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Central Michigan's Jim McElwain not currently a candidate for Washington State opening


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Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain speaks with the media ahead of the New Mexico Bowl against San Diego State Dec. 20 at Isleta Resort and Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain has plenty of ties to the Pacific Northwest, but he might remain in the Midwest for the 2020 season.

McElwain is not the focus of the head coaching search at Washington State and is not considered a candidate at this point in the process, according to a source with knowledge of the search.

Washington State athletic director Patrick Chun told local reporters Thursday that he was "already moving" in the hunt for a new head coach. 

While this doesn't mean McElwain won't end up getting an interview, it points toward the fact that other coaches will have to decline offers before the former SEC coach becomes a significant option.

The Washington State search is being led by Glenn Sugiyama, an executive search consultant for DHR International. Sugiyama assisted in Central Michigan athletic director Michael Alford in bringing McElwain to Mount Pleasant.

"Thank you Glenn Sugiyama for your leadership in DHR International and assisting us in this process," Alford said at McElwain's introductory press conference. "And a special thank you to Coach Deromedi and Dave Keilitz, throughout the process and my tenure as athletic director for the advice and leadership they provide me on a daily basis, it is really special."

A handful of coaching options have ties to Washington State are Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch (defensive coordinator from 2015-17), USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell (offensive analyst from 2014-15), Oregon defensive line coach Joe Salave'a (defensive line coach from 2012-16) and Montana State head coach Jeff Choate (linebackers coach in 2012).

There's also Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin and Hawaii head coach Nick Rolovich to consider.

McElwain entered the coaching carousel conversation following an 8-6 record with a 6-2 mark in the Mid-American Conference, doing so after the team went 1-11 in 2018.

Central Michigan's final two games were losses to Miami (Ohio), 26-21, in the MAC championship and San Diego State, 48-11, in the New Mexico Bowl.

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