Start the Coaching Carousel

So, you fired your coach (or they resigned), now what?  It’s never too early to get a start on possible coaching candidates.

by Jeffrey C. Lyons | @JeffreyCLyons |

***This story originally appeared in the October issue of Three Point Stance Magazine. To subscribe to the magazine, go to***

Chip Kelly
Like it or not, Kelly’s name is going to be listed as a candidate for any school that has a big enough name and pocketbook.  Ultimately, and besides a Brinks truck showing up at Kelly’s door, he will have to finally admit that his plan in the NFL was a failure.  I don’t think he is ready to do that yet, but lose a few more games and he could pull a Bobby Petrino.
Best fits: USC and Miami

Justin Fuente
The former TCU offensive coordinator has done wonders at Memphis.  Some bigger name school will want him this offseason.  The big question will be what schools want to take the risk?
Best fits: Illinois, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina

Tom Herman
Not even a full season at Houston and everyone is already witnessing his impact, both on the Cougars and Buckeyes.  The former Ohio State offensive coordinator has coached at bigger school level and knows how to score points.
Best fit: Miami

Lane Kiffin
A school would have to be nuts to offer Kiffin a head coaching job, right?  With 2 years under Nick Saban, maybe he has learned something and grown up.  Might be a good time for him to jump and prove the potential everyone saw in him.
Best fits: USC (kidding), Illinois, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina

Ed Orgeron
Looked like he had learned his lessons at USC (filling in for Kiffin) from his days at Mississippi.  One of the best recruiters out there, he would instantly bring talent to any team that wanted him.
Best fits: Illinois, Maryland and South Carolina

PJ Fleck
Relates to his players better than anyone on this list.  He’s young, but next job will be another step before a big name school, he is not ready for that spotlight.
Best fit: Illinois

Greg Schiano
Just like Harbaugh, his style is more appropriate for the college game, where players can leave after 5 years.  He brought Rutgers to being a national name in a short span and would be the true CEO-style coach some of these schools need.
Best fit: Illinois and Maryland

Jim Tressel
He wants to coach again, everyone can see that.  He served his 5-year ban and now he’s ready.  Doubt he would take a lesser school, especially with his resume at Ohio State.
Best fit: USC

Bo Pelini
If you asked Nebraska, I bet they would say they want a “do over” on the whole Pelini situation.  No team he coaches will ever be great, but they will win 8 games and get to a bowl every year.
Best fits: Illinois, Maryland and South Carolina

Mark Hudspeth
Not having the best year at ULLAF, but he has been consistently winning and his teams play a fun fast paced football.
Best fits: Illinois, Maryland, Miami and South Carolina

Scott Frost
Every year, schools need to look at the Oregon offensive coordinator right?
Best fits: North Texas, Illinois and Maryland

Matt Campbell
Toledo is slowly becoming the new Boise State in college football.  Power 5 teams want nothing to do with them on their schedule, just ask Arkansas.  Campbell finally has a healthy team and people can see what he can do.  Doesn’t hurt that his record at Toledo is 31 – 13, and most people have no idea that he is only 35
Best fit: Maryland (no way Illinois looks at another Toledo coach)

Kirby Smart
Is it finally time for Smart to make the jump from Saban’s shadow?  We all know the resume, so jobs will be available, if he wants to throw his hat in the ring.
Best fits: Miami and South Carolina

Jeff Brohm
Put him in the same category as Fleck, young and relatable.  Not ready for a major job, but it won’t stop those lower level Power 5 teams from kicking the tires.
Best fits: Illinois and Maryland

Outside the Box Options for USC and Maybe Miami: Brian Kelly, Kevin Sumlin, Pat Fitzgerald, Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy and Dan Mullen

Crazy Thought: Mark Dantonio to South Carolina.  Not only is he an alum, but he wouldn’t have to deal with Jim Harbaugh or Urban Meyer until the Playoffs.  Given the weakness of the SEC East, Dantonio could easily revive the Gamecocks.

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