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MOST INTRIGUING AGGIE CANDIDATE: GERRY FAUST

SHARE MOST INTRIGUING AGGIE CANDIDATE: GERRY FAUST

How 'bout this? Gerry Faust, coach of the Utah State Aggies.

It could happen.Faust, the former Notre Dame coach, is the most intriguing name to come up so far as Utah State begins looking to replace Charlie Weatherbie, who leaves after three seasons to take over a flagging program at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Faust is truly a USU candidate.

He is interested enough to be expected to contact Utah State athletic director Chuck Bell this morning after missing connections with him Friday.

Bell told the Deseret News Friday that Faust "expressed interest through others. He is interested in talking to us about it."

Bell indicated Faust became aware of the USU situation when he was asked if he knew anyone who might be interested, and he said he both knew someone and that he, too, might like to apply.

Fired Nov. 21 and transferred to vice president of development and admissions after nine seasons as football coach at University of Akron (43-53-3 record, 1-10 in 1994), Faust, who coached the Irish for five years, wants to return to coaching. His connection with Utah State is media relations director John Lewandowski, former Notre Dame student and sports information assistant who is friends with Faust.

Bell said he wants someone with head-coaching experience, whether it be at the pro level, junior college or NCAA Division I, II or III. He wants a coach who will fit in with Logan and students and provide "an entertaining brand of football. A good coach will adjust to his talent (and win)," Bell said, citing Aggie basketball coach Larry Eustachy, who won with a slowdown game last season but is uptempo with new players now. "And I personally want somebody who enjoys fund-raising and recruiting," Bell said.

Aggie assistants Dick Bumpas (assistant head coach, defensive coordinator) and Jim Zorn (the offensive coordinator who accepted the quarterback-coaching job at Minnesota last week but hasn't left Logan yet) called Bell Friday to ask consideration for Weatherbie's job. Offensive line coach Gene McKeehan, a USU alum, assistant there for 14 years and a candidate for the job three years ago, was trying to reach Bell Friday afternoon to also apply.

Other possibilities might include Terry Shea, the former Stanford assistant under Bill Walsh and a former San Jose State head coach and Aggie assistant; Idaho coach John L. Smith, a Weber State grad whose wife attended USU; former Idaho State coach and Aggie player and assistant Garth Hall; Utah assistants Rick Rasnick and Fred Whittingham; BYU assistant Norm Chow; Weber State coach Dave Arslanian; Arizona State linebacker coach Kent Baer, a one-time Aggie assistant who applied three years ago; and Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Brian Billick, a finalist for the job three years ago when he was a Stanford assistant. Billick is now more attractive but may be less interested.