Sources: Brick Haley in mix to be LSU’s defensive coordinator; interest in Clancy Pendergast cools

As LSU coach Les Miles continues his search for a defensive coordinator, bits of information continued to emerge Sunday night.

Defensive line coach Brick Haley hasn’t been ruled out to replace John Chavis, and interest between LSU and former NFL defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has cooled, sources told The Advocate.

Haley is interested in the position, a source said. He could move into the role of coaching linebackers and coordinating LSU’s defense, opening the door for Louisiana native and former Ole Miss coach Ed Orgeron to join the staff.

Meanwhile, Miles has not contacted Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop but likely will do so this week. There is “interest” between the parties, sources said.

Alabama linebackers coach Kevin Steele continues to be a candidate, too, though it’s unclear whether LSU has contacted him. Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops met with Miles — and possibly others — in Dallas over the weekend, but his candidacy is “not serious,” sources said.

Miles and his assistants are expected to meet Monday as a staff, and a hire is likely to be made by the end of the week, sources said.

Chavis’ six-year stay as LSU’s defensive coordinator ended when he left for Texas A&M a day after the Tigers lost to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl on Tuesday.

A multitude of candidates has been rumored for a job that’s drawing interest from around the nation.

The salary for the new coordinator is expected to be similar to that of Chavis, who made $1.3 million per year, the third-highest of any assistant in the nation.

Whoever replaces Chavis will be only the fourth defensive coordinator at LSU in Miles’ 10 years, joining Bo Pelini (2005-07), co-coordinators Bradley Dale Peveto and Doug Mallory (2008) and Chavis (2009-14).

LSU’s coordinator search enters Week 2 with no real favorite, and several options and coaches are involved. Miles is “taking time” with the search and knows “the importance” of the hire, sources said.

Haley has emerged as a possible replacement for his good friend Chavis. Haley, 48, has been on LSU’s staff since 2009, the year Chavis started with the program as well.

He has been a defensive coordinator once — at Baylor from 1999-2001. He coached linebackers for the Bears and has been a linebackers coach at three other stops.

He joined LSU after a stint as defensive line coach for the Chicago Bears and, before that, Georgia Tech.

Haley’s move into the role creates an opening to coach the defensive line, one that could be filled by Orgeron, the longtime Southern California defensive line coach heralded as one of the nation’s top recruiters.

He now lives in Mandeville and is out of coaching. He said recently he’d “love” to be at LSU.

Pendergast, 47, is an ex-Arizona Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, Cal and Southern Cal coordinator. He has been contacted by LSU, but the odds of him landing the job seemed to have grown longer, sources said.

Shoop, 48, is highly interested in the position, but he hasn’t interviewed with Miles — something that’s likely to happen soon. Shoop is in his first season as Penn State’s defensive coordinator, following head coach James Franklin from Vanderbilt last year. Shoop’s three defenses at Vanderbilt never finished outside the top 25 in yards allowed.

Steele, a South Carolina native and friend of Chavis’, just completed his first season as Alabama’s linebackers coach and has had stops as coordinator at Clemson (2009-12) and Alabama (2007-08).

Stoops was reported to have interviewed with Miles on Saturday in Dallas, according to an Oklahoma City television station. That meeting happened, a source said, but Stoops was not offered the job and is not considered a top candidate.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.

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