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

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday January 24, 2016

Update 1/30: Alcorn State head coach Jay Hopson has left for Southern Miss.

The head coaching carousels have just about wrapped up, and there was no shortage of change in the FCS ranks.

There were 16 total changes, with some coaches leaving for higher levels, some leaving for other FCS jobs, some earning promotions and some leaving for other reasons.

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

- 4: Four coaches left for FBS jobs: Everett Withers (James Madison to Texas State), Matt Viator (McNeese State to Louisiana-Monroe), Joe Moorhead (Fordham to Penn State assistant) and Ed Lamb (Southern Utah to BYU assistant).

- 3: Three head coaches retired: Jack Cosgrove (Maine), Joe Glenn (South Dakota) and Watson Brown (Tennessee Tech).

- 6: Six schools promoted from within: Fordham (Andrew Breiner), Maine (Joe Harasymiak), McNeese State (Lance Guidry), Southern Illinois (Nick Hill), Southern Utah (Demario Warren) and The Citadel (Brent Thompson).

- 2: Two schools hired other FCS head coaches. Mike Houston left The Citadel for James Madison, and Bob Nielson left Western Illinois for South Dakota.

- 4: Four schools hired from the FBS ranks: Eastern Kentucky (Mark Elder from Tennessee), Jackson Sate (Tony Hughes from Mississippi State), Montana State (Jeff Choate from Washington) and Marcus Satterfield (from Temple). In addition, new Texas Southern head coach Mike Haywood last coached in 2010 with Miami (OH).

- 2: Two schools hired external FCS assistants, with Western Illinois hiring Richmond offensive coordinator Charlie Fisher, and Austin Peay hiring Chattanooga wide receivers coach Will Healy.

- 1: One school hired from Division II, with Jacksonville hiring Lenoir-Rhyne head coach Ian Shields.

- 30: Two FCS schools hired 30-year-old head coaches: Austin Peay (Will Healy) and Southern Illinois (Nick Hill).

- 63-28: Jacksonville’s record since 2008. Former head coach Kerwin Bell’s contract wasn’t renewed over philosophical difference in the school playing non-scholarship football. Now, Ian Shields takes over, and Bell is the head coach at DII Valdosta State.

- 8: Ed Lamb spent eight years as Southern Utah head coach, before leaving to become a BYU assistant. Lamb was coming off an 8-4 season, his best record at the school.

- 10-1: McNeese State’s record in 2015. When Matt Viator left for ULM, defensive coordinator Lance Guidry was promoted to head coach. McNeese finished No. 3 in scoring defense (13.2 ppg) last season.

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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