6 factors to keep in mind for the San Jose State coaching search

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday December 06, 2016


San Jose State is looking for a new coach, after dismissing Ron Caragher.

Caragher went 19-30 in four years and didn’t post a winning record. He replaced Mike MacIntyre, who won 10 games in 2012 and went to Colorado. A lot of names have been thrown around for this job. As the process develops, keep track of updates on our SJSU search page.

Here are 6 factors to keep in mind for the search.

1. You can win here, but it takes an incredible amount of work.

Dick Tomey won 9 games in 2006. Mike MacIntyre won 10 games in 2012. But outside of those two seasons, there has been 1 winning record since 1993, when the program was back in the Big West.

It’s not impossible, but Tomey and MacIntyre were program-builders, and MacIntyre has done the same thing at Colorado. That’s what SJSU needs to find in the next coach, but it’s not easy.

2. How important are SJSU ties?

One common factor in the majority of names thrown around for the job: there are SJSU ties, whether as a former player or coach. That includes Colorado offensive line coach Klayton Adams, Oklahoma State running backs coach Marcus Arroyo, former NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia, Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo and Oregon State wide receivers coach Brent Brennan.

Former Fresno State head coach Pat Hill doesn't have ties, but he's rebuilt a program and knows the area. It’s a job with plenty of challenges. Someone who understands those challenges could have an edge.

3. Will AD Gene Bleymaier’s ties to Boise State play a factor?

Bleymaier has been the AD since 2012. Before that, he was the Boise State AD from 1982-2011, when he was dismissed amid NCAA penalties. He hired Ron Caragher from San Diego, but does he turn to familiar relationships this time? Adams is one name in the mix with Boise ties.

4. How much is SJSU willing to pay?

Caragher earned about $546,000, which was No. 99 nationally among publicly-available contracts and 10th in the Mountain West. Rival Fresno State will reportedly pay Jeff Tedford around $1.5 million to lead the league.

SJSU’s $1 million assistant salary pool was 11th in the league. Such a salary makes a Power 5 coordinator unlikely, but there are many Power 5 position coaches in the mix.

5. Nevada’s search is moving quicker and may finish soon.

Nevada and SJSU dismissed coaches on the same day, and their initial lists of candidates included many of the same names. But Nevada is reportedly down to a handful of finalists, while there hasn’t been much public news about the SJSU search.

In terms of resources, both Nevada and SJSU are near the bottom of the league. If Nevada fills, SJSU will be the only head coaching opening west of Texas outside of Oregon.

6. The winter dead period begins on Dec. 12.

One reason coaching changes happen quicker and jobs are filled quicker is because of the month-long winter dead period, which started in 2013. Schools want to get a new head coach in place to reach out to the recruiting class.

SJSU currently has 10 commitments and the No. 107-ranked class. It’s ranked No. 7 in the Mountain West. It’s a class that will need the new coach to add players.

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

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.