Sacramento State could announce its next football coach as early as Monday or Tuesday, The Bee has learned.
Hornets athletic director Mark Orr has interviewed a number of candidates but has narrowed his pool down to three, two sources with knowledge of the process told The Bee on Saturday. The sources were not authorized to comment on the record.
Each candidate has deep ties to Sacramento and has been interviewed by Orr off campus in Sacramento, in addition to phone conversations. Orr had not returned a call to comment.
All three offer unique qualities, as Orr wants to find a coach to usher the Hornets into a new era of promise. Orr has called Sac State football a sleeping giant. Sac State relieved Jody Sears as coach after six seasons, the Hornets finishing 2-8 after going 7-4 in 2017.
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A closer look at the candidates:
Troy Taylor: The Bee’s 1985 Player of the Year at Cordova High School in 1985, Taylor set passing records at Cal and played briefly in the NFL. His spread offensive play calling as a co-coach with Kris Richardson at Folsom led to championship success, including Folsom going 16-0 in 2014 with perhaps the greatest prep team in regional history.
Taylor used that same offense at Eastern Washington in 2015 as co-offensive coordinator and used many of those elements as offensive coordinator at Utah the past two seasons, reaching the Pacific-12 Conference championship game this year. He’s known as a master developer of quarterbacks. A snag could be monetary, as Taylor earned $525,000 in salary this season, well above what Sac State has paid its head coaches over the years.
Jon Osterhout: An Oakmont High product who became an All-America offensive lineman at Sac State and was also a longtime assistant coach with the program. Osterhout as head coach has elevated American River College to a national power over the past five seasons, sending scores of players to the four-year level, including some of the top programs in the country, so he understands recruiting, transfers and the NCAA clearinghouse language.
Angus McClure: A Bay Area native, McClure played offensive line on Sac State’s 1988 playoff team, the last one to reach the postseason, and he was an assistant coach with the Hornets from 1997-2003. He was an assistant coach for 11 seasons at UCLA, where he landed scores of players as a lead recruiter before becoming the assistant head coach at Nevada in 2018. His son, Hamish, is a freshman quarterback at Sac State.
Sac State also interviewed, among others, Colorado co-offensive coordinator Klayton Adams, a Sheldon High and American River College product.
Follow The Bee’s Joe Davidson: firstname.lastname@example.org, @SacBee_JoeD, sacbee.com/high-school.