Thursday, January 7, 2016
As the Coaching Carousel Turns 1/7/16
As the Coaching Carousel Turns 1/7/16
Just when we thought the Carousel was done spinning for the 2016 season, more news has come forth about more changes across college football. Here is a recap as to what has transpired this week, in case you’ve been busy…
The Trojans have a new defensive coordinator this week, as Clancy Pendergast has returned from the 49ers to take the job. There was a last minute push by Oregon to lure him to Eugene, and he considered it until USC likely added a third year to what was a two year deal. Pendergast replaces Justin Wilcox.
Dan Mullen is making a move on LSU Defensive Line Coach Ed Orgeron, who has been a commodity this offseason. Orgeron was mentioned for the Syracuse head coaching job, had been sought after at Nicholls State and UL-Monroe, and was having conversations about returning to USC. The deal offered to join the Bulldogs is double what he earns at LSU.
Mel Tucker has joined Kirby Smart in the Alabama exodus to the Bulldogs. The former Defensive Backs coach at Alabama and former longtime NFL assistant will be the new Defensive Coordinator.
Former Michigan, San Diego State, and Ball State head coach is a strong contender for the Oregon Defensive Coordinator job after Clancy Pendergast waved off a last second attempt by the Ducks to hire him.
Saints DB coach Wes McGriff has left the NFL to become the new Co-DC at Auburn. McGriff will also coach Defensive Backs for the Tigers in his new role.
Hugh Freeze was smartly given a four year extension that will pay him just south of $5 million per season with the Rebels.
Defensive Coordinator John Jancek will not return to the Vols in 2016. No reason has been given up front.
The Aggies have hired UCLA Offensive Coordinator Noel Mazzone to the same post after releasing Jake Spavital. Along with Noel will come his son and UCLA QB coach Taylor Mazzone. As of today, the deal had not been signed, but the Mazzone’s were in College Station finalizing the agreements. The deal is a reported three years guaranteed. Washington AD Scott Woodward was named the new AD with the Aggies as well.
Now that the Mazzone family has left UCLA (most UCLA fans will not sweat this whatsoever), Jim Mora has to hire yet another coordinator, which seems to be a recurring theme to his tenure in Westwood. He has had three DCs in three years. In 2013 he made a statement in regards to his high regard for former USC and Tennessee head coach Lane Kiffin, who is currently the Offensive Coordinator at Alabama, and has just coached Derrick Henry to a Heisman. It will be interesting to see if UCLA can make that play. Another candidate could be just fired Jake Spavital at Texas A&M, which would essentially mean a trade of coordinators. The Bruins will likely make a splash with this hire as they did by hiring Tom Bradley at DC last winter. Look for something to get done very quickly as Mora dangles the chance to work with rising young QB Josh Rosen, and I would expect the new OC to also work with QBs.
Iowa Linebacker Coach Jim Reid is leaving Iowa City to become the new Defensive Coordinator at Boston College. Reid replaces Don Brown, the new DC at Michigan. Brown’s BC defense was the best in FBS football in 2015.
Kevin Clune has been named as the new Defensive Coordinator at OSU, replacing Kilani Sitaki, who took the BYU Head Coaching job. Clune was previously the DC at Utah State, and has worked for Gary Anderson before.
Washington WR Coach Brent Pease will be the new OC at UTEP. Pease was the OC at Florida before leaving for Washington.
Kansas LB Coach Kevin Kane is the new Defensive Coordinator at NIU. He has experience on this staff working under Rod Carey as the former LB coach for the Huskies before leaving for Kansas.
In a not so surprising, but highly unfortunate move, Larry Coker has chosen to step away from his job as head coach at UTSA. Coker has been hired to build the program from scratch, and came under severe pressure from an unhappy segment of the fan base in November, and it is largely believed by those in the industry that he no longer felt energized dealing with the drama. Back in November, Lynn Hickey, the AD, stated that he had no idea who could ever run the program as well as Coker has during this period, and that it would be a devastating loss to the program to lose Coker. Looks like the reality has set in, and it has happened late in the game where most high profile candidates are taken. That being said, expect in-state candidates Doug Meacham (TCU) and Kendal Briles (Baylor) to get looks, as will Houston Co-DC Craig Naivar. This is speculation, but I would expect Sam Houston State coach KC Keeler to get a look as well.
The Cardinals finally have a new head coach after Pete Lembo bailed for an assistants job with Maryland. New Orleans Saints Quarterbacks Coach and former Ball State Quarterback Mike Neu has finalized a contract to take over and attempt to revive his former school. He has a huge job in front of him.
Lorenzo Costantini (UCF D Line Coach) is the new Defensive Coordinator at Georgia Southern for new Head Coach Tyson Summers.
The Bobcats have finally landed a new head coach, as they had to replace Dennis Franchione. James Madison coach Everett Withers has signed on as an out of left field candidate. Last week, Major Applewhite was a leading contender before backing out. TCU Co-OC Doug Meacham turned down the job after a deal could not be reached. Craig Naivar also tuned down the job.
Defensive Coordinator Travis Pearson has resigned, but it has not been announced why, or if he intends to take another job.
There is a new DC in Beaumont, as Lamar has hired Central Arkansas Defensive Line coach Dan Augustine to the position.
The Dukes have hired a search firm after Everett Withers landed the FBS job he was seeking (Texas State). They hope to have a new coach in place in 10-14 days.
New Orleans Saints intern Kerry Joseph is the new OC at McNeese State for new coach Lance Guidry. He will share the job with Quarterbacks coach Landon Hoefer.
Russ Calloway has been promoted from WR coach to Offensive Coordinator for Chris Hatcher. Calloway is on his third staff with Hatcher.
Trei Oliver has left North Carolina A&T to join Southern as Defensive Coordinator. Oliver was the Outside LB Coach with the Aggies, and will replace Head Coach Dawson Odums, who previously called defensive plays.
Lanier Goethie has been promoted to Defensive Coordinator from his former LB Coach position.
New Head Coach Jerry Odums (former Jacksonville OC) will bring Nick Navarro and Brian Ferguson along from JU as Co-OCs.