It’s our fourth 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. And with the bulk of the regular season ending this coming weekend, it’s time to file these names away. So, let’s get prepped.
Out-of-Work head coaches
Les Miles: Miles is reportedly interested in the Oregon State job. To me, he’s also a candidate for any of the SEC openings.
Tommy Tuberville: There is talk that Tuberville may be interested in being Auburn’s athletic director. But what if Gus Malzahn goes to Arkansas, if that job opens up? Or what if Malzahn ends up getting fired if the Tigers lose to Alabama? Would Auburn go the retread route with Tubs?
Sonny Dykes: Dykes, a consultant at TCU, will get calls from Group of 5 schools and perhaps Texas Tech, if the Red Raiders fire Kliff Kingsbury.
Jon Gruden: Gruden is being connected to the Tennessee job on the basis that he was once a graduate assistant there and that he married a Vols cheerleader. That’s a pretty flimsy basis upon which to connect a former coach to a job. Of more importance is the fact that Gruden has about four years of college coaching experience, all at the start of his career. NFL experience doesn’t always translate.
Chip Kelly: The former Oregon coach is connected to the Florida job. One rumor is that he has an offer. Another rumor is that it’s already falling through.
Jim Mora Jr.: New to the unemployment line, he had a winning record at UCLA and knows the west coast. Oregon State, perhaps? Oregon if Willie Taggart bolts for another job?
Current head coaches
Ken Niumatalolo, Navy: I love the job Niumatalolo has done at Navy. But he likely isn’t a candidate for a Power 5 job, unless for some reason one of his mentors, Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson, decides to step down or is let go.
Bryan Harsin, Boise State: He has never had a losing season as a head coach (five seasons). BSU is a lock for the Mountain West Mountain Division title and the league’s championship game. Power 5 programs will come calling.
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State: A former finalist for the Cincinnati job, Satterfield could be a candidate for any job in the south that would utilize his recruiting skills and knowledge of the region. Tennessee feels like a reach. Ole Miss does not.
Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech: Holtz is also a reasonable option for Ole Miss and for Arkansas, if that job opens up.
Chuck Martin, Miami (OH): Martin probably won’t get fired for following up last year’s bowl season with a losing season, but it probably also means he’s not a candidate for a job in 2018.
Jason Candle, Toledo: Expect Candle to get some Power 5 interviews once the Rockets’ season ends. Power 5 programs see what his predecessor, Matt Campbell, has done at Iowa State. And college programs love to copy the template.
Craig Bohl, Wyoming: The multiple FCS national champion coach at North Dakota State would be a steady veteran influence at a Power 5 program that needs one. I think he would be a solid candidate at Oregon State.
Coordinators and assistant coaches
Tim Beck, Texas offensive coordinator: Not a candidate for a job in 2018.
Doug Meachem, Kansas offensive coordinator: Not a candidate for a job in 2018.
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, but I don’t believe he’s a candidate for a job in 2018 unless it’s at a Group of 5 school.
Brent Venables, Clemson defensive coordinator: To me, he’s the best coordinator candidate on the market. The time is now to strike.
Jeff Monken, Army head coach: See Niumatalolo. The only logical place for him to go would be Georgia Tech. And the job isn’t open.
Doc Holliday, Marshall head coach: His track record at Marshall (more than 60 wins, four bowl wins, two division titles and one Conference USA title) is 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. A Group of 5 opening might be a possibility, but he would be wise to be patient.
Mike Norvell, Memphis head coach: Norvell could be a candidate at Ole Miss. But, considering the job he’s done at Memphis the past two seasons, he’s a candidate for any Power 5 job.
Lane Kiffin, FAU head coach: Kiffin will get interviews. I think he would be wise to avoid Tennessee. He could do interesting things at Ole Miss or, if it opens up, Arkansas. The SEC seems a logical jump.
Neal Brown, Troy head coach: Expect him to be connected to a few Power 5 openings as the season concludes. That LSU win did wonders for his profile.
Scott Frost, UCF head coach: Rumor has it that Nebraska has a $35 million offer ready for its former quarterback. The Huskers just need to fire Mike Riley, which seems inevitable. If Frost doesn’t head for home, then Florida is reportedly waiting.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach: The more Iowa State loses, the better chance they have of keeping Campbell a third year.
Mike Bobo, Colorado State head coach: Pick an SEC opening and connect the former Georgia offensive coordinator to it. It’s fun.
Frank Wilson, UTSA head coach. Wilson has turned UTSA into a solid Conference USA program. But is that enough to impress Power 5 athletic directors? We’ll see.
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. Oh, and they just upset NC State.
Mike Houston, James Madison head coach. Don’t expect to interview him until at least mid-December as I anticipate he’ll have a long playoff run with the Dukes. That might actually ruin his chances of an FBS job this year, if that’s what he’s looking for.
Blake Anderson, Arkansas State head coach. He’s kept the Red Wovles at the top of the Sun Belt and after four years it could be time to make the move to a Power 5 job.
Seth Littrell, North Texas head coach. I wasn’t in love with this hire when it was made. But in just two seasons he’s put the Mean Green in the C-USA title game. That’s a helluva job and it will get noticed by Power 5 AD’s. He’s done stints at North Carolina, Arizona and Texas Tech, a long time ago under Mike Leach. If the Red Raiders fire Kingsbury, expect Littrell to be connected to the job.
Rod Carey, Northern Illinois head coach. I really like what Carey has done at NIU since Dave Doeren departed for Wake Forest. Last year’s losing season (5-7) appears to have been an aberration. The Huskies are back, 8-3 going into this weekend and tied for the MAC West lead. The Huskies need a Toledo loss to get to the MAC title game. But now has the Huskies pointed toward a bowl game for the fourth time in five seasons. What if Doeren leaves Wake Forest for another job? Would the Demon Deacons come tap Carey to replace him? Even if not, he’s deserving of interviews. He’s made his bones in Big Ten country, so keep that in mind, too.
Joe Moorhead, Penn State, offensive coordinator: He’s one of the best offensive coordinators on the market. He’ll get some looks.
Jeremy Pruitt, Alabama, defensive coordinator: He’s in a great spot, just like his predecessor, Kirby Smart. He’s spent his entire coaching career in the south, so if he moves on expect it to be to a job in the SEC. I don’t see him stepping down to a Group of 5 job.
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