Chart: The length of every FBS head coaching search this year

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday March 16, 2016

The FBS head coaching carousel has finished, but how long did the searches take?

Using the official dates coaches left and the dates they were officially hired, here’s a look:

Obviously, the schools that announced changes during the season had longer searches, as they had to wait for the regular season to end. Of the 11 schools that announced a change during the season, all but one were filled by the end of the first week in December. Of the other 17 schools, 14 searches were wrapped up within two weeks. 

Additionally, talks and decisions happen before they're made official, including the work by search firms. Take Georgia, for example. Reports of Kirby Smart accepting the Georgia job came two days after the school announced Mark Richt wouldn’t return. It obviously wasn’t a two-day search, and decisions and talks took place well before they were announced.

But there are some interesting timelines, especially for the schools that lost their coach to another program.

Bowling Green moved quickly to replace Dino Babers after he left for Syracuse — a move that was expected before the MAC Championship Game. Up the road, Toledo promoted Jason Candle from within just a few days after Matt Campbell left for Iowa State. Memphis also expected to lose Justin Fuente and hired Mike Norvell shortly after Fuente left.

Southern Miss had to move quickly with Todd Monken leaving right before Signing Day, and they hired Jay Hopson in time for the big day.

There hadn’t been an interim head coach to keep the full-time job after coaching at least two games since Dabo Swinney in 2008. But this year, there were two such coaches (Clay Helton, Tracy Claeys).

Illinois actually named two head coaches. Interim head coach Bill Cubit was named the permanent head coach in November, but after the school hired a new AD, Cubit was dismissed in March, and Lovie Smith was hired a few days later.

College football head coaching changes happen quicker than ever. Schools are pulling the trigger during the season more frequently. They want to get a head start, and the winter dead period also causes schools to hire quicker.

The carousel gets more intense every year, and that won’t be changing.

Stay tuned to the Coaching Search Ticker for the latest news.

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