Football SEC Coaching Search: Reports: Pruitt to Tennessee: Chad Morris to UArk

#1
It may be happening, Gators fans.

Buddy Martin, a Florida-based journalist and radio host who also happened to co-author Steve Spurrier’s autobiography, “Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football,” sent out a huge nugget on Sunday evening.

Martin posted on Twitter that he learned from sources that top officials from Florida are in New Hampshire meeting with Chip Kelly.

Those UF officials are reportedly set to present Kelly with a contract for him to sign to become the Gators’ next head football coach.

Kelly was 46-7 as Oregon’s head coach from 2009 to 2012. He won 12 games in three of his four seasons with the Ducks, and also captured conference championships in three of his four seasons.

In his four seasons, Kelly took his teams to major post-season appearances — the Rose Bowl twice, Fiesta Bowl once and a trip to the national championship game.

 

bama alum

Verified Member
HARRY'S
#2
It may be happening, Gators fans.

Buddy Martin, a Florida-based journalist and radio host who also happened to co-author Steve Spurrier’s autobiography, “Head Ball Coach: My Life in Football,” sent out a huge nugget on Sunday evening.

Martin posted on Twitter that he learned from sources that top officials from Florida are in New Hampshire meeting with Chip Kelly.

Those UF officials are reportedly set to present Kelly with a contract for him to sign to become the Gators’ next head football coach.

Kelly was 46-7 as Oregon’s head coach from 2009 to 2012. He won 12 games in three of his four seasons with the Ducks, and also captured conference championships in three of his four seasons.

In his four seasons, Kelly took his teams to major post-season appearances — the Rose Bowl twice, Fiesta Bowl once and a trip to the national championship game.


Just find it hard to believe that UCLA would can Mora, owing him $12 million, if they didn't think they were going to land Kelly...Or at least have Mora's replacement in the bag.
 

TerryP

ADMINISTRATION
#5
Just find it hard to believe that UCLA would can Mora, owing him $12 million, if they didn't think they were going to land Kelly...Or at least have Mora's replacement in the bag.
A small side note to this whole story that may be more than just a small side note.

I think it bears noting that Chip's agent happens to be a Bruin.
 
#8
VolQuest Staff
VolQuest.com


For the fourth time in a decade, Tennessee is back on the market for new head football coach.

After several days of working the phones, the original list has been cured.

Here's the latest updated VolQuest.com coaching hot board: Version 2.0.

1. JON GRUDEN

The former Tennessee graduate assistant has been an obsession of Vol fans since Phillip Fulmer was relieved of duties in 2008. Gruden has never publicly slammed the door on coaching again but despite all the rumblings of the last decade, Gruden has never been close to being the coach of the Vols.

Gruden's wife is a former Vol cheerleader and her family lives in East Tennessee. Gruden is in the area from time to time and has been in East Tennessee this fall, further fueling the rumors and wishes of Vol fans.

PROS: He's Jon Gruden. An offensive mind and a Super Bowl Champion coach. Just last week, Gruden went on the Rich Eisen show and said, “You never know” on a return to coaching.

CONS: Gruden is under contract at ESPN through 2021. His reported salary is $6.5 million annually (although it could be slashed here soon) — and that doesn't include product endorsements that take his salary north of $10 million. While Gruden has never slammed the door on coaching, he’s not pursued an NFL job and privately he's told people — including college coaches this year — that he doesn't have a desire to coach in the college game due to the restriction nature of the college schedule and recruiting.

In January, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Gruden turned down multiple NFL head coaching opportunities because “in part because of the coaching restrictions of the CBA. He said he is a broadcaster, not a coach."

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Gruden remains the most popular name in Tennessee’s coaching search. There’s been contact between the two parties, but everyone behind the scenes insists that Gruden is a pure fantasy to become the Vols’ next coach. Still, Gruden has reached out to several coaches about reuniting in the near future. However, those names do not include former Vols Tee Martin, John Chavis, Terry Fair or Jay Graham. On Mike and Mike today, Gruden said he hadn’t talked to anybody at Tennessee but closed his statement saying, “As you know in life, never say never to nothing.” ***

2. DAN MULLEN

Mullen, just 45, is 67-44 in nine years at Mississippi State, rebuilding a downtrodden program with limited resources. In his only head coaching job, he’s led the Bulldogs to the school’s best extended stint since World War II.

Mullen is considered a quarterbacks whisperer, coaching Alex Smith, Tim Tebow, Dak Prescott and Nick Fitzgerald, among others. Mullen’s stock was at an all-time high in 2014 when he had Mississippi State ranked No. 1 in the country, however, the Bulldogs’ head coach has seen his stock dip a bit recently after a 6-7 season in 2016 and is 7-3 this year after last night's narrow loss to Alabama.

Mullen is making north of $4.5 million and recently signed a four-year extension though 2021.

PROS: Mullen has done a lot with a little in Mississippi State. The Bulldogs have gone to bowl games in seven straight years, recruited fairly well, and despite playing in a tougher division, have more 9-wins seasons than Tennessee during Mullen’s tenure.

The 45-year-old coach has proven apt at evaluating quarterback talent, seeing something in Smith, Prescott and Fitzgerald where others did not. Finally, Mullen clearly familiar with the SEC, coaching for four years at Florida as the offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer before taking the MSU job.

CONS: Mullen was very interested in the Georgia job two years ago, but wasn’t a candidate. However, he’s rebuffed advances from schools like Penn State, Miami, Oregon and others in recent years to stay in Starkville.

If he chooses to leave, Tennessee appears to be a very good fit. However, Mullen could have other options, with schools like Texas A&M, Nebraska and possibly even Florida State with upcoming openings.

It’s also unknown how much it would cost to pry Mullen away, as his buyout remains unreported.

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Mullen has been contacted by Tennessee, but talks remain in the infancy stages. There’s conflicting information about Mullen’s interest in leaving Starkville. Some say it’s a done deal — that he’s headed to Tennessee, Texas A&M, etc. — while others on the ground adamantly believe he isn’t looking to jump. ***

3. SCOTT FROST

Frost was the starting quarterback for Nebraska during the Cornhuskers’ national championship, undefeated team in 1997 that walloped Tennessee 42-17. Frost is even more famous, now. Since inheriting a Central Florida team that won 0-12 in 2015, Frost has won 14 of 21 games with the Knights and has them undefeated and ranked so far this season.

UCF boasts the nation’s top scoring offense, averaging 48.5 points per game. The 42-year-old Chip Kelly disciple has worked under other esteemed coaches like Frank Solich and Mark Farley.

Frost signed a contract extension with UCF in May, bumping his salary up to $2 million a year. Frost’s buyout is reportedly around $3 million.

PROS: He’s young and clearly an offensive guru. Even after Chip Kelly left Oregon, Frost stayed on Mark Helfrich’s staff and was the playcaller behind Marcus Mariota’s Heisman season. He’s had the same success with lesser players now at UCF, too. Interestingly, Frost actually got his coaching start on the defensive side of the football, and was actually a defensive coordinator (2008 Northern Illinois) before developing into an offensive mastermind.

CONS: He’s a Group 5 coach and it’s hard to see Tennessee going down that path again — post Butch Jones. Frost’s recruiting acumen is largely unknown and mainly there’s the fear of a homecoming.

Frost is Nebraska’s prodigal son. He grew up less than a hour away from Lincoln and was the star of the most recent glory days. If Frost spurns his alma mater, he could be waiting out the Florida job.

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Frost would be a big hire for Tennessee, but multiple sources from various camps say that Frost is booked for a return to his alma mater. ***



AP
4. MIKE NORVELL

The former Central Arkansas wideout has rocketed up the coaching ranks the last decade, working his way up as GA at his alma mater to the OC at Tulsa, Pitt and Arizona State before taking over for Justin Fuente as Memphis. The 36-year-old coach is 8-1 with the Tigers in 2017, calling plays for former Tennessee quarterback Riley Ferguson.

Memphis touts one of the nation’s top offenses this season, a consistent hallmark of Norvell units during his stops at Tulsa and Arizona State. Norvell hails from the Todd Graham coaching tree, following Graham on all three stops and earning associate head coach title with the Sun Devils before his departure.

He makes around $2 million annually with a contract that runs through 2021. Norvell’s buyout is reportedly north of $4 million, per the USA Today database.

PROS: He’s an offensive guru with a talent for coaching quarterbacks. Since his first season as a coordinator (2011), Norvell’s offenses have averaged 38.2 points per game the last seven years. He’s young, and his time in Memphis has allowed him to develop recruiting relationships in a key part of the Volunteer State.

CONS: He has no real SEC ties and his recruiting acumen is unknown. Ole Miss, Arkansas and Arizona State could also be interested.

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Norvell has real interest in the Tennessee opening. The Vols have made contact with Norvell’s people. Ole Miss and Arkansas could be options, too, but Tennessee remains the premiere opportunity. As an aside, Norvell’s coaching odds have surged in the last 24 hours, with the Memphis coach now only behind Gruden as the favorite for Tennessee's opening. ***

5. CHAD MORRIS

An offensive ‘wunderkind,’ Morris built his reputation as Dabo Swinney’s offensive coordinator and play-caller at Clemson — as well as the coach who helped recruit and develop Deshaun Watson.

He parlayed that success at Clemson into the head coaching job at SMU, where he’s now in his third season of trying to revive the Mustangs’ program. He’s 12-19 midway through year three but has shown steady progress, going from 2-10 his first year to 5-7 in 2016 to 6-4 midway through Year 3.

Morris came up the hard way, starting his career as a highly successful high school coach in Texas. Morris spent 16 years as a high school head coach before getting his first break at Tulsa as the offensive coordinator/quarterback coach in 2010.

After one year at Tulsa, he jumped to Clemson where in 2011 he became the highest paid assistant coach in the country at $1.3 million annually.

PROS: Morris is an offensive innovator who has built his reputation on being a creative play-caller. He can recruit and develop quarterbacks. The fact that he would likely play a crowd pleasing brand of football is not insignificant. And while he’s obviously a ‘Texas guy’ with deep roots in that state, the four successful seasons he spent at Clemson give him some very real ties to the south and the very areas where Tennessee recruits.

Morris would also likely be a fairly economical hire. He is the highest paid non-Power 5 coach at over $2 million per year with a $3 million buyout.

CONS: Could Morris handle the scrutiny that this program generates? It’s a fair question, but it’s also one that could be asked about the vast majority of names on this list. He has no real SEC ties, and outside of his four seasons at Clemson and one at Tulsa, he has spent his entire life in Texas. Also, is Morris possibly holding out for the Texas A&M job?

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Morris is a name we’ve heard several times. He’s not one of Tennessee’s top targets currently but if several big fish say no? ***

6. JEFF BROHM

The Louisville, Ky., native is in his first season at Purdue after leading the Western Kentucky program as its head coach from 2014-2016.

The Brohm name is a popular one in Louisville as Jeff played at Louisville. His brother Jeff played receiver at Louisville and brother Brian was a quarterback at Louisville who Tennessee tried to recruit.

Brohm found plenty of success at Western Kentucky thanks to a high powered offense, as the Hilltoppers went 30-10 in Brohm's three seasons at the helm including two bowl wins. Brohm has found early success at Purdue blowing out Missouri and nearly upsetting his alma mater Louisville to open the season.

PROS: Brohm is well thought of as an offensive mind. He's played and coached under offensive minds like Mike Shanahan, Norv Turner, and Bobby Petrino. Brohm has head coaching experience at two different schools and has found success at both against SEC schools albeit he's very early in his Purdue career. Brohm has shown an ability to recruit and has used transfers successfully for a quick roster flip.

CONS: Brohm is in year one of his deal at Purdue and would he even be interested in moving so quickly. There is obviously a small sample size for him at a Power 5 school. Perhaps the biggest issue would be Brohm's buyout. Currently, Brohm makes $3.3 million a year. His buyout before December 5th is $5 million. It drops to $4 million on December 6th, but Brohm also would owe Purdue $900,000 if he left before December 31st as a part of the loan Purdue gave him to get out of his Western Kentucky contract.

7. WILLIE TAGGART

The 41-year-old Taggart is a veteran to the college game. Taggart got his start in coaching at his alma mater Western Kentucky in 1999. He remained with the Hilltoppers through 2006 as an assistant.

In 2007, Taggart spent a year at Stanford as the running backs coach where he worked for now Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Taggert stayed in Palo Alto through the 2009 season before returning to his alma mater in 2010

Taggart was the head coach at Western Kentucky from 2010-2012 where he led the Hilltoppers to back to back 7-5 seasons after going 2-10 his first year in Bowling Green. Following the 7-5 season in his third year, Taggart landed the South Florida job. Taggert's first two seasons were ugly as he went 5-11. His last two seasons in Tampa, Taggert went 8-5 and 10-2.

Those two seasons helped Taggart land the Oregon job last December. Taggert is making $2.9 million in his first year in Eugene and has the Ducks at 5-5.

PROS: Taggart has heading coaching experience and he has rebuilt successfully at his two previous stops, which is why he has climbed up the coaching ranks. Taggart has some loose ties to Tennessee. He worked with current Ole Miss AD Rob Bork who is friends with Vol AD John Currie. Taggart is also from Western Kentucky which is where current Tennessee chancellor Dr. Beverly Davenport is from.

CONS: Taggart has only been at Oregon one season and his buyout to leave Eugene is a reportedly $3 million dollars. Because Taggart has only been in Oregon one year, would he be willing to leave already? Also, in the last 35 SEC hires, only three have come from Power 5 schools.

*** UPDATE 11/14 — Taggart has expressed interest in the Tennessee job and would listen if approached. He’s mulling a return to the South and Tennessee could be his best opportunity should the Vols coming calling.***


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***** OTHERS TO WATCH *****

* JIMBO FISHER — FSU's head coach is a longshot candidate, but he has a frosty relationship with his AD and is frustrated by the current climate in the athletics department. Fisher, a Sexton client, is looking around, with Tennessee and Texas A&M possibilities should he bolt Tallahassee.

* BRENT VENABLES — There’s been next to no scuttle on the Clemson defensive coordinator. Vendables would be an interesting candidate but many aren’t sure if he wants to leave Death Valley for a head coaching position.

* D.J. DURKIN — Durkin has been a key assistant on staffs with Jim Harbaugh (at both Stanford and Michigan), Urban Meyer (Florida) and Will Muschamp and is considered an ace recruiter and strong defensive coach. But with just middling success at Maryland, is he ready for a primetime job like Tennessee? Tennessee has contacted Durkin about its opening.

* DOUG MARRONE —Tennessee has long been a destination job for Marrone, but the timing has simply never been right. Would Marrone seriously try to get out of his position at Jacksonville to get back to Tennessee? Not without being shunned in the NFL.

* JUSTIN FUENTE — Word is that Fuente is likely remain in Blacksburg, but could Currie convince him to change his mind with a big time SEC offer?

* TEE MARTIN — The former Tennessee quarterback has not been contacted by the Vols for their opening. He also hasn’t been contacted by Jon Gruden, despite other reports to the contrary.

* MIKE LEACH — Washington State’s offensive guru is interested in Tennessee’s opening, but questions remain on Leach’s overall fit — culture, recruiting footprint and staff.

VolQuest.com - VolQuest HOT BOARD: 2.0
 
#9
HOT BOARD 2.0 (11-19-17): Ole Miss searches for next head coach

Chase Parham & Neal McCready
Rivals.com

With the NCAA sanctions expected soon and the 2017 football season one game from completion, Ole Miss is searching to permanently replace Hugh Freeze, who resigned amid scandal back in July.

Ole Miss is one of three SEC programs -- along with Florida and Tennessee -- looking for a new head coach, but the list of league teams in transition could swell soon. These searches aren't performed in vacuums, so the overall landscape will factor into the ultimate decision.

We'll update this list of potential candidates as needed. For now, the list is in alphabetical order.



Associated Press
BLAKE ANDERSON - ARKANSAS STATE HEAD COACH

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Why it makes sense: Anderson, 48, is wrapping up his fourth season as the head coach at Arkansas State after serving as the offensive coordinator at North Carolina. A former quarterback at Baylor and wide receiver at Sam Houston State, Anderson’s offenses have been quite effective wherever they’re implemented.

Why it doesn’t: Fairly or not, does Ole Miss want to dip into the Arkansas State pool again? Anderson is often compared to Hugh Freeze, and that will likely work against him.

Bottom line: A name to watch, but probably only if Ole Miss is the subject of multiple rejections.



AP
MIKE BOBO - COLORADO STATE HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: The Colorado State coach has been mostly effective in his three seasons directing the Rams since replacing Jim McElwain. This season has been his best, and it’s come at a perfect time. The former Georgia quarterback and assistant is regarded as a strong recruiter and an excellent developer of quarterbacks.

Why it doesn’t: Can Ole Miss get him? Bobo will be a major target at Missouri if the Tigers move on from Barry Odom. He’s also a target at Tennessee if the Vols fire Butch Jones, as expected.

Bottom line: It’s funny; Ole Miss fans likely would be sort of ho-hum about Bobo, but he’d represent a major win for Bjork if he could land him for the Rebels.



Tom Campbell
JEFF BROHM - PURDUE HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: The 46-year-old Brohm is in his first season at Purdue after three seasons at Western Kentucky, where he was 30-10 overall and 19-5 in Conference USA. The former Louisville quarterback played eight games in the NFL and had an impressive career as an assistant at Louisville, Florida Atlantic, Illinois and UAB. He’s a dynamic offensive mind and considered a fast-riser in coaching circles.

Why it doesn’t: Brohm is finishing his first season at Purdue, where he’s 4-5 after a win against Illinois. Would he leave so soon? Would he leave to take over another rebuild when he could likely wait for a surer thing? Might he wait out Bobby Petrino and take over at his alma mater?

Bottom line: The guess here is if he’s available, Ross Bjork has him at or near the top of his short list. But is he available? He appears to be a strong plan B candidate for Tennessee. His buyout is also prohibitive.



AP
NEAL BROWN - TROY HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Brown has had a successful run at Troy, though the Trojans likely haven’t been as consistent this season as Brown had hoped. The 37-year-old Kentuckian has offensive coordinator experience at Texas Tech and Kentucky and his “NASCAR spread” offense gets positive reviews.

Why it doesn’t: There’s not a lot of reasons to shoot this down. Most believe Brown is ready to take the next step in coaching, which would be to a Power-5 job. It might be fair to wonder if he has enough contacts to assemble a quality SEC-ready staff, but otherwise, he’s an impressive candidate. Multiple sources tell us Brown is very concerned about Ole Miss' administration.

Bottom line: Most feel he’s either on Ole Miss’ very short list — or he should be.



CJ online
MATT CAMPBELL - IOWA STATE HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: The Iowa State coach has turned the Cyclones into America’s darling with upsets over Oklahoma and TCU this season. He’s just 37, he’s already won at Toledo and now Iowa State and his teams play oh-so-hard for him.

Why it doesn’t: Campbell’s buyout is more than $9 million. All of his ties are in the Midwest. He’s been mentioned as a candidate at Nebraska, Tennessee and elsewhere.

Bottom line: It’s almost impossible to foresee a scenario where Campbell ends up in Oxford this calendar year. Multiple people also say he likely wouldn't be a fit at Southern schools.



Ken Martin/The Wolfpacker
DAVE DOEREN - NORTH CAROLINA STATE HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: The North Carolina State head coach has done a nice job in Raleigh and is win over hapless North Carolina from 8-4. The 46-year-old was 23-4 in two seasons at North Illinois. He took over a moribund NC State program and is 32-30 in five seasons with the Wolfpack.

Why it doesn’t make sense: While Doeren has four season with NCSU of at least seven wins, he's never won nine in a year, and he failed to capitalize in 2017, as some expected the Wolfpack to be a national contender. It would not be an exciting hire.

Bottom line: Doeren doesn't make a monumental salary in Raleigh, and industry insiders believe he has maximized what he can do with the Wolfpack and would make some sense in Oxford.



UCFSports.com
SCOTT FROST - UCF HEAD COACH
Why he makes sense: Frost has an extensive resume of success, both as an assistant at Power-5 programs and now as the head coach at UCF. He’s coached on both sides of the football, has a strong list of contacts in the coaching business and is regarded as an outstanding organizer who runs a tight ship.

Why he doesn’t make sense: Frost is a hot commodity. Florida might want him. Tennessee might kick those tires. Nebraska, his alma mater, wants him badly.

Bottom line: Frost isn’t a realistic option for Ole Miss. Frost is either going to be the head coach at Nebraska or Florida next season.



USAToday Sports Image
DANA HOLGORSEN - WEST VIRGINIA HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Holgorsen, while it was years ago, did at least coach in Mississippi at Mississippi College, and the 46-year-old is a dynamic offensive coach, who has been an offensive coordinator at Houston, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. He's finishing up his seventh season at West Virginia, and the Mountaineers are 53-35 overall and 32-28 in conference play under Holgorsen. WVU won 10 games in 2011 and 2016.

Why it doesn’t make sense: Holgorsen has dealt with numerous off-the-field issues and has had at least six alcohol-related incidents, and he was kicked out of a casino in 2011. On the heels of Freeze's scandal, we're not sure Bjork would want to go there.

Bottom line: He is an established, successful, high-level coach, and sources indicate Holgorsen has put out feelers.



USA Today Sports
MIKE LEACH - WASHINGTON STATE HEAD COACH
Why he makes sense: Well, he’s exciting. Leach has won at Texas Tech and Washington State. He was a successful offensive coordinator at Kentucky. He’d get attention; that’s for certain.

Why he doesn’t make sense: There’s a widespread belief that Leach’s offensive scheme wouldn’t work against elite SEC defenses. Sure, skeptics say, it’d be fun to watch, but teams with speed at linebacker and safety would eat it alive. Plus, Leach can be a headache of sorts for administrators.

Bottom line: Sources indicate Ole Miss has at least vetted him, but there's nothing to indicate this is anything but a longshot.



Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
CHAD MORRIS - SMU HEAD COACH
Why he makes sense: Morris, a former offensive coordinator at Clemson who helped build Dabo Swinney’s foundation, has successfully turned around the SMU program, though the Mustangs have a challenging November in front of them. He’s considered a dynamic offensive mind and a capable recruiter.

Why he doesn’t make sense: There are a lot of similarities between Morris and Freeze, and fairly or not, that likely hurts his candidacy. His ties to Sean Tuohy, frankly, would present a perception problem for Ole Miss administrators.

Bottom line: He’s a legitimate candidate, probably, but he’s likely down the list a bit. He could emerge as a plan B candidate at Texas A&M and/or Arkansas if changes are made.



AP
MIKE NORVELL - MEMPHIS HEAD COACH
Why he makes sense: Norvell has been impressive at Memphis, and as of this writing, he has the Tigers in the top 25. Players love him, and he’s been a sound recruiter in the Mid-South. He’s affordable and appears poised to jump to the Power-5 level.

Why he doesn’t make sense: There’s just one question on Norvell, but it’s real: Is Norvell a great coach in the making or is he just maintaining what Justin Fuente built at Memphis before bolting to Virginia Tech?

Bottom line: He’s almost certainly a very legitimate candidate and one to follow closely over the next few weeks. He would also be a candidate at Arkansas and potentially is a candidate at Tennessee. At least one source says Florida has him on a short list -- if Chip Kelly turns the job down.



AP
JEREMY PRUITT - ALABAMA DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Why he makes sense: The Alabama defensive coordinator has had successful stints in Tuscaloosa, Athens and Tallahassee. He’s renowned as a strong defensive mind and he’s a hard-nosed, no-nonsense guy ensconced in the Nick Saban coaching tree. He’s rumored to have the makings of a coaching staff ready to go as well.

Why he doesn’t make sense: Pruitt has no head coaching experience at the college level, has a reputation for being abrasive and there are rumblings of off-the-field issues.

Bottom line: He’s been a hot name among fans in Oxford, but the sense here is he’s not a strong candidate until they have exhausted potential candidates with head coaching experience.



USA Today Sports Images
GREG SCHIANO - OHIO STATE DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Why it makes sense: The Ohio State defensive coordinator was 68-67 in 11 seasons at Rutgers, including an 11-2 in 2006. He was 11-21 in two seasons in Tampa Bay. He’s known as a strong recruiter in Florida and the Pennsylvania area.

Why it doesn’t make sense: Schiano has no real southern ties to speak of, and while he’s a hard-nosed coach, some question whether his personality would play at a place like Ole Miss.

Bottom line: Look for Schiano to get a head coaching gig this offseason, but Ole Miss isn’t a likely landing spot.



Russ Wood/RTB
CHARLIE STRONG - USF HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Strong, 57, is an Arkansas native with extensive recruiting ties all over the South. He’s been an assistant at Ole Miss, Florida and South Carolina. He was 37-15 as the head coach at Louisville, including a Sugar Bowl win. However, he was 16-21 at Texas before he was fired last season. He’s rebounded with a solid season at USF.

Why it doesn’t make sense: Strong failed at Texas, and it’s fair to wonder if he’s had time to learn those lessons. Otherwise, he checks every box.

Bottom line: Strong has told industry insiders he wants the job (assuming he can’t get the Florida gig), and he wants the Arkansas job if it opens up as well. He’s one to keep an eye on. Sources indicate Ole Miss has vetted Strong. One source said, "Ole Miss is concerned Strong can't be the face of a program right now."



Nate Clouse
KEVIN SUMLIN - TEXAS A&M HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Sumlin, a 53-year-old Brewton, Ala., native, was 35-17 at Houston and is 49-25 at Texas A&M. However, Aggie boosters are pushing for change, wanting to land a big name (Chip Kelly, Jimbo Fisher, Chris Petersen, for example) to push the program to an elite level. Sumlin, a former Purdue linebacker, has an extensive background as an offensive coordinator at multiple programs, including Oklahoma.

Why it doesn’t make sense: Sumlin gets $10 million from Texas A&M within 60 days of being fired, so he can afford to be choosy. He is rumored to be looking to go west and perhaps has his eyes on jobs such as Arizona State and UCLA.

Bottom line: This isn’t likely at all, but he’s an elite recruiter with head coaching experience, so ruling him completely out would be foolish. There are those who believe Bjork would prefer not to hire a retread.



USA Today
WILLIE TAGGART - OREGON HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Taggart, 41, has a relationship with Bjork from their days at Western Kentucky and is most comfortable coaching in the South. He's a Bradenton, Florida, native, who played for Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky and turned around the South Florida program. He was also the head coach at WKU. He's an elite recruiter with tremendous Southern ties and is a dynamic personality. Frankly, why it makes sense could go on for paragraphs.

Why it doesn’t make sense: He reportedly has a $3 million buyout. There's no question he would leave to take the Florida or Florida State jobs, but there are plenty of questions about whether he'd leave Eugene after one year to go anywhere else.

Bottom line: If he wants the job, the search is over. That appears to be a long shot for now, but it's worth adding to the list. The situation could also change if his athletics director, Rob Mullens, bolted for another school.




BRETT VENABLES - CLEMSON DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR
Why he makes sense: The Clemson defensive coordinator is considered a future star in coaching circles. He’s had successful stints at Kansas State and Oklahoma and was the Broyles Award winner and the Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year in 2016.

Why he doesn’t make sense: There’s going to be a power play at Kansas State soon, and Venables will be a part of it. Most expect he’ll win and be the next head coach of the Wildcats.

Bottom line: He’d make a lot of sense, but the ties to Kansas State are impossible to ignore. Venables probably wouldn’t risk that on a rebuild in Oxford.



BirdsUp.com
FRANK WILSON - UTSA HEAD COACH
Why it makes sense: Wilson, a former Ole Miss assistant under then-coach Ed Orgeron, has a wealth of SEC experience at Ole Miss, Tennessee and LSU and he’s been lauded for doing a strong job in two seasons as the head coach at Texas-San Antonio. Wilson turns 44 on Nov. 5 and would likely be a very strong recruiter at Ole Miss. In addition, hiring an African-American coach would go a long way toward negating a couple of years’ worth of negative press.

Why it doesn’t: Wilson has just two years of head coaching experience. He was 6-7 last season. He’s never been a coordinator. Does he have the contacts necessary to assemble an SEC-ready staff? Could he handle all of the extra duties and media responsibilities? Those would be unknowns.

Bottom line: Wilson appears to be a potential fall-back candidate and people question whether he's ready for a job at this level.

RebelGrove.com - HOT BOARD 2.0 (11-19-17): Ole Miss searches for next head coach
 
#10
Coaching Candidate Hotboard 2.0

Mark Wheeler • InsidetheGators.com


The first version of our Florida Coaching Candidates Hotboard posted 10 days ago, Inside the Gators ran down the top 10 candidates at that time (based on Las Vegas odds) with a person who has and will be asked to offer some input during UF's coaching search - sharing their thoughts on many of the candidates.

Now, 10 days later, it appears to be a three man race with perhaps two other candidates in the mix as backup options just incase.

The following list is a mixture of what we have heard combined with what I think (always a dangerous combination) of how the board currently shakes out.

It is also written with the understanding that regardless of the rumors out there, I personally don't believe a deal is done with any of the candidates.

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THREE LEADING CANDIDATES

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To be clear, this is the order in which I would take them if all three were interested and wanted the job



Chip Kelly
Yahoo! Sports
Current: TV | Age: 53 | Record: 46-7

Overview: This is the hot name out there right now with reports all over the board from Florida is digging into his background and talks are underway all the way to terms have already been agreed upon and an announcement is eminent.

Pros: Without knowing how it would turn out, at the moment, not only would he bring the biggest immediate 'wow' factor, his track record suggests that he would have Florida contending with a fun to watch, big-play, explosive offense. Of the top three, he is the one who would likely have Florida contending for a Championship first.

Cons: I have not been shy about the fact that I don't feel that Kelly is the best fit. That however automatically doesn't mean he wouldn't be the overall best hire. My issues are the NCAA infractions, he isn't used to the culture of football in the southeast (SEE BELOW) and if - or more like when - he finds success, he would be on the look-out for greener pastures.

Bottom Line: If this were the old Jeremy Foley led regime, I believe that the infractions would be a deal killer. It doesn't seem to be the case with Scott Stricklin. As I stated above, while I don't doubt that the two sides are in the middle of feeling each other out, I don't believe that a deal has been finalized. If it has been, today or tomorrow will tell the tale. If as some are reporting it is a done deal, there is no reasonable explanation for holding off on the announcement.



Dan Mullen
USATSI
Current: Mississippi State | Age: 45 | Record: 66-45

Overview: What you saw Saturday night in the last minute loss to Alabama is exactly what you get when it comes to Mullen - someone who does more with less than anyone else in the SEC.

Pros: He knows offense, he knows quarterbacks, he knows the University of Florida, he knows the state of Florida, he is familiar with the SEC. The only thing he hasn't done, is win the big one. That shouldn't be held against you when you coach at Mississippi State.

Cons: He isn't a great recruiter, but that can be overcome to an extent with the right group of assistant coaches. He is going to consistently have you competing at the highest levels, but is he the guy to take you to the promised land? Maybe not. Also, almost as importantly, at this point, of these top three, he is the one who would be considered a letdown hire. With Florida finishing with a losing record for the second time in five seasons, the Gators need a 'wow' hire, and I don't know that he would fit that bill.

Bottom Line: To me, for the long term future of the Florida football program, looking back 10 years from now, he would probably be looked upon as the best hire. His ceiling may not be as high as the other two, but his basement isn't as low either. He has had overtures and opportunities in the past, but hasn't jumped. I would be willing to bet he would if he was offered the Florida job.



Scott Frost
USATSI
Current: UCF | Age: 42 | Record: 15-7

Overview: He is the hot young up-and-comer heading the No. 1 scoring offense in the nation. If it worked out, of the three top candidates, he is the one you could see still in Gainesville an unheard of 15 years or more.

Pros: Young, energetic, good looking young head coach who's star is skyrocketing. Regardless of competition level, his offense is buzzing along and is fun to watch. Along those lines, he would be a 'fun' coach to follow. Just check out the way he was received for playing scout team quarterback a few weeks ago.

Cons: When you talk about the most successful coaches in college football, they mostly followed one path - they were either coordinators on the team they now coach or a coordinator another team and hired away (SEE BELOW). What do Brian Kelly, Butch Jones and Dave Doren all have in common? They, like Frost now, were all once scorching hot Group of 5, can't miss coaching prospects who tore it up at their respective Group of 5 Conference schools, but then faltered at Power 5 Conference schools. Of those considered the top tier of coaches right now, only Urban Meyer followed that path. There's miss after miss for that one very big success story.

Bottom Line: Along with Kelly, he would be considered the biggest 'wow' hire. It would seemingly be a seamless move. One thing to watch out for though is if the Nebraska job comes open.

TWO TO KEEP AN EYE ON
These following two are both solid, up-and-coming coaches, and may end up being top tier head coaches, but at this point, fair or not, either would feel like a major letdown to many in the Gator Nation.



Willie Taggart
USATSI
Bottom Line: There's an interesting post in the Alley where Chris Landry, who said his firm has been hired to provide background scouting info on coaching candidates, has Taggart as Florida's No. 3 option.

Current: Oregon | Age: 41 | Record: 45-50



Mike Norvell
USATSI
Current: Memphis | Age: 36 | Record: 16-6

Bottom Line: It would take the top three all saying no to get down to here, but in the unlikely circumstance that that happens, here is a name to keep an eye on more-so than Charlie Strong or even Justin Fuentes.

ADDITIONAL NOTES ON ARGUMENTS MADE ABOVE
* When I talk about not being used to the culture of football in the Southeast, I mean that as the SEC motto goes, 'It just means more.' It is a different animal. Someone with a more laid-back or perhaps aloof personality can get eaten up. Even though he coached at Alabama, I don't know that Jim McElwain was ready for the recruiting wars that go on in the SEC. You can't be Mr. Nice Guy or too laid back or not willing to put in the work and have it work out for you. You have to have some savage to you to get it done in the south. It isn't like that in other places. When Urban Meyer moved from Florida to Ohio State he ruffled some feathers because he was recruiting prospects committed to other Big10 programs. They had a gentleman's agreement in the conference up there that they don't do that. Can you imagine something like that happening in the SEC? Me either.

* Go down the line of top coaches, and their job before their very first big job was at a coordinator level (Patterson, Stoops, Swinney, Fisher, Shaw, Saban - NFL DC - even Kelly himself followed that path)

InsidetheGators.com - Coaching Candidate Hotboard 2.0
 
#11
I wonder if Kelly turned down UF (he could have just about any college job he wanted that is open, IMO). Would UF hire Taggart? That would set up for Kelly to go back to Oregon. Lot of coulda/shoulda/woulda in that statement. My question is, would Kelly want to try and pick up where he left off. It worked for Mike Riley at OSU. He did well, left and sucked it up in the NFL and went back and fielded some pretty decent teams. Left and sucked it up at Nebraska. Makes me wonder if he would go back to OSU, I'm sure they would have him.


Back to Kelly. Lot of moving parts and possibilities. Kelly appears to be a west coast guy. That makes me think UCLA has the advantage. I know everyone talks about the recruiting in Florida, but California is an absolute diamond as far as talent and LA is the epicenter of that hot bed. With his style and the "less-pressure" of being in the LA/California market, I could see UCLA being the better job. I would like to see him in the SEC, simply because it will make everyone better and the UGA/FLA would be fun to watch. Be interesting to see how this pans out.
 

TerryP

ADMINISTRATION
#12
I wonder if Kelly turned down UF (he could have just about any college job he wanted that is open, IMO). Would UF hire Taggart? That would set up for Kelly to go back to Oregon. Lot of coulda/shoulda/woulda in that statement. My question is, would Kelly want to try and pick up where he left off. It worked for Mike Riley at OSU. He did well, left and sucked it up in the NFL and went back and fielded some pretty decent teams. Left and sucked it up at Nebraska. Makes me wonder if he would go back to OSU, I'm sure they would have him.
If by turned down he let it be known he was considering the position then yes, he turned it down. You know that group was trying their damndest to close the deal.

Earlier I mentioned his agent being a Bruin. UCLA is open. There will be conversations between those two parties. I guarantee it'll happen.

As to Kelly back to Oregon? The school he was at when the NCAA put the show cause on him?

FWIW, OSU has reached out to Butch Jones (in case you missed that.)
Back to Kelly. Lot of moving parts and possibilities. Kelly appears to be a west coast guy. That makes me think UCLA has the advantage. I know everyone talks about the recruiting in Florida, but California is an absolute diamond as far as talent and LA is the epicenter of that hot bed. With his style and the "less-pressure" of being in the LA/California market, I could see UCLA being the better job. I would like to see him in the SEC, simply because it will make everyone better and the UGA/FLA would be fun to watch. Be interesting to see how this pans out.
Kelly's success at UCLA depends on his hire for a defensive coordinator. Even if Helfrich and Kelly formed their little duo again on offense he'll need someone on defense.

One caveat I think bears noting. When Kelly had Oregon running that was built with USC dealing with the NCAA. There was an advantage there UCLA missed. To me that brings questions... Why wasn't UCLA willing to take ahold? How much of the success Kelly enjoyed was a result of the rest of the conference being down?
 

TUSKstuff

Riding The Wave
#14
The Gator plane coming back empty was not a good sign. If Kelly is still considering his options he's not looking at Florida as a once in a lifetime opportunity. If he's hesitating to check out a basketball school on the west coast, he is not the man to lead my elite football program in the SEC. If I thought that just happened as an AD, he wouldn't have been allowed on my plane.
 
#17
A small side note to this whole story that may be more than just a small side note.

I think it bears noting that Chip's agent happens to be a Bruin.
And with Mora's rather abrupt canning yesterday, this really makes you wonder if the UF report is true, then they're trying to outbid UCLA at this point.
 

12gage

Verified Member
#18

Will Chip Kelly be the next Florida coach? That still hasn’t been made official, particularly with rumors that Kelly wants to listen to UCLA about its opening.

However, if Kelly decides to join the Gators, don’t expect it to happen this week.

According to The Buddy Martin Show — which is hosted by Martin, a Florida-based journalist — Kelly won’t accept the Florida job, if he decides to take it, until after this Saturday’s game against Florida State. The reasoning is that Kelly won’t get his $5 million payout from the San Francisco 49ers if he takes the job before the Gators’ season is over.

Kelly coached the 49ers for one season in 2016 after three years coaching the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to that, he spent four years as the head coach at Oregon, his only head-coaching experience in the college ranks.

Florida concludes its season when it hosts Florida State at noon ET on Saturday.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, Martin tweeted a message stating that his sources presented this as a “theoretical scenario” for why a Chip Kelly-to-Florida announcement has not been made.

 

alagator

Verified Member
#19
According to The Buddy Martin Show — which is hosted by Martin, a Florida-based journalist — Kelly won’t accept the Florida job, if he decides to take it, until after this Saturday’s game against Florida State. The reasoning is that Kelly won’t get his $5 million payout from the San Francisco 49ers if he takes the job before the Gators’ season is over.
This doesn't make any sense to me.

We've seen coaches accept jobs and continue at their old employer. We've seen them accept a job and not start for a month. We've seen them accept a job and not sign a contract for weeks, if not months.

I'm just not buying this as a reason.
 

planomateo

'cause small minds can't see past Uranus...
ADMINISTRATION
#20
There is talk of Florida willing to spend $8M/yr on Frost...They've lost their damn mind.

Of course this also means proven HC's (not named Jim Harbaugh) will be getting a raise.