What’s going to happen at the schools with top college football coaching job openings? What’s the speculation on the hot seat coaches?
College Football Coaching Carousel
Former Head Coach: Chad Morris
New Head Coach: Sam Pittman, Georgia offensive line coach
The former Arkansas assistant head coach has been handling the Georgia offensive line for Kirby Smart for the last eight yards. A long-time assistant a 11 different stops, the 58-year-old has a wee bit of head coaching experience at the JUCO level way back in the early 1990s, but it’s a hiring from out of left field. Arkansas insiders love him, though.
Former Head Coach: Steve Addazio
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Good Power Five assistant, high-level Group of Five head coach
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Jeff Haley, Ohio State defensive coordinator
This is a better job than you might think. There are challenges, but winning at BC starts with having a killer D.
Former Head Coach: Mike Bobo
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Good Power Five assistant, FCS top coach
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Jeff Choate, Montana State head coach
It’s a good Group of Five head coaching job that should have its pick of top FCS head coaches. Watch out for a top Group of Five coach – like Appalachian State’s Eliah Drinkwitz – to be in the mix, too.
Former Head Coach: Willie Taggart
New Head Coach: Mike Norvell, Memphis head coach
His Memphis teams played with speed, aggressiveness, and a whole lot of explosion. However, is he really the national championship-level head coach who’ll change the game at FSU? He’s young, dynamic, and he’ll bring the energy. However, he’s 0-3 in bowl games and just got over the Conference USA title hump. It would be nice if he did that at a Power Five school, but … okay.
Former Head Coach: Jeff Tedford
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Good FBS coordinator, Group of Five head coach, FCS top head coach
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Halen DeBoer, Indiana offensive coordinator
A total surprise, Tedford had a brilliant two year run before struggling in a rebuilding year. It’s a strong job opening that could get just about any top FCS head coach, but Bruce Feldman is speculating it’ll be Kalen DeBoer, the current Indiana offensive coordinator and former Fresno State OC under Tedford.
Former Head Coach: Barry Odom
New Head Coach: Eliah Drinkwitz, Appalachian State head coach
Mizzou is trying to get in on the tech stock early. The 36-year-old had one great year at Appalachian State, but before that he rose up fast as a top offensive coordinator. This is the type of gig he can grow into, but is he that good, or was he good with Scott Satterfield’s guys? It’s an aggressive hire, and it could pay off huge.
Former Head Coach: Bob Davie
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Good assistant at first head coaching job, top FCS coach
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Danny Gonzales, Arizona State defensive coordinator
The New Mexico grad was fantastic as the San Diego State defensive coordinator before taking on the same job under Herm Edwards at Arizona State. He has no head coaching experience, but he’s going to be on most lists for mid-level gigs.
Former Head Coach: Bobby Wilder
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Top FCS head man
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Curt Cignetti, James Madison head coach
It’s just a drive down the road a few hundred miles from Harrisonburg to Norfolk. The James Madison head man might be thinking a little bit bigger after his huge first year with the program, but the 58-year-old Cignetti is ready for an FBS gig.
Former Head Coach: Matt Luke
New Head Coach: Lane Kiffin, Florida Atlantic head coach
Oh, HELL yeah … it’s on, SEC.
You wanted a “charismatic” head coach, Ole Miss? Boom.
Former Head Coach: Tony Sanchez
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: Top FBS assistant
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: Marcus Arroyo, Oregon offensive coordinator
UNLV is a tough job to take over, but Arroyo has more than put in his time and effort to work his way up to getting a head coaching job. A terrific offensive coordinator and position coach, he’s been at Oregon for the last three seasons and will be on several short lists for Group of Five openings.
Former Head Coach: Charlie Strong
New Head Coach: Jeff Scott, Clemson co-offensive coordinator (NOT official yet, but …)
One of the rising superstars on the coaching carousel circuit, he was a hot name for several job openings after working as an assistant under Dabo Swinney since 2008. The soon-to-be 39-year-old might have been given all the talent in the world to work with, but he made the most of it – he was an integral part in getting the guys to Clemson in the first place.
Former Head Coach: Frank Wilson
Level of New Head Coach Prospect: FCS head coach, top assistant
Total Speculation Next Head Coach Will Be: KC Keeler, Sam Houston State head coach
If the Roadrunners don’t go with the young offensive whiz-kid candidate, the 60-year-old Keeler would be an interesting get. His team struggled this season and has been on a two-year downturn, but he took SHSU to four straight FCS playoff appearances with four top six finishes. He’s got the chops to turn this around fast.