Daily Dirt II – 3/19/12

Big day out there on the coaching front….here’s another update…..

It sounds like Shaka Smart has become the top target at Illinois. According to multiple sources, AD Mike Thomas is making a hard push to land Smart quickly. Smart was an assistant at Akron when Thomas was the AD there. Word is Illinois could offer between $2.2 and $2.5 million as part of a multi-year package.

The Frank Martin to South Carolina rumors are really heating up. According to sources, Martin may have already been in contact with USC officials. South Carolina native Gregg Marshall was believed to be the #1 target, but he may have priced himself out of the game. Marshall reportedly wants a 7-year $2.5 million deal.

Keep an eye on the Ole Miss situation. There have been grumblings that head coach Andy Kennedy is feeling some heat, and may bolt for his alma mater UAB. Kennedy played at UAB for Gene Bartow. It sounds like UAB will make a hard push for him if he becomes available.

I’ve heard that Mesa State assistant Andy Shantz and Johnson and Wales (CO) head coach Jeff Culver are two of the finalist for the UC-Colorado Springs job. Look for an announcement here in the next week.

Also, stay tuned for our big announcement tonight at 7:00 (EST)….