Michigan defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator Maurice Linguist and Minnesota defensive backs coach/co-defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak are the two finalists for UB’s head coaching vacancy, according to FootballScoop.com.
Linguist is the reported front-runner for the job, but Harasymiak is also in the mix, according to John Brice.
After Lance Leipold’s departure for the University of Kansas last week, UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt told reporters that he plans on hiring a new head coach before players head home after finals week on May 15.
After six seasons with the 57-year-old Leipold at the helm, it seems UB intends to bring youthful energy to Buffalo.
Harasymiak, 34, would become the youngest head coach in the nation if hired. Linguist, 37, would become the fourth-youngest head coach if he lands the job.
Kent State’s Sean Lewis (35), Charlotte’s Will Healy (36), Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley (37), Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz (38) and Florida State’s Mike Norvell (39) are the only five FBS coaches under the age of 40.
Harasymiak became the youngest head coach at the Division I level when he accepted the job at FCS Maine at 29 years old in 2016. He finished with a 20-15 record in three seasons with the Black Bears, including an FCS Playoff Semifinal appearance in 2018.
Harasymiak joined P.J. Fleck’s staff at Minnesota in December 2018, first as defensive backs/safeties coach, and then as co-defensive coordinator, in 2020.
Michigan hired Linguist, who coached defensive backs at UB from 2012 to 2013, to become Jim Harbaugh’s co-defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach in January 2021.
After playing safety at Baylor from 2003 to 2006, Linguist joined
the Bears’ staff as a graduate assistant in 2007. He has since served as a defensive assistant for Valdosta State, James Madison, Buffalo, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Minnesota, Texas A&M and in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys.
While Harasymiak has previous head coaching experience at the FCS level, Linguist has coached at some of the biggest programs in the country, including a stint in the NFL.
FootballScoop reports UB is expected to make a decision soon, with the new head coach possibly beginning his duties starting Monday.
Anthony DeCicco is the senior sports editor for The Spectrum. In his free time, he can be found playing video games, watching ‘90s Knicks games and arguing with people on NBA Twitter at 3 a.m.