11 numbers to know about the FCS head coaching carousel

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Monday February 27, 2017


The head coaching carousel is about wrapped up, and there were 16 changes in the FCS ranks.

Some coaches left for FBS, some moved around within FCS (including the same conference), and some got hired from out of work. The path to a head coaching job is never the same. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at some of the trends from this FCS cycle:

Four head coaches left to become FBS assistants. Charleston Southern’s Jamey Chadwell became Coastal Carolina offensive coordinator as they elevate to FBS, Elon’s Rich Skrosky became FIU offensive coordinator, Eastern Washington’s Beau Baldwin became Cal offensive coordinator, and Indiana State’s Mike Sanford became Western Kentucky running backs coach / special teams coordinator, working for his son. Last year, four FCS coaches left for FBS, but two as head coaches.

Two schools hired sitting FCS head coaches. Delaware hired Richmond head coach Danny Rocco — a move within the same conference. Richmond responded by hiring Chattanooga head coach Russ Heusman. Last year saw the same number of FCS head coaches move to another FCS head coaching job.

Three schools hired FBS assistants. Furman hired Air Force’s Clay Hendrix, Howard hired Maryland’s Mike London, and Indiana State hired Wyoming’s Curt Mallory. There were four such hires last year.

Four schools promoted from within to replace a coach. Charleston Southern promoted QB coach Mark Tucker, Eastern Washington promoted OL coach Aaron Best, Presbyterian promoted defensive coordinator Tommy Spangler, and Morgan State promoted interim head coach Fred Farrier to the full-time job. By comparion, last year 8 of the 19 changes led to internal promotions

Two schools hired coaches who were out of coaching work. UC Davis hired Dan Hawkins, who most recently was in media, and Lamar hired Mike Shultz, the former Texas State offensive coordinator.

Three schools hired sitting head coaches from Division II or Division III. That included Abilene Christian (NW Missouri State’s Adam Dorrel), Chattanooga (John Carroll’s Tom Arth), Elon (IUP’s Curt Cignetti). Last year, there was only one such hire.

Two schools hired sitting FCS assistants. Bryant hired Princeton offensive coordinator James Perry, and Lafayette hired Richmond offensive coordinator John Garrett.

76-8: New Abilene Christian head coach Adam Dorrell’s record at Northwest Missouri State, including three 15-0 seasons and DII national titles in the last four years.

9: Beau Baldwin spent nine years as Eastern Washington head coach, before leaving for Cal. Baldwin posted an 85-32 record, including a 13-2 national championship season in 2010.

24-5: New Howard head coach Mike London went 24-5 as Richmond head coach from 2008-09, before going 27-46 in six years at Virginia. He won the 2008 FCS national title with the Spiders.

112: Mount Union had won 112 straight regular season games before Tom Arth’s John Carroll team beat them in November. Arth went 40-8 in four years and is now the Chattanooga head coach. 

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 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 chris@coachingsearch.com.