Teams & Conferences

Tim DeRuyter Fired By Fresno State. Is Lane Kiffin Next Man Up?


Tim DeRuyter fired at Fresno State after a rough and disappointing run. So who might take over?


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Fresno State fires Head Coach Tim DeRuyter. Who Might Take Over?

It seemed like it should’ve worked out a whole lot better.

Tim DeRuyter was fired by Fresno State after a brutal 1-7 start to the season as the program fell further and further into the abyss following a brilliant start.

DeRuyter came in from Texas A&M where he starred as a defensive coordinator, and he quickly became one of the hottest head coaching prospects after two Mountain West titles and an unstoppable offense led by QB Derek Carr and WR Devante Adams. DeRuyter went 20-6 in his first two seasons, with the two conference titles, but things quickly fell off the map from there.

His 2014 team struggled, but it managed to take the West division and get to a third straight conference title game, but it finished at 6-8 as the first of three straight losing seasons.

This year, his Bulldogs have yet to beat an FBS team, coming off a blowout 38-20 loss to Utah State. 121st in the nation in scoring, and with a defense that’s allowing 433 yards per game and getting ripped up by everyone’s running game, nothing was working.

Even with the fall, he still finished his career with a solid 30-30 record. So who are the top options to replace DeRuyter?

4. Pete Kwiatkowski, Washington defensive coordinator

He’s done wonders with the hot team going at the moment, cranking up killer defense after killer defense for Chris Petersen since 2014. The former Boise State star knows the Mountain West landscape, he’s earned his striped to finally get a head coaching shot, and he could take over and quickly make this a stepping-stone job with the potential for far bigger and better jobs – he’s quickly becoming the hot guy.

3. Steve Sarkisian, Alabama assistant coach

He fits in the category of being the highest-profile coach the Bulldogs can possibly get, and he might just be the right guy for the right job. He’s still a terrific head coaching prospect and he’s still good enough to take over most mid-level Power 5 programs, but he’s the offensive mind the program needs to crank things back up again. At the very least, Fresno State has to see if he’s available as a one-year rental to see if he can – pardon the term – rehabilitate his coaching career and once again show everyone why he was such a hot guy when USC got him.

2. Lane Kiffin, Alabama offensive coordinator

Okay, look – you’re not getting the guy who’ll probably be the next Alabama head coach unless there’s some crazy circumstance, but you at least have to try, Fresno State.

The former Bulldog quarterback might need that one other head coaching job for a few years before diving back into the Alabama world – especially considering it doesn’t seem like Nick Saban is going anywhere for a few years.

No, Fresno State isn’t big enough for Kiffin, and yeah, being the Alabama offensive coordinator is a better gig, but if you can tug on the heartstrings and see if he wants to be the guy who revives his old program, go for it.

1. Jeff Tedford, Washington assistant coach

The former Cal offensive whiz might be the exact right guy at the right time. Unlike Kiffin, he’s available right away, and he would instantly fit as a former Fresno State quarterback who knows how to jumpstart an attack. He’s going to turn 55 in November, but he might not be as upwardly mobile as the other top options. But if he can restore some of the glory and then chooses to take off, he’ll have done his job.