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'Huskers get Gill go-ahead

Warde Manuel should find out soon if he's going to be in the market for a new football coach. If he is, the University at Buffalo athletics director is in a much better position than he was two years ago.

Tom Osborne, Nebraska's interim athletics director, asked for and received permission Sunday to interview UB coach Turner Gill for its head coaching job, one day after Gill led the Bulls to a piece of the Mid-American Conference East Division championship.

It is unclear when Gill will interview for the job but Manuel, who hired Gill in 2005, believes the interview will take place in the next day or two.

"I'm happy for Turner and his family about getting the opportunity to talk to Nebraska," said Manuel. "He's worked extremely hard and deserves this opportunity."

The Lincoln (Neb.) Journal Star, citing unidentified sources, reported that LSU defensive coordinator Bo Pelini was interviewed by Osborne in Baton Rouge, La., on Sunday. A source said Osborne wants to complete the search in the next few days.

Osborne fired coach Bill Callahan on Saturday and Pelini and Gill have been rumored to be at the top of his list. Because of Gill, Manuel's wish list -- if he's forced to create one -- will be longer than before.

"It's not a foregone conclusion that he's leaving and I don't want to lose him," Manuel said. "But with Turner at the helm, it's a job now where it will be easier for me to recruit. Before, because Buffalo did not have any success, it was harder to recruit people and we were lucky to get Turner."

Even with the help of Florida-based search firm Carr Sports Associates, it was difficult for Manuel to find candidates for the job in 2005. And Gill, at the time the Green Bay Packers' director of player development, wasn't on Carr's original list. It was Manuel who reached out to Gill.

"We had great candidates, but it wasn't like we had a multitude to pick from," Manuel said. "It was a sense, 'Glad to hear from you, but no thank you,' more than we heard, 'Yes, I'd like to talk to you.' Now, Turner has us going in the right direction."


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