The Urban Meyer era comes to an end as he announces he wants to spend more time with his family. What a remarkable run he had at Florida, let alone throughout his career. With this announcement the Coaching Carousel will really start spinning as there the Gator job is among the best in the country. As a result, the opening will attract some high power names. Gator coaching alums Bob Stoops, Dan Mullen, and Charlie Strong maybe receive the first calls, but don’t count out non-AQ coach like Chris Peterson or Gary Patterson. Then there’s names we’ve heard as candidates for other top gigs like Mike Leach and Jim Harbaugh. Just for laugh, let’s throw Lane Kiffin’s name in too. Okay, that wasn’t real funny. More analysis to come soon. In the meantime, who do you think should be the next Gators coach?
Randy Shannon was let go tonight as coach of the University of Miami. While some may say Shannon needed a little more time, after four years, the success on the field has not measured to the talent and expectations The U have. Here is a list (in no particular order) of potential candidates for the Miami Hurricanes job:
Gus Malzahn: Who’s name is hotter than Malzahn? Well, maybe Cam Newton….but you get the point. If Malzahn were to strikes while the iron is hot (no pun intended), this is the year to move to the head coaching ranks. And though many school are already hot in pursuit, Miami would pose a special opportunity.
Mike Leach: Just imagine what Leach’s potent air-attack could do with an arsenal of Florida recruits. It appears Leach is rested up and is already testing the waters. But would he really consider relocating to Florida? Oh wait, he already lives there.
Mark Richt: This could be a win-win-win situation for the ‘Canes, Bulldogs and the former Miami quarterback. Miami probably would not pay him as generously as Georgia, but what amount of money can buy a fresh start?
Kirby Smart: Smart was last year’s Frank Broyles Award Winner–icing on the cake for a national championship season, which relied greatly on Smart’s stellar defense. Also, Smart, like Shannon, was briefly on the Miami Dolphins staff.
Dan Mullen: Sure, we can attribute some of Florida’s struggles to a post-Tebow era, but let’s not forget Urban Meyer’s right hand man during the Gator’s resurgence. Fast forward several years, and Mullen is leading his own turnaround at Mississippi State. He knows the state of Florida well, plus he’ll bring homegrown defensive coordinator Manny Diaz with him. Diaz is a rising coordinator in his own right, and his father was once major of Miami. The Bleacher Reports likes the fit.
Jon Gruden: Gruden of course is a pipe dream. Seriously, if Gruden’s name on NFL wish-lists, why would he consider stepping down to the college ranks? He has shown interest in the college game, and hey, wouldn’t it be cool to have won a Super Bowl and a National Championship from the same state?
Terry Bowden: He’s not on the top of the list by any means, but he’s had a couple nice seasons at North Alabama, and most importantly, his name carries some serious cache in Florida.
More potential candidates and links:
- The Miami Herald Oklahoma defensive coordinator adds Brent Venables (hot coordinator) to the list of candidates. Plus, as ESPN.com’s Bruce Feldman notes, we cannot forget the Miami AD worked in Norman.
- Feldman also adds Bob Stoops (Why? See the bullet above), Houston’s Kevin Sumlin (Hot Coach), and FIU’s Mario Cristobal to the Hurricane’s target list. As Foxsports.com says, “Cristobal has done the improbable at Florida International, guiding a young program to a Sun Belt championship and its first bowl game.”
- The Palm Beach Post reminds us that Tommy Tubberville is a candidate as he was once on Dennis Erickson’s UM staff.
- SI.com’s Andy Staples says Charlie Strong “has instant credibility in the Sunshine State.”
- CBSSports.com’ Dennis Dodd rounds out his short list with Oklahoma State’s Dana Holgorsen (hot coordinator) and Rutger’s Greg Schiano.
The Denver Post reports that champion former Colorado football coach Bill McCartney would be interested if approached for the CU coaching vacancy. He said:
“If Colorado was interested in me, I would definitely be interested in returning.”
Update (11/5/10): Minnesota would prefer a “sitting coach“, and is aiming high, targeting Chris Peterson, Jim Harbaugh and Gary Patterson. Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press also mentions Marc Trestman, and Jeff Jagodzinski as candidates (not mentioned below), while the Star Tribune says Dan Mullen is the “the hot rumor of the day.” Phil Fulmer is not interested, but Tony Dungy is helping solicit coaches.
The Tim Brewster era apparently will end after this season. It will be steep uphill battle for the next Gopher head coach, but Glen Mason showed Minnesota can be competitive in the Big Ten. Plus, with a sparkling new stadium to boot, the Gophers should attract some quality coaching candidates. Here are some of the names we may see:
Kevin Sumlin: It’s a matter of time before this up-and-coming coach is snatched. The coach knows Minnesota, previously serving as an assistant on the U’s staff, but more importantly, he know Texas, which could serve him well on the recruiting trail.
Mike Leach: Might this offensive guru just be taking a Tommy Tubberville-ish sabbatical? Minnesota likes seasoned coaches with proven track records a la Tubby Smith.
Phil Fulmer: Is it just me or does Phil seem to be itching to get out of the that broadcasting chair? He may welcome a new landing pad with realistic expectations.
Leslie Frazier: The hometown fans would love and hate this hire. That’s because the Gophs would gain a respected NFL coach, but loose their Vikings defensive coordinator. By the way, where did Tim Brewster come from? Minnesota isn’t scared to hire from the pro ranks. The Viking Age says Frazier may be interested.
Dan McCarney: Head coach experience? Check. Midwest coaching experience? Check. The former ISU coach has had some time to soak up Urban Meyer’s offense. After all didn’t MarQueis Gray come to the U for the spread offense?
Jeff Horton: Though an unlikely hire, you always have to include the interim coach on the list of candidates, especially if there is a remarkable turnaround.
Glen Mason: He’s not looking too bad now, don’t ya know?
Tony Dungy: He is an alum, and it never hurts to dream. Dream hard, but sorry.
Here’s an unofficial list for Cyclone fans to chew on in at the coffee cooler:
Ben Jacobsen – A far, far reach as he just signed a 10 year contract extension at UNI. Furthermore, the Cyclones may not be interested in tapping two consecutive coaches from their northern neighbors.
Billy Gillespie – No introduction needed. Gillespie has already stated his interest in the job. He knows the Big 12 landscape well from time at Texas A&M and as an assistant at Kansas.
Brian Gregory – The hot coach just won the NIT Championship and is rumored as a possible Tom Izzo successor someday. ISU would love this hire.
Tim Jankovich – He has been an assistant at five Big 12 schools, notabley under Eddie Sutton and Bill Self. He has had over 20 wins and and reached the NIT in all of his three seasons at Illinois State.
Cuonzo Martin – Part of Gene Keady’s impressive coaching tree, Martin’s head coaching experience is short, but Missouri State is fresh off CIT Championship and ISU could pluck the 38 year old now before his star rises too high.
Quinn Snyder – Several years removed from his Mizzou recruiting scandle, would the Cyclones give him a fresh start.
Gregg Marshall – Could Witcha St. become a new stepping stone? Marshall’s name was recently up for the Clemson job.
Larry Eustachy – The message boards (and some blogs) may throw the So. Miss coach’s name around, but he’s not coming back to Ames. Second chances happen all the time in coaching, but usually not at the same school.
Dana Altman is headed to Oregon, but will Darian DeVries and Brian Fish follow? Many Missouri Valley Conference schools have recently and successfully promoted from within (e.g. Chris Lowery, Ben Jacobson). And both current Blue Jay’s assistant have long histories with the team. But Bob Rickert of the Oregonian expects DeVries and Fish to follow Altman and adds that room should be made room for current Duck assistant and proven recruiter Kenny Payne.
Who do you think are candidates to be the next Creighton Blue Jay’s basketball coach? Should they hire from within or outside?
Brad Stevens just signed a 12 year extension at Bulter. Good for the balance of power in college basketball. If Gordon Haywood returns, mark the Bulldogs as Final Four (if not Champion) favorite for next year.
Is this a growing trend that top mid-major coaches see that grass really isn’t greener over yonder? Of course, the program has to have tipped (in a Gladwellian sense) to a certain point for this law to apply. Think Mark Few of Gonzaga, and Chris Peterson of Boise State. As college sports become more and more of a business, financier athletic directors and “what have you done for me lately” attitude at BCS conference school, don’t be surprised to see the trend continue.
Maybe the bigs will have to start doing what the mid-majors have been doing more consistently, hire from within. It sure worked for Butler, right? Plus Mike Dunlap of Oregon, Ron Bradley of Clemson and Rusty LaRue of Wake Forest are all great candidates; all with head coaching success.