In light of the five FBS coaching changes that have already occurred, I thought I would take this opportunity to go over the attractiveness of each job, a primary candidate for each job, and two secondary candidates for each job. (Disclaimer: The candidates are merely my opinion, not anything official whatsoever, and I limited the coaching candidates to the college ranks). I also took the liberty of predicting which other FBS jobs could be open by the end of 2015. In order to compile this diary, I took some information from coachingsearch.com. Chris Vannini there does an excellent job of posting coaching updates from across all levels of football. If you Twitter, follow @coachingsearch.
Legend for attractiveness of each job:
Hot - One of the top 10-12 jobs in college football, a destination job, high pressure to win
Solid - Still a place you can win at, viewed as destination by at least some, still moderate/high pressure to win
Decent - Middle of the road, not bad, but nothing to get excited about. Could move on if Solid or Hot job opens up.
Fair - Uphill battle. High/mid Group of 5/low Power 5 type job. Ambitious coaches will usually leave this type of job if they can.
Airport - Won't be here for long either way. Win somewhat and you're off in 2-3 seasons, lose big and you're off in 2-3 seasons.
Illinois: Attraction - Decent Job. Illinois on the face has the look of a Solid job, but the fact is there is merely a light recruiting base in the state and the surrounding area; there is not enough competitive talent in the state. The head man will have to raid states like Ohio to round out the roster. There is also little tradition at Illinois. Guys have shown that you can achieve BCS/New Year's 6 success at Illinois as recently as the early 00s and that one run under Zook, so there is hope. For what it's worth it is the first choice in the state, and it's in the unspectacular B1G West.
Primary Candidate: Dino Babers, Bowling Green Head Coach. Babers has history coaching in the state, and took over a bad Eastern Illinois team and turned them into FCS Playoff participants just two seasons later. His offense is modeled after Baylor's Art Briles and has torched many FBS defenses already. This is a hire that would inject some excitment in a primarily stale and tired fan base in addition to just being a smart hire overall. Babers would be 55 at the start of the 2016 season.
Secondary candidate 1: Justin Fuente, Memphis Head Coach
Secondary candidate 2: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky Head Coach
Maryland: Attraction - Decent Job. Maryland is a similar type job to Illinois, with a slightly better recruiting base in the DC metro area. An ambitious/smart head coach would dive into the Norfolk/VA Beach area, as well. Maryland has also made a BCS/NY6 appearance fairly recently, so there is also hope here; however, the athletic department at Maryland is cash-strapped after numerous mishaps, hence their betrayal of forever home ACC for the moneybags of the Big Ten. Little tradition at Maryland. The new guy will also be competing with Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State on a yearly, and Michigan State will be a force as long as Dantonio is there.
Primary Candidate: Justin Fuente, Memphis Head Coach. Fuente took over a dumpster fire at Memphis and has turned it into an SEC-whippin' machine. He would have to do the same at Maryland, but there's potential to do at Maryland what he's done at Memphis. Fuente will be only 40 at the start of the 2016 season.
Secondary candidate 1: Dino Babers, Bowling Green Head Coach
Secondary candidate 2: Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky Head Coach
South Carolina: Attraction - Fair Job. This is an uphill battle. Let's go over some national-championship winning coaches that have, for the most part, failed at South Carolina. Paul Dietzel (LSU), Lou Holtz (Notre Dame), and Steve Spurrier (Florida). Spurrier won the SEC East a grand total of once at South Carolina. Holtz never did. The state of South Carolina does not really have enough competitive talent for two FBS programs, let alone one, and over the past 15-20 years most of the best talent that is in the state is going to Clemson. Clemson has more of a winning history and tradition, albeit a shorter history. The Gamecocks are the second on the block in a weak recruiting state, make no mistake.
Primary Candidate: Tom Herman, Houston Head Coach. Herman would be a great hire for South Carolina. The only question would be is if he would be willing to take on another challenge at South Carolina or really look to build up the Houston program (maybe toward even a Big XII invite?). Regardless, in my opinion this is the guy South Carolina should target. Ohio State clearly misses Herman on the offensive side of the ball and Herman has developed a reputation for being a ravenous recruiter and is doing that at Houston. The South Carolina job requires a sleepless recruiting effort. Make it happen, Cocky. Herman would only be 41 at the start of the 2016 season.
Secondary candidate 1: Justin Fuente, Memphis Head Coach
Secondary candidate 2: Joe Moglia, Coastal Carolina Head Coach
Southern Cal: Attraction - Hot Job. Location, winning tradition, self-sustaining, private institution, can recruit via bus or bicycle in the southern California region. Don't feel I need to add much else.
Primary Candidate: Jimbo Fisher, Florida State Head Coach. Predicting the next head coach for a program like Southern Cal is pretty fun. You can make a case for almost any semi-successful head coach in the country, as a program like Southern Cal can get anyone they want. Jimbo Fisher has already done all he can do at Florida State, and with perhaps the most lackadaisical undefeated regular season in history in 2014 followed up by a face plant against Oregon in the semi-final and a similar start in 2015, Fisher may be ready for a new challenge. Fisher has the rock star appeal that would fit in well at Southern Cal and, for better or worse, Fisher's FSU has been in the news almost constantly since he's been there. The man can recruit, motivate, and win on game day, which is what Southern Cal needs most right now. In addition, and this would be just as much a change for personal reasons, Fisher just this summer went through a divorce, after his wife allegedly had an affair with one of his ex-players. So Southern Cal would theoretically allow him to get away and get a new start. Fisher would be 50 at the start of the 2016 season.
Secondary candidate 1: Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M Head Coach
Secondary candidate 2: James Franklin, Penn State Head Coach
North Texas: Attraction - Airport. This change went under the radar, and rightfully so. North Texas canned former Iowa State head coach Dan McCarney after UNT lost 66-7 to homecoming opponent Portland State. Most will remember Mean Joe Greene as a famous alumnus of North Texas. North Texas has gone through many problems in its history, notably being "demoted" to 1-AA in the late 70s by the NCAA. However, through major donor support, the program re-entered 1-A in 1995 (wikipedia). For what it's worth, UNT is in the state of Texas (obviously) and the institution just opened up a brand new on-campus Apogee Stadium, and has seemingly shown willingness to invest in the program and facilities. However, the next head man here will likely have to come from the FCS ranks and view it as a step up. AD Rick Villarreal stated that he would like the next hire to be "offensive minded" (coachingsearch.com).
Primary Candidate: Matt Viator, McNeese State Head Coach (74-32 in 9+ seasons, 4 FCS Playoff berths, age 52) (wikipedia)
Secondary candidate 1: KC Keeler, Sam Houston State Head Coach (189-81-1 overall record, 3 FCS Championships with Delaware, 5 Division III Championships with Rowan, age 56) (wikipedia)
Secondary candidate 2: Greg Schiano, available (still only 49, but at this point has to take what he can get)
*Likely* Open Jobs:
Central Florida (O'Leary iffy on pretty much everything right now)
Texas-San Antonio (although coachingsearch.com says no)
I'll wait until after the 2015 season is over to see how these shake out. I may do a second follow-up post after the season with more commentary on the open jobs.
Article talks about Harbaugh, Meyer, Saban, and others.
In just about all coaches' contracts nowadays, it's standard for them to receive use of dealer automobiles, country club memberships and tickets (usually including a suite) to all home football games. Some even get the use of a private plane for so many hours per year for personal use.
I read an article (apologies, I've forgotten where) earlier that stated all Asst. Coaches were signed for 2-3 years except for Jedd Fisch, who is also making less than the rest of the assistants, save for Jay Harbaugh. Combining that knowledge with the hiring of TJ Weist (who has experience coaching WR and as OC) as "Offensive Analyst" and Derron Montgomery as "primary receivers/grad asst," can we infer that Fisch will try and jump back to the NFL, or an OC gig at a Power 5 school, and Weist and/or Montgomery are being vetted to replace him? I don't understand why TJ Weist would come along as a non-assistant otherwise.
Congrats! You're the new head coach at the University of Michigan! It's a wonderful university with a rich academic and athletic history. The product on the field was a tire-fire in 2014, but you know that. Hopefully you're good enough at "coaching football" even if you don't know "The Victors" yet.
You should know that there are 2 parts to coaching Michigan - being a good football coach and knowing how to bullshit/placate your base. I'm hoping you're proficient at the former and that's why you're here. In terms of the latter:
You'll get asked about being a "Michigan Man". Here's how you should answer that: 'When Coach Schembechler said that "A Michigan Man should coach Michigan" he was referring to a basketball coach shopping his services. Why anyone would want to leave this great university is beyond me. I'm here because I want to be here. I'm here to help make this the greatest football program in the country and I'll put 100% into that every day. I don't know the words to The Victors yet, but I know I'll hear them after every Touchdown and Turnover, so I'll be hearing it often. My staff will start every meeting with it and we will embody everything that this great university stands for.' (If you've got a tie to Michigan history, use it here. Say you're from the same area of WV as Yost... sigh... or if you coached at Miami like Bo, or something)
You'll get asked about former players. There are some high profile ones who are varying levels of happy with the program. To them you should say: "Any former player is welcome to my office any time I'm not with the team or preparing for a game. I'm creating an "Alumni Day" every fall when we welcome back any and every former football letterman during a game, in addition to the flag football game as part of our spring game. If any former letterman wants to attend a game, give me a call. Between myself and the AD we'll get you to the games that you need to go to. If you have a legacy recruit - a son, younger brother, cousin - no questions asked they will be offered a preferred walk-on spot here at Michigan. We have to make decisions that are best for the program and if we, as a staff, have scholarships available we'd love to offer them to your legacy.
You'll get asked about wearing a headset/coaches in the booth/on the field. Say that you have to balance communicating with your players and your staff and if you ever have an issue with either you'll change your behavior.
You'll get asked if this is an elite job. Answer "Yes. Winningest program (hopefully still :-( ), The Big House, glorious history and the best damn uniforms in sports. Michigan has all the tools to be an elite program and I'll to my best to win every single game we play every year."
You'll get asked about the B1G being Big tehhhhhnnnn "The B1G has a glorious history in football, but as a conference we need to do better in our non conference slate. There's no reason why every program in this conference can't commit the resources and personnel to be the best conference in the country. We are doing that at Michigan and hope everyone else does as well."
You'll get asked about Michigan State - say that you've got all the respect in the world for them, they've been doing great recently, and that you want to beat them by 20 every year.
You'll get asked about Ohio State - say that you've got all the respect in theworld for them, they've been doing great recently, and that you want to beat them by 50 every year.
You'll get asked a bunch of other bullshit. Realize that you could go 14-0 and win every game by 20. There will be Michigan fans who are upset because you didn't win by 30, or didn't score a point-a-minute, or your QB didn't "look" right, or you weren't as angry as they remember Bo being, or you yelled to much, or because you said that Zingermans is delicious but overpriced.
Don't worry about these people.
Worry about coaching the team, keeping them healthy, punting not-like-a-dinosaur, and winning some games. I hear that fixes everything.
According to Rivals he is. What's your opinion?