The search to hire two assistant coaches is proceeding quickly behind closed doors at Oregon State, and coach Gary Andersen hopes to have replacements in place by the weekend in order to introduce them at a Monday team meeting.
Andersen must replace defensive coordinator Kalani Sitake and linebackers/special teams coach Ilaisa Tuiaki. Sitake was hired on Dec. 19 as coach at Brigham Young, and named Tuiaki as his defensive coordinator.
The job posting for the two positions closed Monday.
There's no question Andersen prefers to hire coaches with whom he has a previous relationship, a practice that has served him well in the past. He wants coaches who want to be at Oregon State and believe in the Beavers' system and the program's direction. A priority, too, is recruiting prowess.
Anderson's first choice as Oregon State's D-coordinator is likely Dave Aranda, who currently fills that role at Wisconsin and worked for Anderson in the position at Utah State in 2012 and at Wisconsin in 2013 and '14 before Anderson left for OSU. Aranda now works for Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, who served two stints (1997-98 and 2003-04) as offensive coordinator under Mike Riley at OSU.
Aranda, also linked to D-coordinator vacancies at Southern Cal and Michigan (Michigan has filled its position), is paid $520,000 annually at Wisconsin. Sitake made $730,000 during his lone season at Oregon State.
But Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this week he isn't worried about losing Aranda.
"Dave's compensation is fair," said Alvarez, noting he has authorized Chryst to pay more salary to his assistants in 2016. "People need to (understand) that you don't leave jobs just because somebody is going to pay you more money.
"It's quality of life. You have a wife and kids who are happy and have adjusted. You have some job security -- as much as you can have in this business. Somebody can pay you a lot more money. You can go there and the school systems might not be good. If your wife isn't happy, you're not going to be happy."
Wisconsin plays USC in the Holiday Bowl on Wednesday.
Another prime option could be Kevin Clune, the Utah State D-coordinator who reportedly was in Corvallis Tuesday for an interview with Andersen and to view the OSU facilities. Clune coached linebackers at Utah State during Andersen's tenure there as coach from 2009-12. Clune was also D-coordinator at Southern Utah during Andersen's one season there as coach in 2003 and was a grad assistant at Utah in 2001 and '02 when Andersen was the Utes' assistant head coach.
Clune reportedly made $203,920 at Utah State this past season.
Akron defeated Utah State 23-21 in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl on Dec. 22. Andersen was in attendance to watch one of his sons, Chasen, a redshirt freshman who is a reserve linebacker and special-teams player for the Aggies. Andersen had one solo tackle in the game.
Another candidate could be Houston D-coordinator Todd Orlando, who didn't work directly with Andersen but served in the position at Utah State in 2013 and '14, just after Andersen left the school for Wisconsin.
Other possibilities include Louisiana State defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who coached cornerbacks under Andersen at Utah State in 2009 and '10, and Utah State cornerbacks coach Kendrick Shaver, who coached two seasons (2011 and '12) under Andersen at the school.