Looking at the College Football Hot Seat as the coaching carousel continues to spin!
Firings This Week
Seth Littrell/North Texas
Littrell was fired immediately after the Conference USA title game against UTSA which they lost 48-27. North Texas has a new AD after Wren Baker went to West Virginia which led to Littrell’s addition to the college football hot seat. Littrell finishes with a 44-44 record at North Texas. He won’t be unemployed long and will most likely get hired on as an OC somewhere in the coming week.
Job Openings Yet To Be Determined
According to reports, there has been immense interest in this job. They interviewed Michigan RB Coach Mike Hart (who has removed his name from consideration) and asked to interview Michigan Co-OC Sherrone Moore but he declined. They will most likely go down the route of hiring a current assistant with the rumored names being Cincinnati OC Gino Guidugli, Louisville OC Lance Taylor and West Virginia OC Graham Harrell. Of these names Taylor seems to be the leader with Satterfield leaving for Cincinnati.
This search has been kept relatively quiet, but one name has emerged from reports as of late. The name is Ravens OC Greg Roman and the interest appears to be mutual. Stanford seems to be going down the Harbaugh tree again. This comes as a bit of a surprise to most as many believed he would be trying for an NFL HC job this cycle. He is a bit older and the head coaches in the NFL seem to get younger every year. With a lot of speculation of the future of Stanford in the PAC-12, Stanford must nail this hire and get the program back to prominence.
Sean Lewis had this team on an upward trajectory, especially on the offensive side of the ball. The job is now open as Lewis has decided to join Deion Sanders staff in Boulder as the Offensive Coordinator. Its not uncommon to see MAC head coaches leave for a big program as an assistant. In 2015, former Ball State HC Pete Lembo left his position to join Maryland as the AHC. It’s a risk for these coaches to give up a head coach job but the MAC positions have typically been re-treads or stepping-stone jobs.
Not unexpected news out of West Lafayette following their first Big Ten West title under Jeff Brohm. He leaves with 38-36 record during his tenure. Look for Purdue to find a coach that has the similar coaching style as Brohm. Heavy on the passing attack with the hope that they can outscore you. With no knowledge of this situation as the news is fresh, a few names have already been connected to the job.
Look for the following candidates to get some attention: Washington AHC JaMarcus Shepard seems to be the front runner. Born in Indiana and worked at Purdue under Jeff Brohm before going to Washington. Other candidates include: Wake Forest HC Dave Clawson, WKU HC Tyson Helton and current USFL HC Kevin Sumlin. The search will be wide for them but with the portal open they need to get this hire done quickly so they can prevent Brohm from poaching this good recruiting class he was scheduled to bring in.
As mentioned above, Seth Littrell has been relieved of his duties as head coach. They have a new AD so he will be bringing in his own guy. It’s way too early to make any assumptions on the new hire but as with most Texas schools, they will most likely try to stay local because of recruiting connections.
Hirings This Week
The Cardinals get their number one (and only candidate) in Jeff Brohm. This is a home run hire for Louisville. Brohm is an alum of the school, and he turned them down last time the job was open. But this time the pull to come home and being close to family was too much for him. He brought the Purdue program out of the grave it was in when he inherited it.
He recruited hard and sent multiple players to the NFL. He also will be walking into a solid roster of players as well. Some scouting sites had Louisville as a top 20 incoming class. Obviously, with the portal open he will have to make some decisions, but these players should be ecstatic that they are gaining, an arguably, better coach than they had before.
There is not a bigger name on this hiring cycle than Prime Time himself. Deion Sanders leaves Jackson State after putting out an impressive 26-5 record during his tenure. He is bringing quite a staff with him as well so far. He has convinced Kent State HC Sean Lewis to join the staff as his offensive coordinator and will be bringing in Alabama Safeties coach Charles Kelly as his defensive coordinator.
His son, Shadeur Sanders will be the team’s starting QB as well. And, of course, he gets a substantial raise from what he was making at JSU. He will make close to 5 million at Colorado where he made just $600,000 at JSU, and he gave back half of it to make improvements to the facilities. This is a great risk for Colorado, but it was necessary, as the program has not been relevant for at least a decade. However, if Deion struggles he might end up on the College Football Hot Seat sooner rather than later.
At the beginning of the season, Satterfield got off to a slow start and was even on the hot seat with some Louisville fans. He did finish strong getting Louisville to a bowl game, funny enough, against Cincinnati. Cincinnati is like Louisville in recruiting and fanbase expectations. Satterfield is known as a strong recruiter and loves to build new program cultures. This one came as a bit of a surprise, but it should make for a very spicy Fenway Bowl in the coming weeks.
Tom Herman/Florida Atlantic
Herman gets another chance as a head coach of major college football. This will be his third head coaching position in FBS football. His first HC job was with Houston (went 22-4) then at Texas (went 32-18) and will now have another opportunity at Florida Atlantic. He will take over for Willie Taggert who could not expound on the success of Lane Kiffin’s tenure. Herman will need to re-build this program with strong recruiting. They have a tough non-conference schedule this upcoming season so getting off to a hot start will be key.
Small schools always need to make a splash with their hires and UAB certainly did that. There’s too much history about the ups and downs of this program to cover in this paragraph. But their former head coach stepped away for health reasons after taking over the program in 2017. Interim coach Bryan Vincent led them to a 6-6 record this season and was hopeful to have the position permanently by the season’s end.
The athletic department decided to go in a different direction by hiring former NFL QB Trent Dilfer, whose only coaching experience is at Lipscomb Academy, a high school in Tennessee. He did lead them to a state title this past season. This is a massive risk, especially for a program that just started back playing college football in 2017 after not fielding a team due to funding. If the team struggles in his debut season, could he be a surprise addition to next year’s college football hot seat?
Money talks in college football and that’s exactly what happened to Jamey Chadwell, he got paid. After making about 1.15 million dollars at Coastal Carolina, Liberty will be paying Chadwell a 7 year contract that will exceed 4 Million dollars a year. Chadwell is no slouch of a coach either. He went 39-22 during his five-year tenure and went 31-6 the past three years. Liberty will be joining Conference USA next season.
Tim Beck/Coastal Carolina
With Chadwell being hired by Liberty, Coastal Carolina wasted no time by hiring NC State OC Tim Beck as their head coach. Beck’s strength is QB development and has been the OC at some big-time college programs, such as Texas and Ohio State. There has been mixed reaction to the hire amongst the fan base but getting a coach that has the connections to the area is always a great direction to go.
GJ Kinne/Texas State
Kinne is one of the youngest college head coaches now at 34 years old. He was a journeyman in the NFL and had a small stint in the CFL. Kinne comes from Incarnate Word from the FCS division of the NCAA. He was the top assistant with Gus Malzahn at UCF but that was only for one year. He has moved up the ranks very quickly but a small school like Texas State can take this risk. If successful, this will be a springboard for Kinne in the future.
Brent Key/Georgia Tech
After a reportedly large head coach search, Tech settles on the current Interim Coach Brent Key. There was a report that they had offered the job to Jamey Chadwell (new Liberty HC) and then to Bill O Brien (current Alabama OC) but they couldn’t come to a financial agreement on a contract. So, you could say they settled on Brent Key but the players have loved him since he took over. Tech has really fallen off during the Collins tenure so it will be imperative for Key to get some transfer portal players and start changing the culture.
Alex Golesh/South Florida
Another mid-size school going after a young assistant. This one was puzzling as they tried this with Jeff Scott and that was a disaster. They had some big names attached to the job that were tried and true strong candidates. Not saying Golesh is a bad candidate because he is not but just thought they would go in a different direction. Golesh was Josh Heupel’s right hand man at Tennessee as their OC. That offense was terrific this season and they had a breakout season by shattering numerous Tennessee records.
The speculation was rampant for this job. Names such as Ed Orgeron and Chris Peterson were thrown around. While it was denied by them, UNLV settles on former Missouri HC Barry Odom. Odom is a Missouri alum who worked his way up to the head coach job and then finished with a 25-25 record before being fired from the position. He worked last season as the DC/AHC at Arkansas with Sam Pittman. UNLV is not a big-time football program so getting a re-tread with some head coaching experience is always a safe bet in college football.
Are we seeing a trend here? Another mid-level program bringing in another re-tread coach. Wilson has been the OC at Ohio State since 2017 and was the Indiana HC before that. He was fired by Indiana because of multiple investigations into the mistreatment of players. We have seen the explosiveness of the Ohio State offense for many years now, so this matches what Tulsa is looking for. If Wilson has learned from his past alleged improprieties, then this could be a good hire as he got Indiana into bowl games which was something they had not seen consistently in Bloomington.
With the College Football Hot Seat expected to cool down, who are some names you think are in trouble for next season?