Stanford begins process to replace Harbaugh

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STANFORD, CALIF. (AP) - Stanford athletic director Bob Bowlsby has met with the entire Orange Bowl-winning Cardinal football staff since the departure of coach Jim Harbaugh to the San Francisco 49ers on Friday.

Bowlsby is moving ahead in his search for Harbaugh’s replacement, first determining who the internal candidates might be. Bowlsby said Saturday he has spoken with each member of the staff but wouldn’t categorize any of the sessions as formal interviews.

“I’ve talked to the whole coaching staff a number of times over the last day,” Bowlsby said.

President John Hennessy _ on hand at Maples Pavilion to honor women’s basketball coach Tara VanDerveer for her recent 800th victory _ said the school would like to find Harbaugh’s replacement soon but also work to hire the right person. National signing day the first week of February is approaching in a hurry and there is recruiting to be done.

The position is expected to be a sought-after job considering the team’s commanding 40-12 Orange Bowl win last Monday that capped a 12-1 season. Not to mention Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck’s announcement Thursday he will return to school for another year to quarterback the team.

There are a couple of potential contenders on the Cardinal staff, including offensive coordinator and former Stanford receiver David Shaw and associate head coach Greg Roman.

Harbaugh will surely consider bringing Stanford defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Vic Fangio with him to the Niners.

“We’re going to get it done quickly because obviously it’s important for the team,” Hennessy said. “But getting the right person is the most important thing. We’ll take the time we need.”

Safety Wayne Lyons out of Dillard High in Florida announced his verbal commitment to Stanford on Saturday during U.S. Army All-American game in San Antonio.

Stanford finished with a school-record 12 wins this season a year after Harbaugh led the Cardinal to a Sun Bowl berth for the school’s first bowl appearance since 2001.

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