Baylor Bears

Baylor AD Mack Rhoades on Dave Aranda Rumors: ‘I Know He Wants to be Here’

mack rhoades

The Baylor Bears are having one of the most impressive seasons in all of college football with an 8-2 record and a Top 15 ranking in the latest College Football Playoff poll.

The Bears are also coming off their best win of the season against Oklahoma, and as a result, head coach Dave Aranda’s name has been popping up in coaching searches, most recently, USC.

On SicEm365 Radio on Tuesday, Baylor athletic director Mack Rhoades was asked about the Aranda rumors, to which he said, “I know that he wants to be here and there’s a lot more to do with this football program. And for me personally, it was great to beat Oklahoma … but that’s just one piece of it. That certainly doesn’t give me satisfaction like we’ve arrived.”


That’s Mack Rhoades trying to ride that fine line of saying, we love our guy and he loves us, but also somewhat downplaying his own program a bit, in a strange way, to possibly deter other suitors or keep Aranda in Waco.

At this point, it’s the best play for Rhoades.

Aranda’s name picked up steam on Monday when The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman had a report saying that the Baylor head coach is the “hot name” in the USC coaching search.

Here’s part of Feldman’s report, stating, “The hot name we now keep hearing related to the USC search: Baylor’s Dave Aranda. The long-time defensive guru, who grew up in Southern California as a big Dodgers fan (his brother is a local high school basketball coach in the LA area), has led the Bears to become one of the most pleasant surprises in the 2021 season. 

Sources tell The Athletic that Aranda’s stock is very hot, not only at USC but with other potential vacancies. Washington is another one that might try and woo him from Waco. Yes, he’s a defensive guy, same as former Huskies head coach Jimmy Lake but Aranda’s low-key, soft-spoken persona would appear to come across as the complete opposite of how Lake did as a head coach.


But what would Aranda do? The good news for Baylor is that Feldman goes on to note that Aranda is very self aware and that he realizes he may not be an ideal fit for certain jobs, adding, “It will probably take a great opportunity to get him to even consider leaving his situation with the Bears.”

After going 2-7 last season, his first as a head coach, the Bears are now 8-2 heading into their final two games of the season this weekend against Kansas State and then next week against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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