Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 12/7/12
Here are five leading candidates to replace Butch Jones following his resignation at Bearcats coach Friday. Matt Campbell, head coach, Toledo - He's young, successful and he's been groomed for this type of job. He's still the youngest coach in FBS football and the thought that he's a year away may be legitimate, but why wait? He has a great job and great talent at Toledo, and he has the demeanor and recruiting ability to keep UC playing at a high level and eventually push it higher. Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State - He was Cincinnati's defensive coordinator from 2004-06, so he knows the program and the city. He's overseen a very gifted defense at Michigan State since 2007, knows the recruiting area and knows the landscape. Lack of head-coaching experience could be a negative, but he's worth at least a look. Willie Taggart, head coach, Western Kentucky - One of the buzz names for many jobs, Taggart has done a great job building Western Kentucky into something from nothing. He'd be a fit as a bright young coach with head-coaching experience who knows the region and the importance of recruiting in the South and convincing talented players to come north for their college careers. Kerry Coombs, defensive backs coach, Ohio State - Probably a longshot candidate because he presumably has no direct relationship with Cincinnati athletic director Whit Babcock, but Coombs is football in Cincinnati. A longtime successful head coach at Colerain High School, he left there to be an assistant at UC and then was a priority hire for Urban Meyer last year at this time. He'd energize the city and the program. Pete Lembo, head coach, Ball State - He won at FCS Elon, and in his second year at Ball State this season the Cardinals went 9-3, defeated two BCS conference opponents and are playing in the Beef O'Brady's Bowl this month. He prefers the kind of wide-open spread offense already in place at Cincinnati, and as successful MAC coach looking to take the step, well, UC has had success with that before. He's been linked to other open jobs; he seems to fit this one.
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