COLLEGE PARK -- Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger met with William & Mary football coach Jimmye Laycock yesterday to see if he was truly interested in Maryland's vacant head coaching job, an official within Maryland's athletic department said.
"I think the most important question Andy wanted to know is how serious Laycock was about taking the job," said the official. "At first there didn't seem to be much interest. I think Andy wanted to make sure this situation didn't turn out like the Boston College situation involving Laycock."
Last Dec. 18 Laycock accepted the head coaching job at Boston College only to reject it a day later. Laycock, 43, was not available for comment last night, although William & Mary spokesman Jeff Nygaard confirmed yesterday's meeting. Geiger declined to comment.
Laycock recently finished his 12th season as head coach at William & Mary, where he compiled a 73-62-2 record. The Tribe was 5-6 last season, but in the past six years, William & Mary has a 44-25-2 record. The Tribe has participated in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs three of the past six years.
Before coming to William & Maryland, Laycock was an assistant coach at Clemson from 1977 to 1979. He was quarterback coach at Memphis State from 1975 to 1977 and offensive backfield coach at The Citadel from 1972 to 1974.
Meanwhile yesterday, Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky withdrew his name from consideration. Sandusky has been an assistant at Penn State for the past 23 years, and seems to be the heir apparent to Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno. He is the second coach this week to have withdrawn his name, joining East Carolina coach Bill Lewis.
"I had some preliminary talks with Maryland, as I am sure a number of other football coaches [have]," Sandusky, 47, said in a prepared statement. "From our games over the years, I have formed a great respect for the Maryland program.
"But after discussions with family and friends, I am withdrawing my name from consideration. My great affection for Penn State, where I have spent most of my coaching lifetime, and my commitment to the second mile, certainly weighed heavily in my decision. I appreciate the consideration by Maryland."
Maryland's search for a new coach seems to be centered on Division I-AA head coaches, or assistants from major college programs.
Geiger also has been in contact with Clemson defensive coordinator Ron Dickerson, 43. Dickerson, who has also held assistant jobs at Kansas State, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Colorado and Penn State, is believed to be the only black contacted by Maryland. Geiger has stressed hiring more blacks in the athletic department since becoming athletic director last October.
Dickerson said last night he won't comment on the Maryland job until after the Tigers play California in the Florida Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.
Geiger also has contacted Holy Cross officials about head coach Mark Duffner, who has yet to be interviewed. Duffner, who has a 60-5-1 record in six years at Holy Cross, did not return phone calls yesterday.
He has been recommended to Geiger by San Diego Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard and at least one Washington Redskins coach.