It’s our third Hot Coaching Names update for the 2017 season here at College Football America Yearbook. These are just some of the coaches that could be in for a head-coaching job at the end of the season. Some appeared in our yearbook. Others have been added this season.
But before we get updated, we’ll note that Butch Jones’ tenure at Tennessee has finally come to an and after he was reportedly told Sunday he won’t be back. So one of the head coaches or assistant coaches listed below could be the next Vols head coach. Let’s get prepped.
Out-of-Work head coaches
Les Miles: Miles is reportedly interested in the Oregon State job. If so, the Beavers need to pounce. That’s as good as they’re likely to get. Now that Tennessee is open, Miles could be a candidate there, too.
Tommy Tuberville: Now there’s talk that Tuberville may be interested in being Auburn’s athletic director. That would most assuredly take Tuberville off the head-coaching market. It also might mean something to Gus Malzahn’s job security. I don’t believe Tuberville is a good fit for the Tennessee job.
Sonny Dykes: I believe he would be a good fit at a Group of 5 school, especially with his brand of offense. But if the Texas Tech job comes open, he’ll be connected to it, even if that isn’t the direction the Red Raiders ultimately go.
Current head coaches
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy: Forget the triple option. Niumatalolo and his staff have now installed a zone option offense, just in case opponents figure out how to stop the triple option. Now, Navy is not as good as in prior seasons. But he has a track record that teams might be interested in. The question is what location makes sense and whether a Power 5 school would commit to his brand of football.
Bryan Harsin, Boise State: Wherever a Power 5 job is open, Harsin’s name will be connected. Count on it. No rumors yet, but Tennessee just opened up on Sunday.
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State: There is speculation that Satterfield could be a candidate for any of the SEC jobs open this year. Remember that he was considered a finalist for the Cincinnati job. So his name will be tossed around as the coaching carousel season closes in. He’s next door to Tennessee in North Carolina, so he knows the recruiting landscape.
Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech: Holtz is well-respected and could be in the mix for SEC openings, given his most recent jobs have been in the South and he has good recruiting connections. Ole Miss feels like a more reasonable option, if the Rebels are interested.
Chuck Martin, Miami (OH): The Redhawks need wins in each of their final two games to get to a bowl game. Back-to-back bowl seasons would be an accomplishment for Martin and Miami (OH), but it would likely not lead to a head-coaching job at another school in 2018.
Jason Candle, Toledo: How in the world did Toledo lose to Ohio? Anyway, the Rockets still lead the MAC West and Candle will be a sought-after coach once the regular season ends. His predecessor, Matt Campbell, ended up at Iowa State. A Power 5 opportunity isn’t out of the question.
Craig Bohl, Wyoming: The Cowboys are bowl-eligible again. Some programs might be scared off by Bohl’s age (59). But I’ll remind you the guy has won multiple FCS national titles at North Dakota State and has the Cowboys bowl eligible in consecutive seasons. A program that needs a steady, veteran hand wouldn’t do much better.
Coordinators and assistant coaches
Tim Beck, Texas offensive coordinator: Not going anywhere. He has offensive problems to solve in Austin.
Doug Meachem, Kansas offensive coordinator: Ditto for Meachem in Lawrence.
Beau Baldwin, Cal offensive coordinator: Baldwin, a highly-successful head coach at Eastern Washington, took the Cal job in the spring undoubtedly to improve his profile for an FBS job. Well, some writers are already touting Baldwin as a potential candidate for the Oregon State job. Baldwin is an intriguing offensive mind.
Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator: if the opportunity exists, it’s time for Venables to pounce. Remember that he’s a Kansas State grad and worked for Bill Snyder at one time, so if the K-State job opens up — say if Snyder decides to retire — Venables will quickly be connected to it. I consider him a good candidate for the Tennessee job, too.
Jeff Monken, Army head coach: Army is bowling in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1984-85, which basically makes Monken a miracle worker. He faces the same battle as his Navy counterpart — he runs the triple option and Power 5 teams may not go for that.
Doc Holliday, Marshall head coach: Less than a year ago West Virginia’s governor was reportedly trying to get Holliday fired. Now they’re going bowling. Like Bohl, he’s closing in on 60 and maybe he’s happy where he’s at. But he has a track record worthy of consideration.
Sonny Cumbie, TCU co-offensive coordinator: If the Texas Tech job opens up, the former Red Raiders quarterback is a logical candidate. He might need one more year as a full-time play-caller to get more consideration for a head-coaching job. But he’s getting on the map.
Mike Norvell, Memphis head coach: Norvell is a potential candidate for Pac-12 and ACC jobs, since he has roots there during his assistant coaching days. Ole Miss is right down the road in Oxford. He could be in the mix once the season ends. Now that Tennessee is open, expect him to be connected to that job, too.
Lane Kiffin, FAU head coach: The Owls are winning and Kiffin is an entertaining Twitter follow if you’re into superior head-coach trolling. But is he ready to dive back into Power 5 pressure? And is a Power 5 team ready to take him on? Both are good questions as the season winds down. Tennessee is NOT an option.
Neal Brown, Troy head coach: He’s being connected to the current SEC openings and the LSU win certainly raised his profile. It doesn’t mean that he’s a good fit, or that those jobs are a good fit for him.
Scott Frost, UCF head coach: If there’s a Power 5 opening, Frost will be connected to it. Gators fans already want a piece of the second-year Knights coach. Expect Vols fans to start reaching for that catnip, too. If Mike Riley is fired at Nebraska, expect the Huskers to make a full-court press to hire their former quarterback. Oregon State is even an option. Remember — he made his bones as Oregon’s offensive coordinator.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach: He says Iowa State fans don’t need to be worried. I say let’s see what jobs open up before we get invested. The recent losses are, oddly, helping Iowa State out in terms of keeping him.
Mike Bobo, Colorado State head coach: A former assistant coach at Georgia, SEC teams with an opening are going to kick the tires. His work at Colorado State is getting noticed.
Frank Wilson, UTSA head coach. If Wilson can get the Roadrunners to a second straight bowl game, I think some Power 5 schools will come calling. Question is whether two straight bowl bids for a Group of 5 school is enough to get Wilson an offer.
Dave Clawson, Wake Forest head coach. Clawson does a good job building programs and for those SEC programs with openings, he could offer them the unlimited resources he can’t quite get at Wake Forest.
Mike Houston, James Madison head coach. The best FCS candidate on the market, he helms the nation’s No. 1 team and the division’s defending champ. Count on Houston not being available for interviews until at least mid-December, but if he can get in the room with an FBS athletic director my belief is they will be impressed. A Group of 5 job isn’t out of the question.
Blake Anderson, Arkansas State head coach. The fact that he’s been at A-State nearly four years is a bit of a miracle for a school that hired Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin three years in a row and lost each of them after one year. He’s kept the Red Wolves at the top of the Sun Belt and after four years it could be time to make the move to a Power 5 job.
Joe Moorhead, Penn State, offensive coordinator: Barkley’s play — along with Penn State’s play — has cooled. So has Moorhead’s stock. But once the season ends I’m betting he’ll get an interview or two with Group of 5 schools looking for a new direction.
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