January 22, 2004

Three Finalists Interview for Football Opening

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Last week, three finalists interviewed on campus for the still un-filled opening for the Cornell head football coach position. Kevin Gilbride, former offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills was in Ithaca on Monday, Jan. 12. Steve Nelson, head coach and athletic director at Curry College in Milton, Mass., interviewed on Tuesday, Jan. 13. Finally, former Oakland Raiders offensive coordinator Marc Trestman interviewed on Friday, Jan. 16.

A fourth candidate, Cleveland Browns defensive line coach Andre Patterson, was also invited to Ithaca for the final round of interviews, but removed himself for consideration prior to his scheduled meeting on Thursday, Jan. 14. Patterson was also a finalist in the head coach search in 2001.

The interview process involved alumni, athletic administrators and staff, and five current members of the football team. A final decision has still not been reached and no offers have been made to any of the candidates despite numerous rumors to the contrary.

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