Virginia offensive coordinator Ron Prince has emerged as the leading candidate to become head coach at Kansas State, two sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Kansas State has sent a plane to Charlottesville, Va., that will bring Prince back to Kansas, his home state, for a second interview, either Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
Prince has no connection with Bill Snyder, the legend who over the course of his 17-year career changed the Wildcats from a doormat into a national power. The man assumed to be the top candidate, South Florida coach Jim Leavitt, has not been interviewed by Kansas State.
Leavitt, a former Kansas State assistant, agreed Tuesday to a contract extension that will keep him at South Florida through 2012.
Another former Kansas State assistant, Brent Venables, said
Wednesday that he wanted to stay at Oklahoma as defensive
"It's not something I'm interested in right now," he told The Oklahoman.
Kansas State athletic director Tim Weiser led a three-man delegation that flew to Charlottesville on Monday to interview Prince, who impressed them so much that he moved to the top of their list.
Prince, 36, has coached the Cavaliers' offensive line for five seasons. He developed two All-Americans last season, guard Elton Brown and tight end Heath Miller. This season, Virginia tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson has been touted by Mel Kiper as a possible first pick in the 2006 NFL draft.
He would become the fourth African-American coach in Division I-A.
Prince played at Dodge City Community College in Kansas for two seasons before moving on to I-AA Appalachian State.
Ivan Maisel is a senior writer at ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Associated Press contributed to this report.