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Source: FAU had interest in Holliday

Dec. 17, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Florida Atlantic University announced the hiring of Charlie Partridge as the new football coach for the Owls on Monday.

If those associated with FAU had their way, however, the program might have had a Mountain State connection at the helm.

A source within Marshall University's athletic department confirmed FAU had initial interest in Marshall head football coach Doc Holliday for its vacant head coach position.

There was no interest from Holliday in the open position, the source said.

FAU's interest in Holliday should not come as a surprise, however, given his deep ties to the state of Florida.

Holliday has recruited Florida successfully throughout his coaching career and also served as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida from 2005-07. The Gators won the National Championship in 2006 while Holliday was on staff.

Marshall's 2013 team has 34 players from the state of Florida -- many of which made the trip to Boca Raton for the Herd's 24-23 comeback win over the Owls on Oct. 12. In fact, kicker Justin Haig, who booted the game-winning field goal as time expired, is from nearby Delray Beach where he attended American Heritage High School.

Holliday led Marshall to a Conference USA East Division championship and a berth in the C-USA Championship where the team fell to Rice. At 9-4 overall, the Herd takes on Maryland in the Military Bowl on Dec. 27. Holliday's career record in four years with the Herd is currently 26-24.

The year was a roller-coaster ride for FAU, which had head coach Carl Pelini resign amid reports of illegal drug use. That resignation was later removed by FAU interim president Dennis J. Crudele, who subsequently fired Pelini because of failure to timely report certain conduct of a member of his staff, according to a letter that surfaced on ESPN that Crudele had written to Pelini.

After Pelini's exit from the program, offensive coordinator Brian Wright was hired as interim head coach and the Owls went 4-0 under Wright's guidance.

However, the team was the lone bowl-eligible member of C-USA not selected for a bowl game and the team ended the year at 6-6.

ON-AIR TALENT: The television talent was announced for the Military Bowl. ESPN's broadcast will feature Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham and Jeannine Edwards.

Patrick and Edwards were both on the call of the Herd's last bowl appearance -- the 20-10 win over FIU in the 2011 Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.

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