January 15, 2004

Then There Were Three

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It’s still uncertain as to who the next Cornell head football coach will be. What is certain is that the decision will come soon.

Several Cornell Athletic Department sources confirmed that the head coaching search has been narrowed to three candidates: Kevin Gilbride of the Buffalo Bills, Marc Trestman of the Oakland Raiders, and Steve Nelson of Curry College. A fourth candidate, Andre Patterson of the Cleveland Browns, was also invited to Ithaca for the final round of interviews, but recently declined.

The finalists have been interviewing throughout the week with alumni, various Cornell administrators, and athletic department staff. A final decision is expected next week, with salary negotiations to follow.

Gilbride, a 29-year coaching veteran, has spent the last 14 years in the pro ranks, including two seasons as a head coach and 11 others as an offensive coordinator. Known as one of the preeminent offensive minds in the game, Gilbride has spent the last two seasons as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, which he led to offensive rankings of 11th and 30th in the 2002 and 2003 seasons, respectively. Prior to his stint in upstate New York, Gilbride served as the offensive coordinator for the Houston Oilers (1990-94), Jacksonville Jaguars (1995-96), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1999-00), where his teams were perennially ranked near the top of the league in passing offense.

Gilbride’s only head coaching experience came during the 1997-98 seasons, when he served as the San Diego Chargers’ top man. However, during his time in San Diego, the team managed to win just six of its 22 games.

Although not as distinguished as his pro r