By the numbers: A breakdown of the FBS head coaching changes

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday February 01, 2016

A process that lasted five months has wrapped up (probably). This year’s coaching carousel featured 28 FBS head coaching changes.

It started with Tim Beckman’s dismissal at Illinois a week before the season began and ended with Southern Miss’ hire of Jay Hopson over this past weekend.

The 28 changes were the most since 2012 (31) and are likely the second-most ever in a cycle. Schools hired assistants, active head coaches and former head coaches, and some coaches left for assistant jobs.

Here’s a by-the-numbers look at some of the trends from this FBS cycle:

- 5: Five schools hired active FBS head coaches from other schools: Iowa State (Matt Campbell from Toledo), Syracuse (Dino Babers from Bowling Green), Tulane (Willie Fritz from Georgia Southern), Virginia (Bronco Mendenhall from BYU) and Virginia Tech (Justin Fuente from Memphis).

- 3: Three schools hired active FCS head coaches: Louisiana-Monroe (Matt Viator from McNeese State), Southern Miss (Jay Hopson from Alcorn State) and Texas State (Everett Withers from James Madison).

- 11: Eleven schools hired external coordinators: BYU (Kalani Sitake), East Carolina (Scottie Montgomery), Georgia (Kirby Smart), Georgia Southern (Tyson Summers), Hawaii (Nick Rolovich), Maryland (D.J. Durkin), Memphis (Mike Norvell), North Texas (Seth Littrell), Rutgers (Chris Ash), South Carolina (Will Muschamp) and UCF (Scott Frost). Of these 11, five moved within the same conference.

- 5: Five schools promoted from within for their job: Illinois (Bill Cubit), Minnesota (Tracy Claeys), Missouri (Barry Odom), Toledo (Jason Candle) and USC (Clay Helton).

- 1: One school hired from the NFL, with Ball State hiring New Orleans Saints quarterbacks coach Mike Neu.

- 3: Three schools hired position coaches: Ball State (Neu, Saints), Bowling Green (Mike Jinks, Texas Tech) and UTSA (Frank Wilson, LSU)

- 1: One school hired a dismissed head coach: Miami with Mark Richt.

- 17: Seventeen schools hired a coach without a full season of college head coaching experience: Ball State, BYU, East Carolina, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Hawaii, Maryland, Memphis, Minnesota, Missouri, North Texas, Rutgers, Texas Tech, Toledo, UCF, USC and UTSA.

- 2: Two sitting FBS head coaches left for assistant jobs. Pete Lembo became special teams coordinator at Maryland, and Todd Monken left Southern Miss for the Tampa Bay Bucs offensive coordinator job.

- 12: Twelve head coaches had previous playing or coaching experience at the school: Mike Neu, Kalani Sitake, Kirby Smart, Tyson Summers, Nick Rolovich, Bill Cubit, Mark Richt, Tracy Claeys, Barry Odom, Jay Hopson, Jason Candle and Clay Helton.

- 145-51: Mark Richt’s record at Georgia, but the school made a change, and Richt went to Miami.

- 23: The number of consecutive years Bronco Mendenhall spent at BYU before leaving for Virginia.

- 43.0: The points per game scored by Scott Frost’s Oregon offense last year.

- 0: The number of wins UCF had last season.

- 4: Kirby Smart brings the experience four national championships at Alabama to Georgia.

- 10: Barry Odom had 10 years of coaching experience at Missouri before the promotion to head coach, starting as an administrative graduate assistant in 2003.

- 28-21: Will Muschamp’s record as Florida head coach from 2011-14.

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Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to