Florida defensive coordinator Dan Quinn is reportedly a candidate for Florida International's vacant head coach position, according to CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman and The Palm Beach Post's Matt Porter:
FSU vs UF again? I'm told Gators DC Dan Quinn & Noles OC James Coley both in mix for FIU job.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 7, 2012
I seriously doubt Quinn makes that move.
Florida International's job is only open because FIU's former coach, Mario Cristobal, apparently clashed with the athletic department; Cristobal built an awful team into the 2010 Sun Belt champions and took FIU to consecutive bowl games, the only two in program history, before the Golden Panthers thudded back to earth in 2012, going 3-9. That's an indication to any coach that it's a build-and-bail job, one to be used as a stepping stone rather than a final destination. Cristobal could've done that last year, as he drew interest from Rutgers, but decided not to; he's probably been kicking himself for that a lot recently.
Rare though it is for me to praise FSU over Florida, the better of the two candidates in terms of fitting that build-and-bail mode is James Coley. Coley's 39; Quinn's 42. Coley's got three years as an offensive coordinator at FSU under his belt; Quinn just finished his second at Florida. Coley is renowned as a ferocious recruiter; Quinn's rep is, relatively, just good. And Coley's a local, born and raised in Miami, and was the offensive coordinator under Don Strock at FIU in 2006.
Coley's also been rumored as a candidate to leave Tallahassee this fall because everyone else is: FSU coaches' stocks are unlikely to be higher next year, when FSU loses a fair bit on defense and EJ Manuel on offense, than they are now, and Mark Stoops and D.J. Eliot have already departed for Kentucky.
Quinn, on the other hand, is part of a Florida nucleus that seems likely to stick together for another year at least. He, Brent Pease, and D.J. Durkin will probably all serve as head coaches somewhere at some point — they're too smart and too ambitious not to, I think — but Florida's got a chance to make a national championship run in 2013 that would allow those three guys to become candidates for better jobs than the big chair at Florida International and skip over that stepping-stone stage of their career. And Quinn already turned down the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Greg Schiano came calling with the defensive coordinator's job, one that might have been more lucrative and prestigious than FIU head coach.
I don't know that Coley, unless the Florida State offense explodes next year, will ever have a similar scenario. Coley's reflected glory from the FSU offense is also mitigated by Jimbo Fisher still maintaining near full control of that unit; Quinn at least shares a lot of the Florida defensive duties with Will Muschamp.
So I'm not worried about Quinn leaving ... until next year.