for Clay Helton, who was fired on Sept. 11 following a 42-28 home loss to Stanford in Week 2. Helton had a 46-24 record in six-plus seasons, and a 1-3 record in bowl games.
Fisher currently serves as an advisor to the Tennessee State University football program, where former Titans running back Eddie George is the head coach and Fisher's son Brandon is the defensive coordinator. The Tigers are 4-3 and 2-1 in the OVC.
Fisher compiled a 173-165-1 record in 22 NFL seasons with the Houston Oilers, Titans and Rams, making one Super Bowl appearance with Tennessee in 1999. And he is on record admitting his goal is to coach again.
“I miss the game ... the players,” Fisher said in an interview with 104.5-FM last year. “My hope is to get back on the sideline. In the meantime, I’ve been doing things I haven’t been able to do in a long time. Family and grandkids. Watching the NFL and the college game. Deep down, I don’t feel like I’m done. But if I am, that’s okay.”
As a USC alum (1977-80), Fisher would be an unusual hire for the school. It’s difficult to imagine the Trojans passing on any head coach with a proven track record in college football like Franklin, who has led the Nittany Lions to a 5-2 start and a No. 20 ranking in the AP Top 25 poll, or Fickell, who has Cincinnati off to a 7-0 start and an AP No. 2 ranking.
With the USC job still considered a high-profile opening, it’s expected the school would aim for a candidate who at least has prior college coaching experience.
Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_