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January 15, 2012TUSCALOOSA | University of Washington offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Jim McElwain in the same role for the University of Alabama, and could be named as early as this week, a source close to the situation told Tidesports.com Sunday. Meanwhile, University of Tennessee assistant coach Lance Thompson has told acquaintances he will join the Alabama staff as the replacement for departed linebackers coach Sal Sunseri, according to a source.
Nussmeier is one of three candidates who reportedly interviewed for the position with head coach Nick Saban last week, along with former New York Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Jacksonville Jaguars coordinator Dirk Koetter. Thompson left Alabama for Tennessee after the 2008 season to coach for Lane Kiffin, but remained on the UT staff after Derek Dooley took over the Volunteers program.
Nussmeier has been with the Huskies for the past three seasons as a coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He mentored Washington star quarterback Jake Locker, who was chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft last year by the Tennessee Titans.
McElwain was hired as head coach at Colorado State last month after four seasons in Tuscaloosa, but stayed on at UA through the BCS National Championship Game. When McElwain left Fresno State to join the Alabama staff, Nussmeier was his replacement. He had been the quarterbacks coach with the NFL's St. Louis Rams, and spent only one season at Fresno before joining the staff at UW.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.