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Memphis hires LSU's Porter

The University of Memphis on Sunday introduced Larry Porter, the Louisiana State running backs coach since 2005, as its next football coach, officially putting to rest any talk about Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster's candidacy for the job.

Foster expressed interest in the opening shortly after Tommy West was fired Nov. 9 after nine seasons coaching the Tigers. Foster said then, and has reiterated since, that he was not contacted by Memphis about the job.

Although the Memphis Commercial Appeal initially reported that Foster was among a short list of candidates for the Tigers' opening, it was never clear whether Memphis gave serious consideration to Foster or whether Athletic Director R.C. Johnson had reached out to Foster or his agent, Robert Lattinville.

Foster, considered one of the nation’s top assistants as the Hokies' defensive coordinator for the past 15 seasons, has been in the mix for openings in the past but has never been a head coach. He has been selective about job openings in previous years, saying that he would prefer to leave for a Bowl Championship Series program.

Foster interviewed at Clemson and Virginia in the past. He has said that he tried unsuccessfully to get the jobs at North Carolina State and Illinois before Tom O’Brien and Ron Zook landed those jobs.

Meanwhile, Porter, 37, has never been a coach or an offensive coordinator but is considered a top recruiter. A former Tigers running back, Porter has strong Memphis ties, ranking sixth in career rushing at the school with 2,194 yards; he scored 20 touchdowns from 1990 to 1993.

"The Memphis job is the perfect job in the perfect place for me," Porter told reporters Sunday at a news conference announcing his hiring.

By Mark Viera  |  November 30, 2009; 12:35 PM ET
 
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