Our rankings are simple. Who’s the most likely to get fired? That’s the only criteria we use to group them. The higher the ranking, the more likely they’ll be shown the door.
West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck issued a statement reaffirming his support of head coach Dana Holgorsen.
In the statement, Luck said, “I strongly believe in our coaching staff, including the work that our strength and conditioning staff is doing. In my opinion, continuity is the key ingredient that will bring our football program back to the high level that Mountaineer fans expect.”
In reality, there are 11.3 million reasons that Holgorsen’s job is safe — as in the amount it would cost the school to buy out his contract. Holgorsen should get his agent a nice Christmas present this year.
Miami (Ohio) has hired Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chuck Martin as head coach.
Penn State coach Bill O’Brien has fired longtime linebackers coach Ron Vanderlinden and second-year quarterbacks coach Charlie Fisher, multiple sources confirmed to Lions247.
GatorBait.net reports that while former USC coach Lane Kiffin had a strong interest in the Florida offensive coordinator job at, but says that the Gators are unlikely to hire him. Mike Mularkey, Clay Helton and Blake Anderson are among the names we continue to hear. Arizona State’s Mike Norvell and UCLA’s Noel Mazzone are other names being mentioned.
According to AP writer Mark Long, Muschamp plans to scrap the pro-style system and switch to up-tempo an offense in 2014.
Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe has resigned.
Sources tell us Ball State’s Pete Lembo, Rice’s David Bailiff, Stanford defensive coordinator Derek Mason and Tulane’s Curtis Johnson could be candidates for the job.
Multiple sources feel it’s likely June Jones will either leave SMU on his own accord or be fired. The national media is starting to report some chatter as well.
Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris and Sam Houston State head coach Willie Fritz are expected to be among the candidates to fill the job should it open.
Sources tell us that Hawaii head coach Norm Chow is weary of the job already and that the school might be happy for him to move along. There are strong rumors June Jones could return.
The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that Tulane athletic director Rick Dickson “has worked with the Tulane Board to reconfigure football coach Curtis Johnson’s contract, as well as those of his assistants.”
Auburn’s Jay Jacobs plans a raise for Gus Malzahn.
Michigan athletic director Dave Brandon says that Brady Hoke will lead the program “well into the future.” We assume that means he’s in no danger of losing his job (not that we ever thought he was).
Hoke says he has no plans to make any staff changes, even though many think he should.
According to the Tampa Tribune’s Joey Johnston, “USF coach Willie Taggart says he doesn’t anticipate any changes to his coaching staff.”
RealDawg reports that Washington athletic director Scott Woodward was “blindsided” by Steve Sarkisian’s move to USC and that defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, once thought to be next in line, is now unlikely to land the job.
Jim Mora would have been a candidate if he had wanted to be, but he reports indicate that he has agreed to a six year extension to stay at UCLA. Mizzou’s Gary Pinkel and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier are also rumored to be strong candidates, along with Boise State’s Chris Petersen and Vandy’s James Franklin.
The Seattle Times reports that Sarkisian’s buyout of $1.5 million is due within 30 days. the Times also reports that Wilcox would owe “$1 million, according to his contract. That penalty is triggered only if Wilcox leaves early ‘to take a position at another Pac 12 school, with the exception of Head Coach.’”
Huskies defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would owe $410,000 if he were to leave.
Sports Radio KJR reports that Wilcox is headed to USC with Sarkisian.
Sources tell us that a loss to South Florida this weekend could mean the end of Kyle Flood’s tenure at Rutgers.
Western Kentucky’s Bobby Petrino says he won’t “deal with speculation” when asked if he was a candidate for other jobs.
Air Force’s Troy Calhoun is keeping quiet on possible staff changes.
We continue to hear that Florida International’s Ron Turner could go back to the NFL.
UNLV has given Bobby Hauck an extension.
At USC, Ed Orgeron has resigned and offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach the Trojans bowl game.
Virginia athletic director Craig Littlepage has again voiced his support for his embattled head football coach.
“I firmly believe that Mike London is going to be successful here at the University of Virginia,” Littlepage said.
In other words, London and his big buyout are safe for another year.
Sources tell us that Nebraska’s Bo Pelini still might not be 100% safe.
An ugly bowl performance could make things dicey. In other words, nothing is certain. He probably makes it, but this is still one to watch.
ESPN reports that Pelini will have to pay for his latest rant:
“The Big Ten Conference on Monday issued a public reprimand of the Cornhuskers’ head coach and fined the university $10,000 for Pelini’s comments about the officiating in a loss to Iowa last week. University spokeswoman Chris Anderson said the money will come out of Pelini’s compensation.”
Now that Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has tied Barry Switzer for the school wins record, many insiders think he might be ready for a change.
There was some Florida chatter a couple of weeks ago and some USC chatter before that. Will Muschamp is likely to stay in place in Gainesville and you hear a lot of other names associated with USC.
Stoops won’t leave unless it’s a place where he can win as big as he has at Oklahoma, and there aren’t many of those places. That means the odds are good he’s still coaching the Sooners in 2014.
Multiple sources believe that Vanderbilt’s James Franklin could be on the move after the season.
Franklin has been rumored to be a second tier candidate at USC. With the job he’s done with the Commodores, he’s sure to have other opportunities.
Charlie Weis’ seat at Kansas is a little cooler after beating West Virginia to end a 27-game conference losing streak. Weis probably makes it to 2014. It’s hard to see the Jayhawks dumping two consecutive coaches after only two seasons.
The heat on Hawaii coach Norm Chow continues to rise. The Warriors are now 0-9 and a winless campaign is certainly possible. It’s wait and see, but this one could pop open.
Speaking of the Mountaineers, there’s a growing chorus of calls for Dana Holgorsen’s head on a platter.
His buyout that is reportedly $11.3 million, and that’s going to be hard for West Virginia to swallow. Fact is, that buyout probably saves him, but what if he loses to 1-9 Iowa State to close the season?
As for Holgorsen, he’s clearly frustrated with the program’s facilities.
There are lots of rumors flying about Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. However, most believe Rhoads makes it, but makes significant staff changes. Still, a loss to Kansas Saturday could damage his chances of survival.
Indiana is 4-6 with games against Ohio State and Purdue remaining. Most insiders believe Kevin Wilson will return in 2014 – if he beats the Boilermakers in the season finale. With a loss in that one, things get very interesting.
There have been rumors and reports for weeks that Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin is a serious candidate for the USC job.
We’ve heard from a couple of sources that he could be in play with the Houston Texans, should they decide to dump Gary Kubiak at season’s end. The Houston Chronicle now reports that Sumlin would be a “prime candidate.”
With Washington State on the verge of its first bowl berth since 2003, head coach Mike Leach was awarded a new contract extension that keeps his salary at $2.25 million per year and keeps him in Pullman until at least 2018.
The Cougars went 3-9 last season and are 5-5 in Leach’s second year.
Sources tell us that, while there’s still a chance that Minnesota’s Jerry Kill could opt not to return in 2014, it’s much more likely he will come back and give it another go if he can get his health issues under control.
According to the Pioneer Press, Kill is likely to receive a raise. Yes, Kill has health issues, but it’s hard to argue with the job he’s done. The Gophers have won eight games in ten tries in 2013.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin has refused to address rumors linking him to the USC job.
There are rampant rumors of a rift with his A&M A.D. Eric Hyman, and Johnny Football and Mike Evans will be off the the NFL soon.
Sumlin’s career has taken him all over the country, including a stop at Washington State. He fits any everywhere.
We still think it’s more likely the Trojans end up with a coach with an NFL pedigree, but anything is possible.
Norm Chow isn’t not sure he likes being a head coach. He told CBS announcers, “I’m not sure if I am cut out for this head coaching thing.”
At 0-9, it’s certainly possible that Hawaii is looking for a new coach come December.
All signs point to Indiana’s Kevin Wilson being safe. The Hoosiers score points in bunches, but they’re 114th in points allowed. Wilson will likely get 2014 to get the defense fixed and get to a bowl.
Illinois‘ Tim Beckman inherited a team that had won back to back bowls for the first time in program history, but he has yet to win a Big Ten game in nearly two full seasons.
A.D. Mike Thomas recently told the Chicago Sun-Times that the program is getting better (apparently 2-10 and 3-6 are better than 7-6), but refused to address Beckman’s future.
“I’m not going to get into hypotheticals,” Thomas said. “You ask the question, ‘Is the program developing and getting better?’ I think it is. I’m looking forward to continuing progress in the program.”
We doubt Beckman gets fired in his second season, but if the Illini end the season with losses to Ohio State, Purdue and Northwestern, that might be enough to cut the cord.
Mississippi State is 4-5 with Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss remaining. If the Bulldogs get to 6-6, Dan Mullen is more than likely clear to return next season. Anything worse and things get dicey.
If the Bullies were to drop all three remaining games, it’s very possible Mullen could be shown the door.
We continue to hear Boise State’s Chris Petersen is open to a move.
Sources indicate that West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen will likely return in 2014. The Mountaineers are playing better and athletic director Oliver Luck didn’t get the Texas. With Luck still in Morgantown, Holgorsen is highly likely to get another year.
There’s a lot of chatter about Charlie Weis’ status at Kansas.
The Jayhawks fired Mark Mangino two seasons after we won 12 games and the Orange Bowl. He was 8-5 and 5-7 the following two seasons. Then, Turner Gill went 5-19 in his two seasons in Lawrence before being dismissed. Weis is 3-18 after 21 games.
It’s hard to see how Kansas makes another change after only two seasons. We think there’s a chance this job opens – but it’s more likely it doesn’t.
What about Mangino? He’s back at his alma mater loving life…
We’re hearing that UConn is in the market for an up-and-coming coordinator; head coaching experience is not a requirement. We also hear that they have money to spend to get the right guy.
At Florida, sources indicate that Will Muschamp is likely to survive, but look for major staff changes on the offensive side of the ball.
If the Gators finish 5-7, which is likely, it will be the first time Florida has had a losing record since 1979. Even with the mounting injuries, that’s hard to swallow.
Can A.D. Jeremy Foley handle the heat and keep Muschamp in place for 2014?
We’ll find out soon.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]teve Spurrier was given a two-year contract extension in December. Now, it’s his assistants’ turn.
The University of South Carolina Board of Trustees approved two-year contracts for Deke Adams, Kirk Botkin, Grady Brown, Shawn Elliott, G.A. Mangus, Joe Robinson, Everette Sands and Steve Spurrier Jr. All are signed through the 2014 season.
Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward was given a three-year contract and is signed through the 2015 season.
Earlier this month, Elliott, who is in his fourth year on Spurrier’s staff, interviewed for the offensive line opening at Alabama but chose to remain at South Carolina.
“Whenever you have an outstanding season as we have had each of the past two years, it’s important to reward the coaches with two-year contracts. Hopefully, we can continue that success in the coming years,” Spurrier said in a statement.
Adams, the Gamecocks’ defensive line coach, was hired from North Carolina in January. Botkin, Brown, Robinson and Sands joined the staff prior to the 2012 season. The other coaches have all been at Carolina five or more years.
“Coach Spurrier and his staff have propelled us into a Top Ten program and we appreciate what they have done at Carolina,” said athletic director Ray Tanner. “Our coaching staff is among the best in the country and their new contracts compensate them accordingly.”
Ex-Oregon quarterback Nate Costa returns to the Ducks as a GA
Nate Costa, who played quarterback at Oregon from 2006-10, will return to the program as a graduate assistant.
A string of knee injuries hampered what appeared to be a promising playing career. After playing in two games as a freshman in 2006, Costa missed the 2007 season with torn ligaments. He was named the starter going into 2008, but missed all of that year after suffering another knee injury in the pre-season . He was able to come back and play parts of two more seasons before a third serious knee injury ended his career in November of 2010.
A brief stint working in law enforcement was also cut short by his knee problems. Since then, he has been a television analyst for Comcast SportsNet.
“It’s been a long road to what I want to do,” Costa said. “I loved the TV work, but I missed the competition factor. And I really like watching young players develop and improve. I’m so excited about this opportunity to get into coaching.”
Costa played under new Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich in 2009-10 and knows life as a graduate assistant won’t be glamorous.
“I’ll be doing a lot of the stuff the assistant coaches don’t want to do,” Costa said with a smile. “A lot of film study, breaking down the film and data entry.”
Kent State’s Clark promoted to run game coordinator
Kent State coach Paul Haynes has promoted Shawn Clark to run game coordinator. Clark joined the staff in early January as the offensive line coach. His name was recently mentioned in conjunction with the offensive line opening at West Virginia, who ultimately hired Stanford’s Ron Crook. Prior to Kent State, Clark spent four seasons as the offensive line coach at Purdue and six seasons as the offensive line coach at Eastern Kentucky.
Newberry’s Cedric Williams adds assistant head coach title
Newberry’s Todd Knight has added the assistant head coach title to offensive line coach Cedric Williams. Williams, an all-SEC offensive lineman at South Carolina, is entering his third season at Newberry. He came to Newberry after one season as the offensive line coach at Mississippi Valley State (2010). Before that, Williams was offensive line coach at Tennessee State (2009).
Aaron Price named offensive coordinator at Hawaii
Hawaii has hired Aaron Price as offensive coordinator completing Norm Chow’s offensive staff.
Price will coach wide receivers while 11-year NFL player Chris Naeole, who joined the staff Feb. 11, will coach the offensive line. Returning coaches Phil Rauscher and Chris Wiesehan, will oversee the tight ends and running backs, respectively.vChow will continue to coach the quarterbacks with assistance from new graduate assistant Jordan Wynn. In addition, Keith Uperesa will move to director of player personnel.
Price comes to Hawaii after spending the past nine seasons on his father Mike’s staff at UTEP. From 2004-06, he was quarterbacks and kickers coach and moved over to wide receivers and kickers coach in 2007. Since 2008, he has served as offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and kickers coach. Prior to UTEP, Price was the quarterbacks coach at Washington State from 2001-02.
Charleston Southern’s Chadwell tabs Mark Tucker as quarterbacks coach
Mark Tucker has been named quarterback coach on Jamey Chadwell’s staff at Charleston Southern. Tucker coached Chadwell at East Tennessee State, where Tucker coached the offensive line one season and running backs and tight ends for two years. Tucker spent six seasons as an assistant at The Citadel, serving as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Most recently, he was the head coach of the Mountain Empire Warriors, a semi-pro football team in the NAFL and was also head coach Hargrave Military Academy.
Chris Naeole to join Hawaii staff
Chris Naeole, a former All-American at Colorado and an 11-year NFL vet, will join Norm Chow’s staff at Hawaii. An opening was created with Tommy Lee’s retirement as offensive coordinator in December. Chow said there will be an “adjustment” to the coaching staff, and assignments on offense still are to be determined. Naeole spent the past two years coaching at Iolani High School in Honolulu.
Purdue announces Gerad Parker hire
Purdue’s Darrell Hazell has officially announced the hiring of tight ends coach and recruiting coordinator Gerad Parker. Parker was previously wide receivers coach at Marshall. Parker spent the past two seasons at Marshall. Before that, he spent three seasons at UT-Martin as the Skyhawks’ passing game coordinator, recruiting coordinator, wide receivers and running backs coach. He began his collegiate coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kentucky, his alma mater.
Matt Mattox hired at Eastern Illinois
Matt Mattox has joined Dino Babers‘ staff at Eastern Illinois as offensive line coach. Mattox has six years experience as an offensive line and tight ends coach in the junior college ranks. Last year, he was offensive coordinator at Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College, and before that, Mattox spent five seasons as the offensive line/tight ends coach at Butler (Kan.) C.C.