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2015
College Football Season
Coaching Changes

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Wisconsin Gets Chryst Back From Pittsburgh

Houston Taps Ohio State OC Herman As Head Coach

CFP Staff
December 17, 2014

For Wisconsin, it's a case of deja vu all over again. Bret Bielema bolted the Badgers for Arkansas after the 2012 season, and former head coach Barry Alvarez stepped in to coach a loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Oregon State tweeted on December 10 that it had whisked Gary Andersen away from Wisconsin to replace Mike Riley. With Andersen off to Corvallis, Alvarez will reprise his role as interim head coach for this year's Outback Bowl contest with Auburn.

Andersen had an overall record of 19-7 and a Big Ten conference mark of 13-3. But his teams fared poorly in the postseason with a loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl and an embarrassing 59-0 loss to Ohio State in this year's Big 12 championship game.

On Wednesday (December 17), Wisconsin said it would hold a press conference at 6 p.m. to introduce Paul Chryst as the new head coach. The former offensive coordinator at UW compiled a record of 19-19 overall, 10-13 in league play (Big East, ACC) at Pittsburgh.

The loss of Chryst means the Panthers will be on their 7th and 8th head coaches since 2010 as they will have to name an interim head coach for their Armed Forces Bowl meeting with Houston while a permanent head coaching search gets underway. Pitt forced Dave Wannstedt (1) to resign following the 2010 regular season. His assistant and former SMU head coach Phil Bennett (2) was acting head coach in Pitt's 27-10 win over Kentucky in the 2010 BBVA Compass Bowl. Michael Haywood (3) was then hired December 16, 2010 but was fired 16 days later after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge. Todd Graham (4) was hired on January 14, 2011 but left after his initial regular season to become head coach at Arizona State. Defensive coordinator Keith Patterson (5) was named interim head coach on December 14 for Pitt's repeat appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl game against SMU that produced a 28-6 loss. Chryst (6) was hired by Pitt on January 2, 2012 after the Badgers to Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Riley first became the head coach at Oregon State in 1997, but left after two seasons to take the same position with the NFL's San Diego Chargers. He returned as head coach of the Beavers in 2003 and has cumulative 14-year marks of 93-80 overall, 58-63 in the PAC-10/PAC-12. Riley's teams were 6-2 in bowl games, but never won a single conference title and Oregon State was just 5-7 this year. He played at Alabama as a defensive back from 1971-1974.

Riley replaces Bo Pelini who was fired from Nebraska on November 30 after finishing the season with a 37-34 overtime win at Iowa to conclude a 9-3 campaign. Pelini went 9-4 or 10-4 in every season of his 7-year run and never won a conference championship, though they had one appearance in the Big Ten title game and two in the Big 12. He leaves with a 67-27 record overall (including 1-0 as interim head coach). He was 21-9 in the Big 12 and 15-9 in the Big Ten where Nebraska finished 5-3 every year. Associate head coach Barney Cotton was named interim head coach for Nebraska's bowl game.

Tom Herman, recently announced as the Broyles Award winner as the offensive coordinator at Ohio State, was named Tuesday (December 16) as the new head coach at Houston. Herman joined Urban Meyer's new staff with the Buckeyes prior to the 2012 season and also coached the quarterbacks for a school that has gone 36-3 in that span.

Coaching Changes For 2015 Season
Team Out In
Buffalo Jeff Quinn (3-4)
(i)-Alex Wood (2-2)
Lance Leipold
Colorado State Jim McElwain (10-2) (b)-Dave Baldwin
Florida Will Muschamp (6-5) (b)-D.J. Durkin
Jim McElwain
Houston Tony Levine (7-5) (b)-David Gibbs
Tom Herman
Kansas Charlie Weis (2-2)
(i)-Clint Bowen (1-7)
David Beaty
Michigan Brady Hoke (5-7) ?
Nebraska Bo Pelini (9-3) (b)-Barney Cotton
Mike Riley
Oregon State Mike Riley (5-7) Gary Andersen
Pittsburgh Paul Chryst (6-6) (b)-?
SMU June Jones (0-2)
(i)-Tom Mason (0-9)
Chad Morris
Troy Larry Blakeney (3-9) Neal Brown
Tulsa Bill Blankenship (2-10) Philip Montgomery
UNLV Bobby Hauck (2-11) Tony Sanchez
Wisconsin Gary Andersen (10-3) (b)-Barry Alvarez
Paul Chryst
(i) - Interim head coach regular season
(b) - bowl game interim coach

Houston fired head football coach Tony Levine on December 8 and named defensive coordinator David Gibbs the interim coach for the Armed Forces Bowl on January 2nd against Pittsburgh. The Cougars were 7-5 this year, 5-3 in the American conference, after the computer projected records of 9-3 (6-2). Levine was promoted from assistant head coach to head coach when Kevin Sumlin left for Texas A&M after the 2011 season. Levine's first game as head coach produced a 30-14 win over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl, but his 3-year won-loss record was a pedestrian 21-17 (14-10 in conference play), with a T-3 finish in CUSA in 2012, and a 4th-place finish in the American conference each of the last two years.

On Thursday (December 11), UNLV named Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) High School head coach Tony Sanchez to replace Bobby Hauck. Sanchez takes over a program that has had one winning campaign in the last 14 seasons. Sanchez was 85-5 at Bishop Gorman High and won 6 straight state championships.

UNLV's previous hire came to the school from the FCS ranks. Expectations were high five years ago that Hauck could rejuvenate the program after his success at Montana where he produced a record of 80-17 that included 3 national championship appearances (all lost), but his record with the Rebels was just 15-49. After a 7-6 campaign that included a bowl game in 2013, the team slid back to a 2-11 finish this year. His teams were just 11-29 in conference play, and 4 of his 5 seasons saw UNLV win 2 or fewer league contests. Hauck tendered his resignation on November 28, the day before a season-ending loss to rival Nevada.

On Thursday (December 11), Tulsa said Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery was its new hire to replace Bill Blankenship. Tulsa relieved Blankenship of his duties on December 1 after four seasons with the Golden Hurricane. His first two teams went a combined 19-8, including an 11-3 performance and CUSA title in 2012, but the last two seasons saw Tulsa win a total of 5 games (5-19). Overall, he was 24-27 (18-14 in CUSA and American Athletic Conference). Montgomery, a 16-year disciple of Baylor head coach Art Briles, has led the Bears to top-4 finishes in total offense in each of the last four seasons.

Florida on December 4 announced the hiring of Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain. The former Alabama offensive coordinator, turned Colorado State around from a 3-9 team the year before his arrival in 2012 to a 10-2 team this year. He was 22-16 overall at CSU and 14-10 in the Mountain West. The 52-year old was an assistant at multiple programs, beginning as QB and WR coach with Eastern Washington from 1987-1994. He also had a year in the NFL as QB coach of the Oakland Raiders in 2006 under Art Shell.

Offensive coordinator Dave Baldwin was named interim head coach for Colorado State for the bowl season. You may remember him as the head coach at San Jose State from 1997-2000 where he was 18-27.

McElwain replaces Will Muschamp whose reign at Florida officially ended November 29 with a 24-19 loss at Florida State. Defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was named interim head coach for the Gators' bowl game.

Muschamp was fired on November 16, effective at the end of the season, after nearly 4 full seasons as the head coach of the Gators. The announcement came the morning after Florida fell to 5-4 (4-4, SEC) with a 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina and former revered head coach Steve Spurrier. It was the third consecutive home loss for the Gators, and their sixth in eight home games dating back to the 2013 season. The wins came earlier this year over a hapless Eastern Michigan squad, and a triple-overtime nailbiter versus Kentucky. The losses included a 26-20 setback last season to a Georgia Southern squad that only moved up to the FBS level this year.

Muschamp ends his tenure in Gainesville with a 28-21 overall record, and was 17-15 in the SEC. His 2012 squad tied for the SEC's eastern division title, but couldn't play for the SEC Championship because of a tie-breaking loss to rival Georgia. That 2012 team was his best, by far, as the Gators went 11-2. But even that season ended negatively with a 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl.

Prior to his arrival at Florida, Muschamp was a heralded defensive coordinator and the head coach-in-waiting at Texas. The Gators targeted the former 4-year letterman at Georgia after Urban Meyer resigned. It didn' take long for Muschamp to find another job as he was announced as Auburn's new defensive coordinator on December 12.

On December 5, Kansas hired former assistant and current Texas A&M receivers coach/recruiting coordinator David Beaty to lead the Jayhawks.

Charlie Weis was fired September 28 after Kansas lost 23-0 at home to Texas to drop to 2-2 this season with the wins coming over FCS member SE Missouri State and the MAC's Central Michigan. Combined with an earlier 41-3 loss to Duke, Saturday's 23-0 blanking by Texas means Kansas had been outscored 64-3 in in its 2 games this season against schools from Power 5 conferences.

Weis' dismissal from Kansas, which had lost 25 straight road games, came just days before the West Virginia game which, ironically, is the only conference win Weis had on his resume (2013 season). His Jayhawk career ends with records of 6-22 overall and 1-18 vs. the Big 12.

Defensive coordinator Clint Bowen assumed the role of interim head coach and went 1-7.

New head coach Beaty was an assisant with Kansas from 2008-'09 and again in 2011. Bowen will stay on as assistant head coach and defensive coordinator.

Michigan announced December 2 that Brady Hoke was fired as head coach after 4 seasons at the helm. The winningest team in college football history finished 5-7 this season and won't be going bowling for the first time since 2009. Hoke's initial season, 2011, was the only one in which his team had fewer than 5 losses. He was 31-20 overall, 18-14 in conference play. Additionally, the Wolverines won just 1 of 4 bowl games for which they qualified under Hoke and that was a controversial overtime win over Virginia Tech in the 2011 Sugar Bowl.

On October 13, Buffalo fired head coach Jeff Quinn after the Bulls became the first FBS team to lose to hapless Eastern Michigan this season. The school's AD, Danny White, who has been in his position just since May of 2012, said, "...Quinn's tenure has not matched our expectations for the growth of Bulls football." Just last season, Quinn coached Buffalo to an 8-5 campaign that earned the school's second-ever bowl bid. But the Bulls were just 3-4 this season with 2 victories against FCS schools and the other over lowly Miami (Ohio). Quinn was 20-36 at Buffalo and is 21-37 in his career. He was 1-1 as an interim head coach in bowl games for Central Michigan and Cincinnati before replacing Turner Gill at Buffalo. Alex Wood, offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, was named interim head coach and went 2-2.

On November 30, si.com reported that Quinn's official successor at Buffalo would be Wisconsin-Whitewater's Lance Leipold. At the time of the report, Wisconsin-Whitewater was 12-0 and in the midst of the D-3 playoffs. The 50-year-old has guided the school to 5 national titles while compiling a record of 106-6 in 8 seasons. Leipold would stay with the Warhawks through their playoff run.

On October 5, Larry Blakeney announced he will retire from Troy at the end of his 24th season. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the FBS, behind Virginia Tech's Frank Beamer. The season concluded with Blakeney's Trojans winning only 3 games (3-9) in a watered down Sun Belt conference.

On November 30, Troy confirmed Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown as its new hire. Brown was with the southeast Alabama school for several seasons before moving to Texas Tech as offensive coordinator in 2010, and then on to Lexington for the same position in 2012. He coached wide receivers at Troy from 2006-07, and served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2008-09. The 34-year-old was a wide receiver at Kentucky (1998-2000) and UMass (2001-02.

June Jones announced on September 8 that he was resigning as the head coach of SMU, effective immediately, due to "personal issues". The Mustangs had started 0-2 with losses of 45-0 at Baylor and 43-6 at North Texas. Jones was 36-43 in just over 6 seasons at SMU, won a Conference USA divisional title and tied for another, and took the Mustangs to four bowl games.

Jones began his stint with SMU on January 7, 2008 when he opted to leave behind the island paradise of Hawaii and the program he built into a perennial winner. The failure of the school to improve facilities ultimately contributed greatly to Jones' departure.

In the five years prior to taking over the Warriors in 1999, the team had won just twelve games in five seasons and was winless in 1998. Jones guided Hawaii to a 9-4 record in his first season.

Jones quickly worked some of that same magic with SMU. After a 1-11 inaugural campaign, he guided SMU to an 8-5 mark in 2009 and the first of four straight bowl games. But Jones never could get SMU to the next level. While the Mustangs won 3 of the 4 bowl games, they came up short in their only Conference USA championship game appearance.

Defensive coordinator Tom Mason was given the interim had coaching duties and was 0-9 at the time of this writing.

On November 30, the Dallas Morning News and other sources reported the Mustangs had hired Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris. He is a native of Texas who coached Bay City to a state title in 2000), and then Lake Travis High School in Austin to a pair of state titles in his only 2 years at the school (2008-2009). Tulsa picked him up as an offensive coordinator in 2010 and he moved to Clemson in 2011. The 45-year-old played quarterback in high school and is a Texas A&M alum.









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