We’re nearly to the end of the regular season so, as the Coaching Watch guy at College football America, I’m checking back in with our hot coaching names from our preseason publication to see where they’re at, and adding some names that could see themselves with new head coaching jobs come season’s end. The Coaching Carousel for the 2015 is about to start spinning fast and furious.
New additions to the update:
Justin Fuente, head coach, Memphis: The turnaround job in Memphis is something else. He has the Tigers bowl-eligible in just his third season at the helm after inheriting a team that won one game the season before he arrived. He’s an offensive-minded coach, so he’s going to get some looks from bigger programs seeking an upgrade.
Dan Mullen, head coach, Mississippi State: He already has a good job, right? Yes, but the second it became clear that Will Muschamp wasn’t coming back at Florida Mullen’s name came up as a replacement. Why? Well, he was Tim Tebow’s quarterback coach. MSU has a season like they’re having this season once in a blue moon. At Florida you can have those seasons every year. He sounds like the coach the boosters want. What about athletic director James Foley? Yes, there are reports that Mullen is already off the list. But we’ve heard that before about other jobs, right?
From College Football America Yearbook Encyclopedia:
Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart: It all boils down to the right job as to whether Smart strikes out on his own or stays with Nick Saban.
Chad Morris, offensive coordinator, Clemson: He’ll remain in demand this offseason. His offense attracts the right kind of recruits. Florida might just kick the tires.
Mark Hudspeth, head coach, Louisiana: The Ragin’ Cajuns are staring at another Sun Belt title. Say Dan Mullen goes to Florida. Mississippi State’s first call might be to Hudspeth, a former MSU assistant.
Lane Kiffin, offensive coordinator, Alabama: The more Alabama wins, the more athletic directors looking for a winner are going to give Kiffin another shot. This might be the best career rehab in recent memory.
Doug Nussmeier, offensive coordinator, Michigan: He probably won’t be a head coach in 2015. He may not be an offensive coordinator in 2015 if Brady Hoke is fired.
Rice head coach David Bailiff: The Owls’ winning streak ended against Marshall, but the job Bailiff has done at Rice will get him some interviews.
Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford: Tuck his name in your back pocket for 2015. The Longhorns are coming on to end the season.
Alabama offensive line coach Mario Cristobal: He’ll get interviews, but I’m not sure he’ll get another head coaching job in 2015. It might take one more year.
USC offensive associate head coach Marques Tuiasosopo: A coach to track, unless a Group of 5 school is sold on Tuiasosopo’s ability, even though he hasn’t been a coordinator yet.
Ball State head coach Pete Lembo: Staying put this offseason.
Eastern Washington head coach Beau Baldwin: The best FCS coaching candidate for a Group of 5 school looking for an exciting offense.
Additions after Week 8
Mack Brown, unemployed: Wouldn’t it just be ironic if Brown replaced Muschamp at Florida? I’d buy tickets to that press conference.
Ruffin McNeill, head coach, East Carolina: ECU has now lost three games so the bloom is off the rose a bit. McNeill may stay put for next season.
Doc Holliday, head coach, Marshall: If the Thundering Herd remains undefeated he’ll get some looks.
Willie Fritz, head coach, Georgia Southern: An impressive first season in FBS for the Eagles. An impressive first season in FBS for Fritz. I wonder if he gets some Group of 5 calls?
Mike Bobo, offensive coordinator, Georgia: Bobo gets it done no matter who is under center or in the backfield. The Bulldogs may win the SEC East after all. He should get some attention.
Jake Spavital, offensive coordinator, Texas A&M: A name to watch for 2015, unless a Group of 5 really desires him.
Pat Narduzzi, defensive coordinator, Michigan State: Like Smart and Morris, he’s an in-demand assistant looking for the right job. He passed on a couple last year.
Nick Howell, defensive coordinator, BYU: Track him for 2015.
Additions after Week 10
Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie, co-offensive coordinator, TCU: They keep piling up the numbers and are making their case for the College Football playoffs. As mentioned last time, Meacham’s overall experience makes him a more likely candidate for 2015.
Randy Sanders, offensive coordinator, Florida State: The Seminoles just seem to find ways to win. Some of that is Jameis Winston. Some of that is Sanders’ scheme.
Jim McElwain, head coach, Colorado State: He’ll be a candidate for any SEC opening that comes up. And, wouldn’t you know it, the Florida job is open. He has SEC ties after serving with Nick Saban and his turnaround job at CSU has been a thing of beauty.
Dave Aranda, defensive coordinator, Wisconsin: The Badgers just held Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah under 100 yards. Aranda feels like a coach that could get a shot at a Group of 5 school to start with, if he’s looking to move up.
Note: Coaching searches at Buffalo, Florida, Kansas, SMU and Troy are already underway.