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 checked in on FBS hirings and firings, Wisconsin found its new head coach in Gary Andersen.
The Badgers hired Anderson away from the Utah State Aggies, who were coming off one of their best seasons in history after going 12-2 in 2012 and winning the program’s second bowl game. In fact the Aggies were coming off back-to-back winning seasons under Anderson after experiencing 13 straight losing seasons before 2011.
That’s a heck of a turnaround for the Aggies and Andersen is cashing in with a plum job in one of college football’s power conferences. The expectations are high in Madison, where the Badgers are about to make their third straight Rose Bowl appearance on Jan. 1.
Utah State did what Northern Illinois did when it lost Dave Doeren to North Carolina State. It hired the program’s top offensive assistant coach. Matt Wells will helm the Aggies in 2013. The well-traveled assistant coach was the offensive coordinator last year and is a former Utah State starting quarterback.
Bowl season didn’t seem to slow down the hirings. Temple hired Matt Rhule to take over for Steve Addazio. Rhule is an Al Golden disciple who was the New York Giants’ offensive line coach. Rhule was Golden’s offensive coordinator during the Owls’ most impressive stretch in recent memory, so the Owls are hoping that hiring Golden’s No. 1 guy will mean more success in the Big East.
Western Michigan hired P.J. Fleck. Who? Good question. Fleck played wide receiver at MAC rival Northern Illinois and cut his teeth as an assistant coach under former Rutgers mentor and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano. What’s striking is that Fleck is not even 33. He’s going straight from being a position assistant coach to a head coach of an FBS program. He’s never been a coordinator.
Another MAC program, Kent State, filled its opening with former Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes, meaning both Hogs coordinators will be head coaches in 2012. Paul Petrino recently took the Idaho job. Haynes coached with former Kent State boss Darrell Hazell at Ohio State under Jim Tressel. He also went to Kent State.
San Jose State stayed on the west coast to fill its opening with Ron Caragher, who was the head coach at San Diego. The Toreros won three Pioneer League titles under Caragher, who took over the program when Jim Harbaugh left to take the Stanford job. The Spartans can only hope this hire works out half as well.
The move at Utah State means there have been 27 coaching openings in FBS for the 2013 season. That’s one fewer than 2012. Right now two openings remain – Florida International and Texas El-Paso. That makes it unlikely there will be another head-coaching opening before the new year, as it seems likely these three non-BCS programs will hire assistant coaches.
However, there are plenty of rumors surrounding two BCS head coaches who still have work left this season. Oregon head coach Chip Kelly is being linked to the potential opening in Philadelphia, while Alabama’s Nick Saban is being linked to the potential opening in Cleveland, where he was once an assistant coach under Bill Belichick.
So stay tuned.
2012-13 FBS Head Coaching Changes
Arkansas: Out: John L. Smith; In: Bret Bielema
Arkansas State: Out: Gus Malzahn; In: Bryan Harsin
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; In: Tommy Tuberville
Colorado: Out: Jon Embree; In: Mike MacIntyre
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; In: Paul Haynes
Kentucky: Out: Joker Phillips; In: Mark Stoops
Louisiana Tech: Out: Sonny Dykes; In: Skip Holtz
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
San Jose State: Out: Mike MacIntyre; In: Rod Caragher
South Florida: Out: Skip Holtz; In: Willie Taggart
Southern Miss: Out: Ellis Johnson; In: Todd Monken
Temple: Out: Steve Addazio; In: Matt Rhule
Tennessee: Out: Derek Dooley; In: Butch Jones
Texas-El Paso: Out: Mike Price
Texas Tech: Out: Tommy Tuberville; In: Kliff Kingsbury
Utah State: Out: Gary Andersen; In: Matt Wells
Western Kentucky: Out: Willie Taggart; Interim: Lance Guidry; In: Bobby Petrino
Western Michigan: Out: Bill Cubit; In: P.J. Fleck
Wisconsin: Out: Bret Bielema; In: Gary Andersen