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Gray staying put

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Washington Redskins secondary coach Jerry Gray, a finalist for the head coaching post at the University of Memphis, will remain with the team.

Citing sources, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported on its website Saturday that the school was set to hire LSU running backs coach/assistant head coach Larry Porter.

This was a curious process for those among us who have talked to Gray about his goal of becoming an NFL head coach. The Memphis job is a means to becoming a head coach in the SEC or Big 12, but not the NFL so Gray might have been getting ready to shift gears.

Had he been hired by the Tigers, Gray would have started immediately. He became one of the finalists to replace Tommy West following his trip to Memphis on Monday and Tuesday for meetings with the school president and athletic director and influential booster Fred Smith, the FedEx founder and Redskins part owner.

Porter could be introduced at a press conference as soon as Sunday.

Because of his connection to Smith, Gray emerged as the front-runner but several prominent boosters put their support behind Porter because he played football at and graduated from Memphis. Porter is a two-time Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year.

Gray has only one year of college coaching experience but said earlier this week his more than two decades in the NFL would translate to another level.

“The thing you have to do is look around and say, ‘Nine years playing, 13 years coaching,’ and all those things add up,” he said. “If you have to do a thing like [coaching college] or do a couple of other things, you take your experience and apply it someplace else.”

— Ryan O’Halloran

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Ryan O'Halloran

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