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.