10 critical ongoing coaching searches in college football
Posted by: Chris Vannini on January 2, 2013
Here's a look at the 10 most critical hires that still need to be made regarding assistants in college football.
1. Virginia Tech offensive coordinator
Offensive coordinator / tight ends / offensive tackles coach Bryan Stinespring hasn't been demoted, but many feel someone new will run the offensive moving forward. Receivers coach Kevin Sherman has left for Purdue and it is expected that offensive guards / centers coach Curt Newsome will head to James Madison. After winning the Russell Athletic Bowl, Frank Beamer said his No. 1 priority will be the ability to run the football. Stanford offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton could be a name that gets in the mix here. Shane Beamer coached with Shawn Elliot at South Carolina, but it would seem that Elliot would only leave South Carolina for a coordinator position. Steve Spurrier has been quite outspoken how much he likes Elliot, recently indicating that Elliot was one of his best hires ever.
2. USC defensive coordinator
With Monte Kiffin's retirement official following a rough season for the Trojans, Lane Kiffin needs to find a replacement for his dad. Lane has said he wants someone who can defend the many spread offenses of the Pac-12. Former Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast has reportedly interviewed for the job. Pendergast's best performance at Cal had to come in 2010, when No. 1 Oregon was held to 15 points, but the Golden Bears fell just short of the upset. Gene Chizik is another name that could be in the mix.
3. Oklahoma State offensive coordinator
With Todd Monken taking the head coaching job at Southern Miss, Mike Gundy is looking for a new offensive coordinator again. Gundy has stated that he's not going to change the system in place, so that could limit the number of available candidates. He also says he'll wait to some of the NFL dust settles before making a hire. Could former Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost be in the picture?
4. Auburn special teams coordinator
San Diego Chargers special teams coordinator / assistant head coach Rich Bisaccia reportedly has been offered the job, but he may be waiting to see what Jon Gruden does or if the Penn State job opens. Bisaccia is from New York, so if Doug Marrone were to leave Syracuse, Bisaccia could also emerge as a candidate for the head coaching job at Syracuse. One thing is for sure; Gus Malzahn has a critical hire to make. Special teams in the SEC can be the difference in playing in Atlanta for the SEC championship.
5. Texas Tech co-defensive coordinator
Kliff Kingsbury is not going to retain Art Kaufman, who was 1 of 29 nominees for the Frank Broyles Award after significantly improving the Texas Tech defense in 2012. Kaufman is expected to make a decision on following Tommy Tuberville to Cincinnati this week. Mike Smith is coming from the Jets to serve as the co-defensive coordinator / linebackers coach, but Kingsbury needs the other co-DC. The Raiders can't just rely on outscoring people.
6. Kentucky wide receivers coach
If you want to win in the SEC, you need well-coached receivers. Check that, you need to sign big-time playmakers, and then develop them to become All-SEC and All-Americans. When Kentucky has been good, the Wildcats have had their share of playmakers on the outside. Stoops needs a recruiter and developer.
7. South Florida defensive coordinator
It is unknown right now if Lance Guidry will follow Willie Taggart from Western Kentucky to South Florida.
8. BYU offensive coordinator
Did you see BYU's offense this year? Bronco Mendenhall will probably make some adjustments in hopes of improving the offense. Defense wasn't an issue. It seems as if Bronco could keep Brandon Doman on staff, but move forward with a different coordinator and/or play-caller.
9. San Diego State offensive coordinator
Andy Ludwig has accepted the offensive coordinator job at Wisconsin. The Aztecs are coming off a Mountain West championship, and if Rocky Long wants to keep this things going, he'll need to choose the right coach to run the offense.
10. Utah State defensive coordinator
Expect the next Utah State defensive coordinator to have an odd-front background. The Aggies were nasty on defense this year at times, but Dave Aranda jumped ship to Wisconsin with Gary Anderson.
Update: Yep, one important hire slipped our mind. Kevin Sumlin has yet to name an offensive coordinator in Aggieland.
Chris Vannini is the lead writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered Michigan State sports for The State News, The Oakland Press and MLive.com. He writes a weekly column for the Detroit Free Press on behalf of SB Nation. Vannini lives in Big Ten country, so his foot speed is far from SEC caliber, but his pulse on coaches is hard to match. Be sure to follow @CoachingBuzz on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org