University of Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said Thursday he hopes to hire a football coach in the next few days and denied he had already offered the job to Washington Redskins assistant Jon Embree.
Former Buffaloes coach Bill McCartney told the Denver Post that Colorado was awaiting an answer from Embree, the Redskins tight ends coach who played for the Buffs in the late 1980s before a brief career as an NFL tight end with the then-Los Angeles Rams.
Bohn quickly issued a statement denying the job had been offered to anybody yet. He said the search committee still hasn't completed its work.
After practice in Ashburn, Va., on Thursday, Embree was escorted off the field by a Redskins public relations employee, who said: "Coach can't comment at this time yet, so we'll deal with it another time.''
Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he hopes Embree gets his "dream job'' in Boulder, Colo., however.
"I just read what Coach McCartney had said, and it sounded like he's got a good chance to get the job,'' Shanahan said. "I have talked to a couple of people on the board already, and they had asked me if I would release him or let him go earlier than the end of the season, and I told them I would if he was given the job to help him with recruiting and get his staff.
"I've always believed and always had a philosophy that when one of your assistant coaches has a chance to be a head coach and really upgrade their job and a lifelong dream for him, that I'd be more than happy to let him go early,'' Shanahan said. "We've got a lot of quality coaches on our staff that can pick up the slack. Jon's just a heck of a football coach, heck of a guy, and if he does get the job I'd say he would do a fantastic job.''
Shanahan said he wasn't sure if Embree actually was mulling an offer from the Buffaloes.
Shanahan said he "wouldn't even try'' to make a counteroffer to make Embree stay. "I think he would be perfect for that scenario if it does happen, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he gets his dream job.''
Dan Hawkins was fired as Buffs coach Nov. 9 after going 19-39 and losing his last 17 games outside Colorado. He was dismissed three days after Colorado blew a 28-point lead at Kansas with 11 minutes to play, the biggest collapse in the 121-year history of the program.
Longtime assistant Brian Cabral took over on an interim basis and went 2-1 as the Buffs finished 5-7, their fifth straight losing season.
When the Post ran a story on its website Thursday with McCartney saying Embree was the Buffs' choice, the school quickly put out a statement denying it had reached that point.
"The rumors that the University of Colorado has hired our next head football coach are untrue,'' Bohn's statement said. "In the interests of the young men in our program, and our fans and supporters, I want to make clear that the search committee has not yet completed its work, and we have not yet offered the job to any candidate.
"We are hopeful of making a head coach announcement in the coming days and beginning a new and exciting era of CU football,'' Bohn added.
McCartney told the Post that had he been given the job again his plan was to hire Embree and Minnesota Vikings assistant Eric Bieniemy, another former Buffaloes player, and groom one of them to take over in a few years. He told the newspaper that once it became clear he wouldn't get the job, he pushed for either Embree or Bieniemy to get the job.
AP Sports Writer Joseph White contributed to this report.
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