Bowling Green Athletic Director Chris Kingston has "emerged as the leading candidate" for the same position at UCF, according to a report from Nick Gryniewicz of ESPN 580 Orlando.
The report quotes a source "familiar with the process," saying it's not a done deal but a hire would be made "in late November or early December."
I cannot confirm that report independently, although the timeline is exactly what we all know. I can say, however, that Nick knows what he's doing and I have no reason to not believe him, despite his being a USF grad (Love ya, Nick!).
I did do some digging on Kingston, and here's what I found out:
- He's a UCF grad, class of 1994. This I like about him very much.
- He's ex-military, commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Military Intelligence Corps after graduating from UCF, and served in the Army for 15 years until retiring in 2009.
- He's been the A.D. at Bowling Green since June of 2013.
- While there, he orchestrated the biggest financial donation in BGSU history - $20 million for the basketball program.
- He hired Dino Babers as the head football coach. Babers took BGSU to the MAC Championship Game in his first year.
- He hired Chris Jans, but fired him after a drunken incident at an off-campus bar. Jans had led BGSU to its best season in 13 years.
- He hired former Miami assistant Michael Huger to replace Jans.
- He spent two-plus years at N.C. State overseeing football and men's basketball, along with branding and multimedia.
- Before N.C. State, he worked for four years at West Point, overseeing fundraising and gifts.
- At West Point, he also worked on head coach searches for football, men's basketball, men's soccer and men's golf.
- He did his graduate work at Long Island University, and also studied at the Sports Management programs at Michigan and Texas.
So this dude knows what he's doing. Plus he's a UCF grad.
One other thing: Dino Babers is one of the hot young names I've seen batted around in connection with UCF's head football coaching search. So it would make almost too much sense for UCF to hire Kingston and Babers.
Again, this is pure speculation, although it's gaining some traction in MAC circles:
Dino Babers & Chris Kingston would be a dynamite package to UCF. Perfect step for Kingston & perfect spot for Babers to rejuvenate program.— Thomas Schmeltz (@Thomas_Schmeltz) November 2, 2015
Botom line is we're not going to know who the A.D. is until UCF announces it. But we could do a hell of a lot worse than a guy who knows how to conduct coaching searches, handle big time donations, and, oh yeah, has a degree from UCF. We shall see.