Thursday, August 18, 2016

Rising Coaching Stars 2016

With the 2016 college football season coming a week from tomorrow, I'd like to take a look at some rising stars in the coaching ranks. Some are obvious choices, some you may not have heard of just yet. either way, these are stars on the rise that all college football fans should be keeping an eye on.

Matt Ruhle, Temple
The Owls are not likely to get a power five bid any time soon, and Ruhle has kept Temple relevant in both AAC play and the national stage. Ruhle is a solid prospect who's name has started to pop up for other gigs in the last several months, and I don't see him staying at Temple forever.

Willie Taggert, USF
Taggert turned a disaster into a winner at Western Kentucky, and now is in a rebuild mode at USF, and that rebuild is very close to paying off. Taggert does not get near the attention he should, as USF gets little national or local buzz. USF would love to get that Big 12 invite, but lagging attendance and an apathetic approach from outsiders will eventually lead Tagger to a more high profile job sometime very soon.

Bob Diaco, U Conn
Diaco was once a national coordinator of the year at Notre Dame, and parlayed that into a football wasteland job at U Conn. College football in Connecticut is hardly a big deal, and Diaco is quietly building something, having taken the Huskies to a bowl last season. If this success continues, he could be gone.

Tom Herman, Houston
He hasn't been at Houston long enough to be considered as having his status as elite coach cemented just yet, but he is very close to having that status. Herman was given a whopping contract at a non power five program so that he would not leave. He routed Florida State in a bowl game last season, and if he beats Oklahoma at home in the season opener, Herman will be considered an elite coach, and Houston will be one step closer to a Big 12 invite.

Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
He is in his 9th season at Navy, but Navy has never had a run this good. Coach Ken was on the cusp of leaving Navy for BYU this off season, but stayed at Navy because he didn't want to ditch his triple option attack, which would not have played well at BYU. If Georgia Tech ditches Paul Johnson, this guy would be their first call.

Willie Fritz, Tulane
Fritz is just coming on the scene for most people, but he has been a success for years. He has won at every stop along the way, including Central Missouri, Sam Houston State, Georgia Southern, and is now trying to build Tulane, and I would not bet against him. Look for teams to come calling if he can win at Tulane.

Dino Babers, Syracuse
Babers has just landed his first power five gig at Syracuse after stops at Eastern Illinois and Bowling Green. His high powered passing attack is something to behold, but he will have to mold the Syracuse roster into his own image. If he can do that successfully, as he has elsewhere, he could be grabbed by a higher profile power five program quickly.

Brent Venables, Clemson (DC)
Venables name has been bandied about for some time now. He has coached for 8 seasons at Oklahoma as a DC, five seasons as a co-DC, and three seasons at Kansas State coaching LBs. His time has come, especially if Clemson gets back to the playoffs this fall.

Ed Warriner, Ohio State (OC)
He has been an assistant for 24 years, and has made stops at Akron, Michigan State, Army, Kansas, Illinois, Notre Dame, and Ohio State. His offenses at Kansas were impossible to stop, and in 2007 the Jayhawks averaged 479.8 yards per game and over 42 points. He was the offensive line coach of the year in 2014. There is not much at this point that he has not accomplished, and he should be getting a call before he lands in that box as career assistant.

Joe Moorhead, Penn State (OC)
After a succesful run as OC at U Conn, Moorhead took his talents to Fordham, where he took the Rams on their best run since the Vince Lombardi days. Moorhead was 38-13 at Fordham, and then could not resist an offer from James Franklin to help him run the offense at Penn State this season. Moorhead is famous for running high paced, high energy offenses that balance out pass and run. If he can rev up Penn State, he'll get a gig shortly.

Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma (OC)
Riley is an offensive architect who ran record breaking offenses at East Carolina under Ruffin McNeil, and very well could have gone back when Ruffin was let go after last year. He stayed at OU, but it is only a matter of time before he goes off for his own program.

Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky
Brohm was an unknown quantity when he replaced Willie Taggert, but all he has done is keep the wheels running in Bowling Green. Brohm is 20-7 heading into his 3rd season, and he also runs the offense. If he finds a replacement at QB for the departed Brandon Doughty, and WKU keeps on winning, as many think they can, Brohm will be on every major list for openings next fall.

Doc Holliday, Marshall
I am perplexed that Holliday isn't already at a higher profile program. He enters his 7th season in 2016 at Marshall, and is 50-28 during his stay at Marshall. Holliday has been a big winner, especially in winning 10 or more games in the last three seasons. If Dana Holgorsen is out at West Virginia after this season, and that is a possibility, Holliday should be the first guy on their list.

Lance Leipold, Buffalo
When Leipold came to Buffalo from division 3 Wisconsin-Whitewater, his record was 109-6. It is a huge jump from D3 to D1, but Leipold could be closer than anyone is aware of to being successful in Buffalo. He barely missed a bowl trip last season, and he could very well take Buffalo over the hump in 2016. He's only ever known success in his career. I doubt that stops here.

PJ Fleck, Western Michigan
It would take an absolutely shocking dumpster fire of a season for Fleck not to be on every major coaching list for 2017. Western Michigan is considered by some to be the next best group of five team for 2016 behind Houston, and that is all on Fleck's ability to rebuild what was a sinking ship when he arrived.

Rod Carey, Northern Illinois
Carey was on several candidate lists for open jobs, but he may have made the best decision by staying at NIU for another season. He is 31-12 thus far, and could get close to 8 or more wins in 2016 once again. If that is the case, he may not be able to say no twice.

Bryan Harsin, Boise State
Harsin is 21-6 at Boise, and the Broncos are the overwhelming favorite in the Mountain West this fall. If the Broncos win 10 or more games once again, teams will come calling, and Harsin will have to consider the offers.

Lance Anderson, Stanford (DC)
In 2015, Stanford gave up 24 points or less 6 times. Anderson is entering his 3rd season at Stanford as defensive coordinator, and may be a popular pick for another school in 2017 if the defense carries the day this fall.

Chip Lindsey, Arizona State (OC)
Lindsey did not get the head coaching job at Southern Miss, and so left for Arizona State, where he replaces new Memphis coach Mike Norvell. Lindsey runs a high energy offense, just like coach Todd Graham has run everywhere he has gone. Lindsey may very well be the next coordinator to leave ASU and Graham if his offense continues to click.

Dave Aranda, LSU (DC)
Aranda has been a highly successful DC during his work at Wisconsin and now he takes a job at LSU, where all the tools are available to succeed once again. If Aranda can pull off a dominating appearance at LSU, he could be headed to his own show.

Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina
Moglia made tons of money in the investment game, so he went into his dream job as a head coach at Coastal Carolina. He has built this program into a massive juggernaut, and has a record of 41-13 overall heading into his 5th season. He will now transition Coastal into FBS football, but how long will he actually be there if he succeeds?

FCS Coaches Ready For a Move

Brian Jenkins, Alabama State
Jamey Chadwell, Charleston Southern
Russ Huesman, Chattanooga
Rick Chamberlin, Dayton
Beau Baldwin, Eastern Washington
Tim Murphy, Harvard
Brock Spack, Illinois State
John Grass, Jacksonville State
Mike Houston, James Madison
Rob Tenyer, Morehead State
Rod Broadway, North Carolina A&T
Jerry Mack, North Carolina Central
Bubba Schweigert, North Dakota
Chris Klieman, North Dakota State
Danny Rocco, Richmond
Dale Lindsey, San Diego

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