Bowden says he's very interested in job at West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia needs a coach and Terry
Bowden likes the idea of making a return to coaching in his

Bowden, who grew up in Morgantown when his father, Bobby, was the
Mountaineers' coach and played at West Virginia, has been out of
coaching since 1998. Not long after Rich Rodriguez left the
Mountaineers to take the Michigan job, Bowden, the former Auburn
coach, let it be known he's interested in the West Virginia

"I made a full commitment to get back into coaching almost two
years ago. Coming home to West Virginia would obviously be the
dream job for me," Bowden, a college football analyst on radio and
for Yahoo! Sports, said in a statement released by his publicist.

When reached at his home Monday in Orlando, Fla., Bowden
wouldn't say whether he's been in contact with the Mountaineers (No. 9 BCS, No. 11 AP)
since Sunday, when it was announced Rodriguez was going to
Michigan. Sunday, sources told ESPN's John Buccigross that Bowden had been in contact with the school.

West Virginia athletic director Ed Pastilong didn't immediately
return a telephone message Monday.

Pastilong must first find an interim coach to lead West
Virginia (10-2) in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 2 against Oklahoma (No. 4 BCS, No. 3 AP)

Rodriguez said he wouldn't coach the Mountaineers in the bowl
because he didn't want to be a distraction.

"The attention should be on the team. But I have not talked to
West Virginia University about that," he said.

Rodriguez's $4 million buyout clause in his West Virginia
contract still must be worked out. When Michigan lured basketball
coach John Beilein away from West Virginia last April, his contract
had a $2.5 million buyout clause. Under an agreement with West
Virginia, Beilein agreed to pay $1.5 million to the WVU Foundation.

The interim coach won't be offensive coordinator Calvin Magee or
secondary coach and recruiting coordinator Tony Gibson. Rodriguez
introduced them at his Michigan news conference.

Magee declined comment on his immediate future. Gibson said he
has committed to coming to Michigan but hadn't told West Virginia
officials as of Monday morning.

"My contract goes through June, but when I get back I'm going
to sit with the AD and say I'm going to Michigan when the bowl is
over," said Gibson, who planned to fly back to Morgantown later

Gibson said he wouldn't call any West Virginia recruits who had
made verbal commitments.

"We'll start recruiting for the University of Michigan right
away," he said.

Bobby Bowden coached the Mountaineers from 1970-75, going 42-26
before leaving for Florida State. Terry Bowden played running back
for West Virginia in 1977-78.

Terry Bowden won his first 20 games at Auburn and 47 overall in
six-plus seasons before resigning on Oct. 23, 1998, after learning
he was going to be fired at the end of the season.

Another coach interested in West Virginia is Virginia Tech
defensive coordinator Bud Foster, said his agent, Bob Lattinville,
although he said no contact has been made with the Mountaineers.

Also being mentioned as a possible candidate is Florida State
offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, a Clarksburg native.

But Fisher has a $2.5 million buyout clause in his contract if
he leaves Florida State before Jan. 9, 2011, after agreeing to be
FSU's "head coach-in-waiting."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.