College Football Coaching Circle – Must-Know Names for the Next Wave of Jobs

There have been 72 coaching changes over the past three years in college football, including a record 30 changes last year. This resulted in the rookie assistant coach being “picked up” and lower-level coaching ranks, to borrow the term from multiple industry sources.

These stats line up with expectation – don’t be surprised to see a run on regeneration coaches at this upcoming course.

We just included Bill O’Brien at the top of our list of assistants because he spent several years as a college coordinator and loomed large as the most sought-after coach – group of 5 or assistant – on the course. We kept most of the other former coaches off our assistant coaching list because we wanted to highlight the rising faces in the industry.

But it would be hard to ignore the group of coaches looking for a second shot. There are those who sit outside – Tom Hermann, Dan Mullen, Justin Fuente, Skip Holtz. Does Mullen want to intern in college again? Can an aspiring school hire Nick Rolovich and withstand an immediate backlash to secure a proven head coach?

Then there are the coaches trying to get back up — Manny Diaz (Penn State), Barry Odom (Arkansas DC), Al Golden (Notre Dame, DC), Matt Wells (Oklahoma State Analyst), Derek Mason (Oklahoma, DC) and Major Applewhite (South Alabama or C).

Why run on renewal? Of the 30 jobs open last season, we saw Joe Morehead (Akron), Mike McIntyre (FIU), Jeff Tedford (Fresno), Clay Hilton (South Georgia), Jerry Keel (New Mexico State), Jim Mora (Ocon) and Don Brown ( UMass) appears as former coaches who have been appointed head coaches.

Fueling this trend is the notion that schools that move early on with coaches now have a huge advantage by hiring a coach and giving them a head start. Georgia Southern, Texas Tech, and UConn filled their positions in early November, giving new coaches valuable weeks to assess existing coaches, monitor the portal, and place high school recruits.

Clay Hilton was hired on November 2 in South Georgia, which allowed him to reassign his new roster, learn about her needs and get a jump early on hiring staff.

“It’s huge,” said Jared Pinko, South Georgia athletic director. “Most coaches, in the first two weeks of December, are drinking out of the fire hose and things come on really fast. The piece that allowed us and my Clay to be aggressive is that he took those extra four weeks and got to feel a better piece of roster management.”

The new debate for athletic directors will be whether to hire a freshman – or a coach like McGuire who can drop out of his school – and he will likely benefit from an early start. Or sit back and wait for a seated Head Coach or Coordinator to be available and risk spreading out in your first recruiting class.

Here are the top coaches under Power 5 who will be considered for this course, with Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Houston’s Dana Holgorsen and BYU’s Kalani Sitake not listed as they graduate to the next level as they enter the Big 12 after the next season.

Go to: Helpers are ready to upgrade


group of 5 coaches

1 – Jamie Shadwell, Coastal Carolina: Is this the last fun in Mollyville? With the return of quarterback Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina will once again be in contention to be the darlings of the Sunbelt team. Chadwell has given interviews on several Power 5 sites but has yet to find a fit. His musical calling, innovation and expertise will be researched in this course.

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