The Naval Academy and the University of Maryland are finding they need look no further than their morning mail for a surplus of candidates to take over their football programs.
Navy Athletic Director J.O. (Bo) Coppedge said he has received at least 80 applications for the job of head football coach, left vacant when George Welsh quit to take a similar position at Virginia last week.
At Maryland, Athletic Director Dick Dull said he has had "heavy mail" from applicants seeking to replace former head coach Jerry Claiborne, who resigned last week to become the coach at Kentucky. Dull said sorting this mail will delay his initiating contact with his own candidates for another day or two.
Former Heisman Trophy winner Steve Spurrier, the offensive coordinator at Duke University, said yesterday he has applied for the job at Maryland. Others who have been mentioned in connection with the job include Ted Marchibroda, the Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator who had coached the Baltimore Colts to three consecutive AFC East titles; Sam Rutigliano, the Cleveland Browns' coach and a Maryland assistant in 1966; Pepper Rodgers, former UCLA and Georgia Tech coach, and Dick Nolan, former coach of the New Orleans Saints.
"My resume probably hasn't even gotten up there yet, but I think they know I'm interested," Spurrier, 36, told The Washington Post in a telephone interview from Durham, N.C. "I made the initial contact with Maryland, and I hope Dick Dull (Maryland's athletic director) will get in touch with me in the next few days."
Spurrier won the Heisman in 1966 and quarterbacked the University of Florida team that won the 1967 Orange Bowl.
Dull said yesterday he will not confirm or comment on candidates "during this entire selection process" because the current positions of candidates could be jeopardized.
Dull has said he will hire a coach with a wide-open, passing philosophy to replace Claiborne, who resigned last Wednesday after 10 years at Maryland. Dull also is leaning toward hiring a coach whose name alone would help sell tickets to Byrd Stadium.
At Navy, Coppedge said he will take his time in picking a successor to Welsh, who became Virginia's coach last Wednesday after nine years in Annapolis.
"I'm trying to hustle as much as I can," Coppedge said. "If we weren't going down there (to Memphis for the Dec. 30th Liberty Bowl game against Ohio State) I'd get it done by the first of the year. But now it could take longer.
"I'm looking for another George Welsh," Coppedge said. "I may not find him, but I'm looking for that type of person."
Coppedge said he called former Midshipman and Dallas Cowboy quarterback Roger Staubach to see if he would be interested. But Staubach, now a television commentator, said he was not. Coppedge also said he is interested in talking to Pete McCulley, now a New York Jets assistant and a former Navy assistant whose son played under Welsh.