Norm Chow, offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans and a former USC assistant, has been contacted by the search firm working on behalf of UCLA and was expected to be interviewed for the Bruins' vacant head football coach's position by the end of the week, sources familiar with the situation said Wednesday.
Though Chow, 61, has not been a head coach, he has long be lauded for his work with quarterbacks and for shaping creative and prolific offenses. He was offensive coordinator at Brigham Young, North Carolina State and USC before joining the Titans in 2005.
Chow declined to comment about the UCLA job. The Titans are preparing to play the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
UCLA is said to be considering several coaches and school officials are taking gradual steps toward making a hire, a source familiar with the search said. The process is expected to continue at least through next week.
DeWayne Walker, the team's defensive coordinator this season and last, is guiding the Bruins as interim head coach in the wake of Karl Dorrell's firing last week. UCLA is preparing to face Brigham Young in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22.
Walker was interviewed for the permanent post on Tuesday, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Walker declined to comment on the meeting when reached Wednesday.
Walker is considered the linchpin of the Bruins' recruiting efforts -- UCLA has a highly rated 2008 class of commitments -- and school officials are believed to want to retain him even if he isn't the choice for the top job.
Chow coached at USC from 2000 to 2004 and was on the same Trojans' staff as Walker in 2001.
During Chow's tenure as offensive coordinator, USC's offense flourished, quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart became Heisman Trophy winners, and the team won two national titles.
Chow has also been credited with the quick transition Titans' quarterback Vince Young made from college to the NFL as a rookie last season.
Chow makes about $1 million annually and is under contract for at least two more seasons, though the Titans are not expected to stand in his way should he get a job offer.
Dorrell's contract was for $850,000 plus incentives, but a source familiar with the UCLA athletic program said money is available to improve on the next coach's salary.
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Norm Chow file
Despite not having been a head coach, Chow, 61, has a reputation for being a top-notch offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
TENNESSEE TITANS (19-26 record)
Offensive coordinator (2005-present)
Coached Steve McNair in 2005 and Vince Young the last two seasons.
Offensive coordinator (2001-2004)
Helped USC win national championships in 2003 and 2004. Was instrumental in the development of Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE (8-4)
Offensive coordinator (2000)
The Wolfpack ranked 12th nationally in total offense under Chow and his freshman quarterback Philip Rivers, who is now the quarterback for the San Diego Chargers.
BRIGHAM YOUNG (244-91-3)
Assistant head coach, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach (1996-1999)
Assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach (1990-1995)
Co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach (1985-1989)
Co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and receivers coach (1982-1984)
Receivers coach, recruiting coordinator (1975-1981)
Graduate assistant (1973-1974)
Was an assistant on the Cougars' 1984 national championship team. Coached quarterbacks Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Marc Wilson, Ty Detmer and Robbie Bosco and tight end Todd Christensen. Detmer won the Heisman in 1990.
Sources: usctrojans.com, profootball-reference.com