2013 FBS Coaching Carousel: Arkansas shocks everyone and hires Bielema

RoadTripSports.com is devoted to keeping you apprised of all things college football. So, from time to time, we’ll update you on coaching changes in FBS for the 2013 season. Yes, some teams are already planning for next year. It’s that time of year for those teams that don’t make it to a bowl game.

Now THIS is a coaching carousel.

There’s plenty to report since our last post regarding the hiring of Mark Stoops at Kentucky.

The biggest news was in Fayetteville, Ark., where the Arkansas Razorbacks stunned everyone by luring Bret Bielema from Wisconsin to be their head coach. I figured Arkansas would lure a name, but I didn’t figure it would be a name from the Big Ten. This proves without question the power of the Southeastern Conference. The Big Ten is college football’s oldest conference and getting a job in that conference is an accomplishment. But to lure a successful Big Ten head coach – one that just led the Badgers to their third straight Rose Bowl – shows the SEC can get anyone it wants whenever it wants.

By the way, Bielema can coach and should turn around the Razorbacks in no time flat.

Meanwhile, in Auburn, the Tigers turned to their former offensive coordinator, Gus Malzahn, to resurrect the Tigers after firing Gene Chizik. This is a comfortable hire for the Tigers, as Malzahn coordinated the offense that led Cam Newton to a Heisman Trophy and the Tigers to a national championship. In one year at Arkansas State he led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 record.

Boston College had the unfortunate timing of having the news of its hiring announced the same day as Arkansas and Auburn. The Eagles hired Steve Addazio. Addazio was the head coach at Temple for two years, leading the Owls to a 9-4 record and bowl game in 2011 and leading their transition back to the Big East in 2012.

Finally the word out of Kent, Ohio, is that Darrell Hazell, who just led Kent State to a watershed 11-2 season that nearly resulted in a MAC title and BCS bowl berth, is set to be the next head coach at Purdue, replacing Danny Hope. The hire isn’t official yet but three different news outlets are reporting the hire.

Of course, this also means there are openings at Arkansas State, Purdue, Temple and Wisconsin now. Assuming the Purdue hire goes through, and we will for this exercise, that means there are 20 head coaching opening this offseason, marking the fourth straight season there have been at least 20 head coaching changes.

In between the Stoops hiring and Tuesday, Northern Illinois coach Dave Doeren bolted NIU shortly after leading the Huskies to a Mid-American Conference championship game victory over Kent State. He’s the new head coach at North Carolina State, succeeding Tom O’Brien. It’s quite the reward for a coach that was the head man at NIU for just two years and helped the Huskies crash the BCS party. He now has to help the Wolfpack take the next step in the ACC.

South Florida decided to pull the plug on head coach Skip Holtz, who led the Bulls to a 3-9 record in 2012. In three seasons he took the Bulls to just one bowl game, coming in 2010. He led the program to wins  over, Miami (Fla.) and Notre Dame. In retrospect those wins – which game in the first half of his tenure – may have set the bar too high.

NIU wasted no time after Doeren left, elevating offensive line coach Rod Carey. He helped mentor one of the best running games in the country the past two years. Six years ago Carey was coaching at Division III Wisconsin-Stout. Now he’s coaching the Huskies in the Orange Bowl.

Idaho hired Paul Petrino. Petrino was the offensive coordinator at Arkansas last year, but has also served as offensive coordinator at Illinois and Louisville. He was an assistant at Idaho at one time. The Vandals will be an independent next year.

Georgia State, the newest FBS program for 2013, dipped into the FCS ranks and hired Trent Miles from Indiana State. Miles presided over a huge turnaround at ISU and he’ll now pick up where the retired Bill Curry left off.

2012-13 FBS Head Coaching Changes

Arkansas: Out: John L. Smith; In: Bret Bielema

Arkansas State: Out: Gus Malzahn

Auburn: Out: Gene Chizik; In: Gus Malzahn

Boston College: Out: Frank Spaziani; In: Steve Addazio

California: Out: Jeff Tedford

Colorado: Out: Jon Embree

Georgia State: Out: Bill Curry; In: Trent Miles

Idaho: Out: Robb Akey; Interim: Jason Gessner; In: Paul Petrino

Kent State: Out: Darrell Hazell

Kentucky: Out: Joker Phillips; In: Mark Stoops

North Carolina State: Out: Tom O’Brien; In: Dave Doeren

Northern Illinois: Out: Dave Doeren; In: Rod Carey

Purdue: Out: Danny Hope; In: Darrell Hazell

South Florida: Out: Skip Holtz

Southern Miss: Out: Ellis Johnson

Temple: Out: Steve Addazio

Tennessee: Out: Derek Dooley

Texas-El Paso: Out: Mike Price

Western Michigan: Out: Bill Cubit

Wisconsin: Out: Bret Bielema

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