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2009 College Football Coaching Changes & Rumors

Category: College Football Coaching News, Featured News

2009 College Football Coaching Hirings: 

Akron: Former Notre Dame assistant Rob Ianello has been hired to replace the fired coach JD Brookhart

Buffalo: Jeff Quinn will replace former coach Turner Gill who resigned
This isn’t the most sought after job, but it is football in the northeast. Early candidates included interim coach Danny Barrett, Florida quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler and former Notre Dame assistant Corwin Brown.

Central Michigan: Dan Enos to replace Butch Jones who resigned
Surprise hire here with Dan Enos, the Michigan St. RB coach the pick. The early candidate was interim coach Steve Stripling but offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian became the leading candidate with Illinois DB coach Curt Mallory to also interview. CMU interviewed Florida quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler but he took himself out of the running.

Cincinnati: As expected, Cincinnati has hired CMU coach Butch Jones to replace Brian Kelly. Others considered were in-house candidates such as Associate Head Coach Kerry Coombs, and offensive coordinator and offensive Line coach Jeff Quinn. Also on the list are Temple coach Al Golden and ECU coach Skip Holtz. The popular choice was CMU coach Butch Jones, who took the CMU job when Kelly left for Cincy. One guy who won’t be coach is Houston’s Kevin Sumlin who rejected an opportunity to interview.

ECU: Ruffin McNeil replaced Skip Holtz who resigned

Some early ECU football coach candidates included NFL Jaguars QB coach Mike Shula, Temple coach Al Golden, Bowling Green coach Dave Clawson, Oklahoma DC Kevin Wilson,  FSU linebackers coach Greg Hudson, Liberty coach Danny Rocco, Grambling St. coach Rod Broadway Others mentioned included former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden and Virgina Tech DC Bud Foster,  Phil Fulmer, Jeff Bower, Terry Bowden and Kirby Smart. Many would not have mind seeing former coach Steve Logan return. MTSU coach Rick Stockstill rejected an offer to coach ECU.

Florida State: promoted Jimbo Fisher to head coach to replace the retired Bobby Bowden

Kansas: has hired Buffalo coach Turner Gill to replace Mark Mangino, who resigned 
A few names topped the list: Jim Harbaugh is the first choice…but why would he leave Stanford for Kansas when so many better options will exist as soon as next year? Tommy Tuberville is interested but it’s not sure yet if the school is. Buffalo coach Turner Gill and ECU coach Skip Holtz are the next group. Uconn coach Randy Edsall, formenr Tennessee coach Phil Fullmer, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, Minnesota coach Tim Brewster is another name going around.

Louisiana – Monroe: Todd Berry, the former UNLV offensive coordinator, has replaced Charlie Weatherbie. Terry Bowden also interviewed for ULM.

LA Tech: Sonny Dykes to replace Derek Dooley who resigned
Early candidates included interim coach Frank Scelfo, assistant coach Tommy Spangler, Oklahoma St. assistant Joe DeForest, Texas assistant Major Applewhite. Others mentioned included North Alabama coach Terry Bowden, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers coach Todd Monken, Houston co-offensive coordinator Jason Phillips. SEC Assistants Gus Malzhan and Tyrone Nix claimed not to be candidates.

Louisville: Louisville hired Charlie Strong who was at the top of their list to replace Steve Kragthorpe. Phil Fullmer was rumored to have been considered but Charlie Strong was the only true candidate.

Marshall: Has hired WVU assistant Doc Holiday to replaced the fired coach Mark Snyder.
CMU’s Butch Jones was the top target but he was on the Kansas and Cincinnati lists and eventually replaced Kelly at Cincy. Former Marshall assistant (Wake Forest assistant) Brad Lambert was considered as well as Florida St. offensive line coach Rick Trickett and current interim coach Rick Minter.

Memphis: hired LSU assistant Larry Porter to replace Tommy West

Notre Dame: Brian Kelly will replace the fired Charlie Weiss. Uconn coach Randy Edsall was considered and alumni pushed for Tommy Tuberville, but ultimately the man expected to get the job did.

San Jose St.: hired Duke Defensive Coordinator Mike MacIntyre to replace the retired Dick Tomey has retired. Interested candidates included SJSU DC Keith Burns, University of San Diego coach Ron Caragher, former SJSU coach Terry Shea, 49ers assistant Tom Rathman, Nevada defensive coordinator Nigel Burton and Yale coach Tom Williams.

Tennessee: LA Tech coach Derek Dooley replaces Lane Kiffin
LA Tech coach Derek Dooley is the next UT coach. Kippy Brown, the teams Wide Receivers coach.
Tennessee football had been the interim coach. A number of coaches rejected Tennessee, including Texas DC and head coach in waiting, Wil Muschamp, TCU’s Gary Patterson, Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Duke’s David Cutcliffe, and Jon Gruden. Others rumored included Clemson DC Kevin Steele, Ole Miss’ Houston Nutt, Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy, Connecticut’s Randy Edsall, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

Texas Tech: hired Tommy Tuberville to replace fired coach Mike Leach
Baylor coach Art Briles seemed to be a top target along but said he is staying at Baylor. Sonny Dykes, the Arizona OC was a popular pick as were Houston coach Kevin Sumlin and Tommy Tubberville. But appears that currect Texas Tech DC Ruffin McNeill, USM coach Larry Fedora and NY Jets RB Coach Anthony Lynn are all set to interview. Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden is expected to interview as well.

UNLV: Montana coach Bobby Hauck will replace the fired coach Mike Sanford
It was a 2 man race between Montana coach Bobby Hauck and  former New Mexico/TCU/Alabama/Texas A&M; coach Dennis Franchione. Arizona OC Sonny Dykes andformer Boise St. & Arizona St. coach Dirk Koetter, were considered also.

USC: Lane Kiffin replaced Pete Carroll who resigned to take Seattle Seahawks job

Some early candidates included USC alums Jack Del Rio and Jeff Fisher. Herm Edwards was brought up as well. Some other names we heard were Norm Chow, Jim Harbaugh, Steve Sarkisian, Chris Peterson, Gary Patterson and even Carl Smith. Mike Riley, like Del Rio and Fisher took themselves out of the running in one way or another.

USF: Skip Holtz replaces the fired coach Jim Leavitt
The firing seemed to be less of a result of the alleged incident with a player and more about Leavitt’s attitude about the issue. Expected candidates included Florida defensive line coach Dan McCarney, former Auburn coach Tommy Tuberville and Michigan offensive coordinator Calvin Mage. Others include ECU coach Skip Holtz and former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, former Tennessee coach Phil Fulmer., USM coach Larry Fedora, Houston coach Kevin Sumlin, Miami OC Mark Whipple.

Virginia:  Virginia has hired Richmond coach Mike London to replace Al Groh. Charlie Strong (Florida assistant) was considered; rumors (longshots) had Boise St. coach Chris Peterson a candidate.  Others included Miami OC Mark Whipple, ECU coach Skip Holtz, Temple coach Al Golden, UConn coach Randy Edsall.

Western Kentucky: Richmond coach Mike London was on the list but they chose Stanford RB coach Willie Taggert

Florida: coach Urban Meyer on leave of absence

Should he ever officially resign, potential candidates could include Louisville’s new coach Charlie Strong and Mississippi St. coach Dan Mullen who was also a recent Florida assistant.

One name I would not be surprised to see would be former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden who is comfortable in the region.

Bob Stoops is the home-run hire Florida would love to make.

ESPN seems to think Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino and even Boise St. coach Chris Peterson could be options.

Also read the 2009 College Football Coaching Hotseat

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  • Wow. I didn't think that ANYONE saw all of that coming. We thought that it would be a relatively calm year. I believe we ended up with 22 changes not including Urban Meyer taking his leave at some point. The biggest change is still probably Brian Kelly at Notre Dame. Lane Kiffin will have success at USC, we just don't quite know how much. Derek Dooley might have a bit of a rough start at Tennessee, but he should win there. Skip Holtz needed a new challenge, having done about all that he could do at East Carolina. South Florida will be just that. It will interesting to see how all of this shakes down.

  • Derek Dooley goes to Tennessee. Good luck to Louisiana Tech trying to get someone to go there because Dooley was also the AD. They also play in the WAC, which is a geographic travisty. They will move up to Conference USA the first chance that they get. It is highly unlikely that any AFKA 1-A head coach will leave his current job to go there. They will probably have to look at the Terry or Tommy Bowden or a hot young assistant.

  • Anonymous

    Mark Mangino was the man. Kansas will be ok but he put 'em on the map as far as Football goes.

  • Well, this has certainly gone Jamiroquai on us. I would think that David Cutcliffe or Troy Calhoun would get the Tennessee job. Bud Foster might be the guy at East Carolina if it does not go to Derek Dooley. We have more changes this year than I think anyone thought that we would have. We could have more. Remember, this is college football.

  • Alright, I jumped the gun on Urban Meyer. I don't, however, think that I am jumping the gun on Mike Leach. He is fired. I wish Texas Tech would give the job to Ruffin McNeill and be done with it. There is no reason to change anything. The players love him. The other coaches love him. Keep the same offense. Don't mess with success!!

  • Well, I called that one. However, I had no idea that it would be this huge of a change. Urban made the correct decision. You don't need to mess with your health. Dan Mullen is the top choice. All other candidates are below him. I don't know if they could get anyone else. Charlie Strong is gone to Louisville. They missed him. They also missed out on Brian Kelly and several other guys. I don't see Bobby Petrino leaving this year. Notice that I said this year. Chris Peterson has almost a free pass to a potential BCS game every year at Boise. Gary Patterson does not have it quite that easy at TCU, but he has a strong enough program that he won't leave. Bob Stoops has already made it clear several times that he is not interested in leaving Oklahoma. Steve Spurrier is not happening on so many levels. Greg Schiano is not leaving Rutgers, yet. I don't see many other options other than Dan Mullen. We shall see if Florida agrees with me.

  • There might be one or two coaches that will interview for NFL jobs, like Kirk Ferentz with the Browns perhaps, but I don't see any college coaches being hired by the NFL for a long time. Bobby Petrino and Nick Saban have ruined that for a while. Jags is still out there potentially for Central Michigan, but I think that he would want a BCS job or another NFL OC job first. Central Michigan will likely make an internal hire, however.

  • I thought it would be a slow year. I thought there would be 15 changes when I did the Hotseat article in November. Some of those were fired while others remained due to contract/payout costs. But oddly enough, the number remained the same: 15 total FBS coaching changes.

  • This is the fewest head coaching openings at this time of the season in a long time. No AFKA 1-AA head coach is going to leave his current job to go to Central Michigan, except maybe another coach in the MAC. I don't think that will happen, though. We might have one or two changes after the bowl games. That always seems to happen. Other than that, it could be one of calmest years that we have seen in years in coaching changes. Some of the changes have been big, but the number has not been big.

  • Anonymous

    What source is out their that knows Chuck Martin turned down opportunity at Notre Dame, I think that is false and they are still talking.

  • Gill proved his worth as a head coach last year in winning the MAC. He lost Drew Willy after last year, but almost got to another bowl game if a couple of bounces went his way this year. The MAC is an offensive conference. The challenge that he will have in the Big XII, especially in the North, is getting the defensive players to go there. Carl Torbush MIGHT be a good start. Kansas has never really been good in that department. We shall see if that changes.

  • The Gill hiring makes sense.

    Here's why:

    Many times, coaches get hired who have had success at a lower level (Brian Kelly) and then get a "big time" upgrade offer.

    Other times there are assistants who do well and get an opportunity to get a HC job at "lesser" program. This could mean a Big 12 assistant getting a job in CUSA, WAC, etc, but ALSO going from a top Big 12 program like Texas, Oklahoma, etc, to a "lesser" one like Baylor, etc.

    And then there is the 3rd type of coach. These are the guys who were assistants or former players familiar with a conference who go on to get a HC job somewhere else in the country, just for experience. ADs like these guys because they are able to add something new to their resume: Head Coaching experience.

    Gill falls into this group. He went to Buffalo to become a head coach. And he exceeded expectations there with his coaching. He was never going to be able to recruit like a coach at Nebraska or Kansas while at Buffalo. But he won games and built a program out of nothing.

    The hope is that by going to a bigger program like Kansas with his COACHING STYLE, better quality recruits will come now. His assistants will now be able to go for top ranked players instead of those turned down by Rutgers, Syracuse and UConn.

  • Anonymous

    The coaches before Gill were horrible, and he's been bad, and the public is suppose to be impressed with a guy that couldn't coach at a 500 level in the MAC conference?

    In the past, there's been alot of coaches that have taken over Vanderbilt, Baylor, Duke, Wake Forest, Washington State, all in much tougher conferences than the MAC, and they had losing records, but they were fired after their losing season, not hired at a bigger university.

  • He was at BUFFALO!!!!! Compare his record at Buffalo to other guys that have coached at Buffalo on the AFKA 1-A level. He is the best that they have had.

  • Anonymous

    This is the best Kansas could do? A guy that has a 20-30 record as a head coach? A guy that has a winning percentage of 40%? This is what the definition of a "qualified" head coach has been redefined as? A guy that was 14-18 in the MAC, and he's the "next great thing"?

    Here's something that Sports Center won't let you know.

    Out of Gill's 20 wins…

    3 were against Temple, 06, 07, 08 when Temple went 10-27 in those three years.
    3 were against Akron, 07, 08, 09 when Akron went 12-24 in those three years.
    3 were against Kent St, 06, 07, 09 when Kent St went 14-22 in those three years.
    2 were against Miami-Ohio, 08, 09 when Miami-Ohio went 3-21 in those two years.
    1 was against Texas-El Paso, 08, when Texas-El Paso went 5-7 that year.
    1 was against Garden Webb, 09, a I-AA (or whatever it's called now) school that won 5 games in 09.

    13 of 20 wins came against teams with a combined 44-94 record, a 31.8 winning percentage, and a 5-6 Division I-AA program.

    Against top schools in the MAC Gill was…

    0-3 against Central Michigan, 06, 08, 09 when Central Michigan went 29-11 in those three years.
    1-2 against Ball St, 06, 07, 08, when Ball St. went 24-15 in those three years.
    1-3 against Bowling Green, 06, 07, 08, 09, when Bowling Green went 25-24 in those four years.

    Gill has a weak 2-8 record against conference opponents with winning records. That's a miserable 20% winning percentage against MAC teams with a combined 78-50 record, a 60.9 winning percentage.

    Gill went 11-5 against conference opponents with losing records.

    3-1 against Temple. Temple was 19-30 in those four year, 38.7 winning percentage.
    3-1 against Akron. Akron was 17-31 in those four years, 35.4 winning percentage.
    3-1 against Kent. St. Kent St was 18-30 in those four years, 37.5 winning percentage.
    2-2 against Miami-Ohio. Miami-Ohio was 11-38 in those four years, 22.4 winning percentage.

    Since Gill was 14-18 in the MAC, 11 of those 14 wins came against conference teams with a combined 65-129 record, a 33.5 winning percentage.

    Gill has proven to beat up on teams that could hardly win 1/3 of their games, and Gill has proven that he has failed against teams that win at least 60% of their games.

    As I asked at the beginning of this post, this is the best Kansas could do?

  • Charlie Strong will go to Louisville. Turner Gill will probably end up at Kansas. Butch Jones is probably going to Marshall. Who ends up at Notre Dame is anyone's guess.

  • Anonymous


    This isn't a video football game where you can switch teams at random because that's what you want to see. This is reality, and Boise St going to the PAC 10 will 100% never happen.

    Back to the topic of head coaching changes.

    I have to believe that Kansas will go with a "cheap hire" since they paid off Mangino an incredible amount of money to go away.

    I have also read that Kansas is "casting a wide net" in their interview process.

    Dennis Franchione has burned his last bridge in college football when he flopped at Texas A&M.; Prior to that, he didn't do himself any favors in the way he ended things there.

    All these jobs openings and no school has interest in Virginia Tech defensive coordinator Bud Foster, or Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables? Amazing.

  • Academics are important in the Pac 10. Boise St. is lacking. Do they have a good football program? sure, right now they do. But there are likely 5-10 schools the Pac 10 would consider (and be able to get) before they dropped the academic standards of their league.

  • Take Boise State out of the WAC and switch them with Washington State from the PAC-10. That will force them into playing one another so Boise has a better strengh of schedule.

  • bevo

    Kansas maintains its status as a coach killer. I cannot believe anyone wants to go there if they plan on having a career.

    Do you think San Jose State will keep its football program? I would not be surprised if SJSU, SDSU, and Sac State terminate their programs in the next two years.

  • I hear ya on Bud. Surprised he hasn't gotten a job sooner…especially someplace like CUSA (ECU a few years back woul dhave been a good pick).

    I'm a big Whipple fan as he was the coach of UMass when I was there. I'm always hoping he gets am FBS job with one of the regional schools like BC, Syracuse, Uconn, Rutgers, etc.

    One of my favorite coaches is Paul Johnson. The day he got hired, I said Gerogia Tech will be in the championhsip hunt in 3 years. They went into the last week in the top 10 this season. Impressive guy at Georgia Southern and Navy.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it's me, but I'm still surprised that Bud Foster's name isn't being a top of the list name by any of these schools. The guy has only been one of the top three defensive coordinators in the country over the past ten years while at Virginia Tech.

    Mark Whipple would make a good coach since he has head coaching experience at Univ. of Massachusetts, and has done a nice job with Miami's offense.

    Charlie Strong will get hired by Louisville, Virginia, or any other job that might open up.

    If Brian Kelly doesn't get hired by Notre Dame, then look for the Irish to go hard after Paul Johnson of Georgia Tech, or (here's a curve ball) former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski.

    It just came over ESPN that Mark Mangino won't be back at Kansas. It will be interesting if they go after Oklahoma defensive coordinator Brent Venables, or Central Michigan head coach Butch Jones.


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