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The search begins

Posted Dec 14, 2011

Khan, Smith and Weaver will discuss coaching search this weekend.

IRVING, Texas – Shahid Khan is comfortable and confident with the process.

The Jaguars’ next owner said he absolutely knows that much about the task of finding the team’s next head coach. As for specifics, he said there aren’t any just yet.

Khan, who on Wednesday received unanimous approval from the NFL’s 32 owners to be the Jaguars’ next owner, said the process of finding the next head coach will be a collaborative one with current owner Wayne Weaver and General Manager Gene Smith.

Khan is expected to assume ownership of the team January 4.

“I’ve got my training wheels on,” Khan said Wednesday shortly after the owners’ vote at the Four Seasons Resort. “They’ll come off on January 4.”

Specifically of the coaching search, he said, “I think it’s going to be a collaborative process until January 4. I think we have a really good idea (about the process). I’ll be meeting with Wayne, Gene and that will be our starting process.”

Khan is scheduled to attend the Jaguars’ game with the Falcons at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta Thursday, and he and Weaver will speak to the media at EverBank Field Friday at 3 p.m.

Khan said he will be in Jacksonville over the weekend meeting with Weaver and key team officials.

Weaver said moving forward with the search for a head coach will be one of the items discussed extensively this weekend. Weaver fired Head Coach Jack Del Rio on November 29, the same day he announced Khan had signed an agreement to buy the team.

Mel Tucker has served as the interim coach the past two weeks.

Khan said Tucker is a serious candidate for the position, and Weaver said the Jaguars already have done extensive work toward the hire.

“We have done some research,” Weaver said. “Whether this came to pass or not, we were going to hire a new coach this year, so we’ve done a lot of work. We’ll share the work with Shad this weekend and start talking about candidates and try to get out ahead of the market now, with those that are available we can talk to.”

Weaver said his role in the process will be “to offer advice where I’m asked and where I can contribute.” He said Smith and Senior Vice President Football Operations Paul Vance also will be involved.

Khan on Wednesday also discussed:

*His management style specific to running a team: “I’m fanatical enough that I know what my weaknesses are – what I can do and what I should be doing. I think when it comes to the Xs and Os, there are a lot more people out there much better than I am. This is a combination of business acumen and love for football. I’m such a fanatical fan that I know somebody else should be managing certain parts of it.”

*The positive reaction of fans since the potential ownership change was announced: “It’s certainly been heartwarming and over the top. I think that’s really one of the key building blocks. Jacksonville has a lot going for it. All of the building blocks are there to have a winner.”

*His desire to spend extensive time in Jacksonville developing relationships with fans and sponsors: “What I’d like to do is spend a lot of time.  Even though this is a virtual world, this is a business where meeting the people and the physical presence is really, really important. We want to really not only get the fans but also the sponsor aspect.  That’s very, very important.”

*The popularity of his trademark mustache: “If I am to believe the Jacksonville fans, a mustache can leap tall buildings in a single bound. (Laughing) It can do things I didn’t know it could do (laughter).  I just grew it, as a matter of fact, in ’72.  It just stuck with me over ti


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