2013 FBS Coaching Carousel: Cristobal out, Tuberville replaces Jones at Cincy

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.

Since we last updated RoadTripSports.com’s Coaching Carousel, there hasn’t been a hiring or firing as stunning as Bret Bielema’s at Arkansas.

But Florida International might have come close.

The Golden Panthers jettisoned Mario Cristobal on Dec. 5. Cristobal turned the Golden Panthers into a relevant program in the Sun Belt Conference, but they were coming off a 3-9 season. Yes, Cristobal was 20 games under .500, but does anyone expect a Sun Belt coach that took over a 0-12 team to have a winning record after six seasons? Cristobal took the Golden Panthers to their first conference title and back-to-back bowl games. Perhaps they were tired of his name being linked to every open job. But unless they hire Butch Davis – which is the rumor – it’s hard to see FIU doing better.

Cal made its decision, hiring Sonny Dykes away from Louisiana Tech. This is a friendly hire for Cal. Dykes likes to pass the ball. Cal likes coaches who like to pass the ball. Former head coach Jeff Tedford liked to recruit players who liked to pass the ball and catch the ball. Wait, isn’t Tedford’s recent inability to recruit talented players who can pass and catch the ball what got the Golden Bears in this mess? Hmmmm. Dykes deserves a shot at making a BCS job work, but this hire doesn’t really shake Cal out of its comfort zone.

Tennessee won the Butch Jones derby. The Cincinnati coach said yes to Tennessee after saying no to what seemed like every other coaching opening. The Vols can now put their coaching search out of its misery. It was getting embarrassing for the Vols, who used to be able to say that they had a desirable job. But since the program’s decline in the wake of the dismissal of Phillip Fulmer, the Vols aren’t as desirable. Jones has some work ahead of him. It would help if quarterback Tyler Bray decides to stay for his senior year. Jones’ offensive acumen may make Bray think about staying one more year.

Of course, there was a stunner over the weekend. Tommy Tuberville chose to leave Texas Tech after three seasons to take over for Jones at Cincinnati. Tuberville left a Big 12 job for a Big East job? That doesn’t compute. Sometimes tells me Tuberville was tired of being considered the guy that replaced Mike Leach, who is beloved in Lubbock. Tuberville was constantly under fire this year. Perhaps he was just tired of all of that.

Finally, South Florida hired Western Kentucky’s Willie Taggart. This could be a great hire for the Bulls. Taggart turned a horrible Western Kentucky program into a Sun Belt Conference contender, improved the recruiting base and rallied the locals in supporting the program. The Hilltoppers will miss him, but he has much more to work with in Tampa. Taggart was a rising star. It was only a matter of time before he received a promotion.

The carousel is now up to 25 jobs that have either changed hands or will change hands for 2013. We’ll keep you updated on the insanity.

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; In: Sonny Dykes

Cincinnati: Out: Butch Jones

Colorado: Out: Jon Embree

Florida International: Out: Mario Cristobal

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

Louisiana Tech: Out: Sonny Dykes

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; In: Willie Taggart

Southern Miss: Out: Ellis Johnson

Temple: Out: Steve Addazio

Tennessee: Out: Derek Dooley; In: Butch Jones

Texas-El Paso: Out: Mike Price

Texas Tech: Out: Tommy Tuberville

Western Kentucky: Out: Willie Taggart; Interim: Lance Guidry

Western Michigan: Out: Bill Cubit

Wisconsin: Out: Bret Bielema


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