FBS Coaching Carousel: Nov. 20 Update

The Butch Jones era at Tennessee is finally over.

The FBS Coaching Carousel is one week away from spinning full tilt, as the Thanksgiving Weekend represents the end of the regular season for most conferences.

It’s time to update you on the openings that exist as of Nov. 20. We’ll start with the ones that have come open since our last update the Week of Oct. 30.

UCLA: The Bruins fired Jim Mora Jr. on Sunday, after UCLA lost to USC. Mora’s career at UCLA ends with a 46-30 record and a 2-2 bowl record. The Bruins won the Pac-12 South just once, his first season in 2012. They managed two straight 10-win seasons after that, but have gone steadily downhill since. Losing the Victory Bell to USC three straight seasons doesn’t help. But the Bruins clearly weren’t reaching expectations despite access to Los Angeles recruits. Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch is the interim coach and will try and pilot the Bruins to a win in their regular-season finale against Cal so they can reach a bowl game. With a fertile LA recruiting base, this is a good landing spot for any coach.

South Alabama: Joey Jones resigned on Nov. 20. Jones built the South Alabama program from the ground up, going 52-49 in nine seasons, three of which were as an FCS Independent. In the program’s six years in FBS, Jones and the Jaguars never finished with a winning record. He led the Jaguars to two bowl games, both losses. He will coach in the Jaguars’ finale against New Mexico State.

Tennessee: The Vols finally put Butch Jones out of his misery on Nov. 13, firing him after the Vols were blown out by Missouri. Brady Hoke is the interim head coach. Don’t expect him to be a candidate for the full-time job. Speculation immediately centered around Jon Gruden because he’s a “Tennessee guy” (which in Knoxville means he was a graduate assistant for a year and married a Vols cheerleader). Some rumors even connect the Vols to their former head coach, Lane Kiffin, now at FAU. Please. I doubt it will be either of these guys.

This is a solid SEC job. Before this season Tennessee was good, but not great, but in the weaker SEC East a great Tennessee team would dominate. The cupboard isn’t completely bare. This program needs a better head coach who can hire a staff that will develop players, not a great recruiter.

Other openings

Florida: Rumor has it that former Oregon coach Chip Kelly has been offered a deal to take over the Gators. There are also rumors that the deal is already falling through. Because it’s Chip Kelly, people.

Georgia Southern: The Eagles have a search committee, but there are no tangible rumors about what the Eagles might be interested in. Kennesaw State head coach Brian Bohannon brushed aside rumors of interest in the job on Nov. 15. His Owls are fighting for a league crown. But he’s a logical candidate.

Oregon State: Gary Andersen and the Beavers parted ways on Oct. 9 after a 1-5 start. Rumor is that Les Miles is interested in the job. Same for Rick Neuheisel, who has made three Pac-12 stops in his head-coaching career.

Could Charlie Strong leave USF after just one season for an SEC job at Ole Miss?

Ole Miss: Interim coach Matt Luke is probably not a serious candidate for the permanent job. The Jackson Clarion-Ledger speculated that candidates could include Mike Norvell of Memphis, Neal Brown of Troy, Charlie Strong of USF, Bill Clark of UAB, Mike Bobo of Colorado State, Mike MacIntyre of Colorado, Frank Wilson of UTSA, Chad Morris of SMU, Jeremy Pruitt (defensive coordinator) of Alabama, Brent Venables (defensive coordinator) of Clemson. So, what you’re saying is no one knows.

UTEP: Sean Kugler resigned on Oct. 1 after the Miners started the season 0-5. How not-sought after is this job? A Google search for UTEP coaching search yielded a story about the Miners’ job search … in 2012. On the first page. Good luck, El Paso.

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, tying him to the university through 2020. So Moglia is locked in to return in 2018, barring any setbacks to his health. 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)
South Alabama Joey Jones TBA
Tennessee Butch Jones Brady Hoke (interim)
UCLA Jim Mora Jr. Jedd Fisch (interim)
UTEP Sean Kugler Mike Price (interim)


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