Sanford emerges as prime candidate to be WKU's next head coach

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WBKO confirmed Monday that Mike Sanford is a candidate to become the next coach at Western Kentucky, although he has not been officially hired despite multiple reports he has accepted the position.

Sanford, 34, spent the 2010 season at WKU as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator for former head coach Willie Taggart. The Hilltoppers went 2-10 that season, averaged 22.4 points per game and averaged 318.2 yards of total offense per contest.

Former WKU quarterbacks Kawaun Jakes and Brandon Doughty were among those coached by Sanford in 2010.

Since his one year on The Hill, Sanford has spent three seasons at Stanford – coaching running backs, quarterbacks and wide receivers – and one year at Boise State where he was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. The past two seasons he has held the role of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish averaged 466.4 yards of offense and 34.2 points per game in 2015. Those numbers dipped to 417.6 and 30.9, respectively this season as UND stumbled to a 4-8 record.

Starting quarterback DeShone Kizer threw for 2,985 and 26 touchdowns this season for the Irish.

Sanford played four seasons at Boise State where he played 25 games at quarterback for the Broncos. He began his coaching career at Nevada Las Vegas before moving to Stanford in 2007, Yale in 2009 and WKU in 2010

Mike Sanford Sr. is the current head coach at Indiana State where he’s been for four seasons.

— Follow WBKO sportswriter Chad Bishop on Twitter @MrChadBishop