2017-18 FBS Coaching Carousel: Oct. 30 Update

The FBS Coaching Carousel is starting to gather some steam, and it leads off with a big firing (and it’s a strange one).

It’s time to update you on the openings that exist as of Oct. 30. We’ll start with the ones that have come open since our last update the Week of Oct. 9.

Former Florida Head Coach Jim McElwain lasted less than three seasons in Gainesville.

Florida: Jim McElwain is out at Florida after less than three seasons. He leaves the Gators with a record of 22-12 and two SEC East titles.

So why is he out? Well this past week was a weird one. Last Monday he told reporters that he, his family and his players had received death threats. But when asked to produce the proof, he didn’t have any. University officials asked McElwain for the proof and he didn’t have it for them either.

Then the Gators were pounded by Georgia in the “Cocktail Party” game and rumors started swirling Saturday night that the U of F administration was looking to part ways with McElwain for cause. Apparently athletic director Scott Stricklin and university officials didn’t take kindly to McElwain’s accusations and acted accordingly. As Stricklin told the media, “This was about more than wins and losses.”

So, it’s an ugly end to McElwain’s short tenure. Defensive coordinator and former Miami Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon is the interim coach.

This is still a great job. There is plenty of talent in Florida and plenty of alumni support. Expect speculation to center around any coaches with ties to the Gators. That would include Mississippi State boss Dan Mullen (who worked for Urban Meyer during the Gators’ national title runs). Plus, hot coaches of the moment like Iowa State’s wunderkind Matt Campbell are going to be mentioned. But the Gators are likely looking for someone with Power 5 bona fides and a track record.

Georgia Southern’s Tyson Summers didn’t even make it two full seasons in Statesboro.

Georgia Southern: Tyson Summers lasted less than two seasons before the Eagles fired him on Oct. 22 after the Eagles lost for the 13th time in 18 tries under Summers.

The problem?

That last loss was to previously winless UMass, which might be the worst team in FBS. That’s not the standard at GSU, which has won multiple national championships at the FCS level and made an immediate impact in FBS under Willie Fritz.

Chad Lunsford is the interim coach. What GSU must do first is determine what they want their identity to be. Long one of the remaining programs to traffic in the triple-option offense, Summers was trying to take them away from that and add some modern offensive principles. Naturally, if you inherit triple-option talent that transition takes time. GSU administration and fans were not willing to give Summers that time.

If GSU wants to run the triple option, that’s fine. They need to go out and find someone that coaches it. The ideal candidate is Army offensive coordinator Brent Davis. He’s worked two stints at GSU, tutored newly-minted College Football Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson and was part of the Eagles’ FCS heyday. If they want to migrate to a new philosophy, that’s fine too. Just don’t complain about the growing pains.

Other openings (written about in our Oct. 9 edition)

UTEP: Sean Kugler resigned on Oct. 1 after the Miners started the season 0-5.

Oregon State: Gary Andersen and the Beavers parted ways on Oct. 9 after a 1-5 start.

Ole Miss: The Rebels posted the job on their university web site on Oct. 1, signaling that interim coach Matt Luke is likely not a serious candidate for the permanent job.

Interim situation

Coastal Carolina: Head coach Joe Moglia is on a five-month medical sabbatical due to a respiratory condition. But he signed a new contract extension with Coastal Carolina last week, tying him to the university through 2020. So Moglia is locked in to return in 2018, barring any setbacks. Jamey Chadwell is the interim coach.


Florida Jim McElwain Randy Shannon (interim)
Georgia Southern Tyson Summers Chad Lunsford (interim)
Ole Miss Hugh Freeze Matt Luke (interim)
Oregon State Gary Andersen Cory Hall (interim)
UTEP Sean Kugler Mike Price (interim)

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