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24 Teams Begin 2011 Season Under New Stewardship

CFP Staff
July 27, 2011 (Updated January 9, 2012)

Twenty-four teams opened the 2011 season under the guidance of a new permanent head coach or an interim head coach after North Carolina announced on July 27 that Butch Davis was fired after months of NCAA investigations. The next day, the Tar Heels announced they promoted defensive coordinator Everett Withers to interim head coach and Dick Baddour, Director of Athletics, submitted his resignation.

How New Coaches Fared
Arkansas State Steve Roberts 4-8 Hugh Freeze
(i) David Gunn
Ball State Stan Parrish 4-8 Pete Lembo 6-6
Colorado Dan Hawkins 5-7 Jon Embree 3-10
Connecticut Randy Edsall 8-5 Paul Pasqualoni 5-7
Florida Urban Meyer 8-5 Will Muschamp 7-6
Indiana Bill Lynch 5-7 Kevin Wilson 1-11
Kent State Doug Martin 5-7 Darrell Hazell 5-7
Louisiana-Lafayette Rickey Bustle 3-9 Mark Hudspeth 9-4
Maryland Ralph Friedgen 9-4 Randy Edsall 2-10
Miami (Fla.) Randy Shannon
(i) Jeff Stoutland
Al Golden 6-6
Miami (O.) Michael Haywood
(i) Lance Guidry
Don Treadwell 4-8
Michigan Rich Rodriguez 7-6 Brady Hoke 11-2
Minnesota Tim Brewster 3-9 Jerry Kill 3-9
North Carolina Butch Davis 8-5 (i) Everett Withers 7-6
North Texas Todd Dodge 3-9 Dan McCarney 5-7
Northern Illinois Jerry Kill
(i) Tom Matukewicz
Dave Doeren 11-3
Ohio State Jim Tressel 12-1 (i) Luke Fickell 6-7
#-Pittsburgh Dave Wannstedt
(i) Phil Bennett (1-0)
Michael Haywood
Todd Graham
(i) Keith Patterson
San Diego St. Brady Hoke 9-4 Rocky Long 8-5
Stanford Jim Harbaugh 12-1 David Shaw 11-2
Temple Al Golden 8-4 Steve Addazio 9-4
Tulsa Todd Graham 10-3 Bill Blankenship 8-5
Vanderbilt Robbie Caldwell 2-10 James Franklin 6-7
West Virginia Bill Stewart 9-4 Dana Holgorsen 10-3
i-Interim head coach and (record) in bowl game.
#-Pittsburgh hired Michael Haywood on December 16th and fired him on January 1 after he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence.

"To restore confidence in the University of North Carolina and our football program, it's time to make a change," said Chancellor Holden Thorp. "What started as a purely athletic issue has begun to chip away at this University's reputation."

Davis spent four seasons at the Chapel Hill school, compiling a 28-23 record. The Tar Heels were 8-5 in each of his last three campaigns after a 4-8 inaugural year on his watch in 2007. He has a career record of 79-43, including 51-20 at Miami (Fla.) from 1995-2000.

Dana Holgorsen didn't have to wait until next year, after all. West Virginia announced on June 10 that it had elevated Holgorsen to head coach and parted ways with Bill Stewart. Holgorsen was hired away from Oklahoma State last December to serve as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach this season, then take the reigns of head coach in 2012. But the relationship between the two men was strained, to say the least, and both had brought West Virginia some unwanted attention in the weeks leading up to the change. Stewart had been accused of trying to "dig up dirt" on Holgorsen and Holgorsen had been thrown out of a West Virginia casino for disorderly conduct in May.

Stewart was named interim head coach prior to the 'Eers 2007 season Fiesta Bowl game versus Oklahoma. Following an unexpected 48-28 West Virginia win, the school promptly took off the "interim" label. The Mountaineers went 9-4 in each of his three seasons as head coach and were co-champions of the Big East last year. In all, Stewart spent 11 seasons in Morgantown.

Holgorsen was the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State in 2010 when the Cowboys led the nation in total offense. In 2008 and 2009, he held the same position at Houston and the Cougars led the nation in '09 and finished 2nd in '08. From '05 to '07, he held the same position at Texas Tech and the Red Raiders were No. 2 in '07, No. 6 in '06 and No. 4 in '05. His passing offenses were No. 1 in '05, No. 3 in '06, No. 1 in '07, No. 2 in '08, No. 1 in '09 and No. 2 in '10.

Ohio State belatedly became the 22nd team that will go through the 2011 season under a new head coach after Jim Tressel resigned on Memorial Day (May 30). In a short statement released by the school, President E. Gordon Gee said, "In consultation with the senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, I have been actively reviewing matters attendant to our football program, and I have accepted Coach Tressel's resignation. The University's enduring public purposes and its tradition of excellence continue to guide our actions." Jim Tressel said, "After meeting with University officials, we agreed that it is in the best interest of Ohio State that I resign as head football coach."

Assistant head coach Luke Fickell, who served as Tressel's linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator, assumed the interim head coaching duties for the 2011 season. He started a school record 50 games at nose guard for the Buckeyes from 1993-1996.

Tressel had quickly endeared himself to Buckeye followers when he guided the team to a BCS title in his second season in Columbus in 2002, though his teams later lost back-to-back title games in 2006 and 2007. He took Ohio State to 8 BCS bowl games in his 10 seasons, and won or shared 7 Big Ten titles. He posted records of 106-22 overall with the Buckeyes, 66-14 in conference, 9-1 vs. Michigan, and 6-4 in bowl games.

Ohio State came under NCAA scrutiny last season when it was found that several players, including QB Terrelle Pryor, received extra benefits when they sold or exchanged items such as Ohio State bowl championship class rings, bowl pants, etc, with a tattoo parlor owner. What seemed like minor violations in the beginning, became bigger as more news developed. The actions of the players were later learned to have been covered up by Tressel who, in turn, lied to the NCAA about his knowledge of their actions. The tattoo parlor owner was arrested on May 27 on charges of drug trafficking and money laundering.

Five players were suspended for the first 5 games of the upcoming 2011 seasons, another was suspended for 1 game. Tressel was initially sanctioned for two games, but that penalty was later stretched to five. Fickell had already been appointed to serve as acting head coach for those games.

The coaching carousel ride appeared to have ended with the announcement on January 14 that Tulsa hired Bill Blankenship to replace Todd Graham. The former Golden Hurricane quarterback has spent the last four seasons on the coaching staff and played multiple roles last season as associate head coach, running backs coach and special teams coordinator.

Graham was hired to fill the head coaching position at Pittsburgh on Monday, January 10 after compiling a four-year record of 36-17. Graham's tenure produced two CUSA West division titles and a tie for a third this past season. Prior to the gig at Tulsa, he led Rice to a 7-6 record in 2006. He becomes the second person to fill Pitt's vacancy in less than a month. (Note: Graham would later leave Pitt after a 6-6 regular season to take the head coaching job at Arizona State, leaving defensive coordinator Keith Patterson as interim head coach for Pitt's appearance in a second straight BBVA Compass bowl game).

Michael Haywood was announced as the Panthers' new coach on December 16 after leading the Miami RedHawks to a dramatic 1-year turnaround. Miami, which was 1-11 in 2009, went 9-4 to capture the MAC title and a bowl berth before Haywood's departure was announced. His job at Pittsburgh, however, ended on January 1st after he was arrested and jailed on New Year's Eve on a domestic violence charge, allegedly against a woman with whom he has a child. The incident reportedly occurred at his South Bend, Indiana home.

Dave Wannstedt resigned under pressure on December 7. Defensive coordinator, and former SMU head coach (2002-2007), Phil Bennett acted as head coach in Pitt's 27-10 win over Kentucky in the BBVA Compass Bowl (formerly the Bowl) in Birmingham, Alabama.

The January 8 bowl game in Birmingham was the 3rd consecutive bowl appearance for Pitt after being shut out of the postseason from 2005-2007. Wannstedt was 1-1 in two previous bowl appearances. A 7-5 regular season campaign in 2010 gives Wannstedt a 6-year record of 42-31. Ironically, the Panthers won a share of the Big East title this year for the first time since 2004, though they finished just 5-2 in the conference. UConn received the automatic bowl bid from the BCS by virtue of its narrow wins over Pitt (30-28) and West Virginia (16-13, OT), which also shared the title.

After losing Haywood, Miami went on to win the Bowl with defensive backs coach Lance Guidry serving as interim head coach. The RedHawks hired Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell as their permanent replacement on December 31 - the night before his team was destroyed 49-7 by Alabama in the Capital One Bowl. Treadwell served Michigan State for the past four seasons and was the acting head coach in victories over Northern Colorado and Wisconsin during the 2010 season. He was thrust into that position when Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack hours after an overtime fake field resulted in the game-winning touchdown against Notre Dame. Treadwell was a four-year starter for Miami from 1978-1981.

David Shaw, the offensive coordinator under Jim Harbaugh, was promoted to head coach at Stanford on Thursday, January 13. Shaw is a former Stanford receiver (1991-1994) who has also coached in the NFL. He left the pro ranks in 2006 to join Harbaugh with FCS member San Diego and helped guide the Toreros to an 11-1 record. At Stanford, his roles over the next 4 years included coaching running backs and wide receivers.

Harbaugh was introduced on January 8 as the new head coach of the NFL's San Francisco 49ers. It took Harbaugh just four seasons to transform the Cardinal from doormat of the PAC-10 to national power. In 2007, he inherited a team that was 1-11 the previous season and had endured five consecutive losing season. Stanford improved to 4-8 in his first season at helm, then 5-7 the following year. In 2009, Stanford went 8-5 for its first winning season since 2001. Then came the 2010 team that claimed its first 12-win season in history (12-1), culminating with a 40-12 Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech for its first major bowl win since 1971.

January 13 also saw the hiring of Paul Pasqualoni as the new head football coach at UConn, replacing Randy Edsall who resigned to take the vacancy at Maryland. Pasqualoni served as the head coach of Syracuse from 1991-2004 where he led the Orange to nine bowl games and concluded his 14-year tenure as its second-winningest coach with a record 107-59-1. Since 2005, Pasqualoni has been coaching in the National Football League as he was a member of the Dallas Cowboys staff (2005-07 and 2010) and the Miami Dolphins (2008-09).

Maryland hired Edsall on January 2, less than 24 hours after his UConn team lost 48-20 to Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. Edsall spent 12 years at Storrs and led the school's transition to 1-A (now FBS) in 2000 and its entry into the Big East in 2004. He was 74-70 overall, 70-63 in the FBS ranks, and 50-37 overall since joining the Big East. His teams went 22-26 in the Big East and he leaves the team on a four-bowl appearance streak. Overall, UConn made five bowl appearances on his watch and won three.

Edsall replaces Ralph Friedgen who completed his 10-year run with a record of 75-50 with a 51-20 win over East Carolina in the Military Bowl. Maryland announced on December 20 that it would buy out the final year of his contract, despite being named ACC Coach of the Year after an 8-4 season and a return to postseason play. Friedgen's teams posted a 42-36 mark in ACC games and a 5-2 record in bowl games. He brought the school an outright ACC title in his first season in 2001 but failed to duplicate that feat.

Maryland offensive coordinator James Franklin was named the head coach of Vanderbilt on December 17 where he succeeds Robbie Caldwell who resigned on November 27, prior to Vanderbilt's home game with Wake Forest. Caldwell had been appointed head coach July 14 upon the unexpected retirement of Bobby Johnson. The Commodores were just 2-10, including a 34-13 loss to the Demon Deacons after the announcement was made. Prior to his appointment as head coach, he had served as Vanderbilt's assistant head coach and was the program's offensive line coach since 2002.

On Wednesday, January 12, San Diego State promoted defensive coordinator Rocky Long to replace Brady Hoke. He was the head coach at New Mexico from 1998-2008.

Hoke was announced by Michigan as its new head coach on Tuesday, December 11, replacing the fired Rich Rodriguez. Hoke spent 8 seasons in Ann Arbor coaching the defensive line before honing his skills as a head coach with Ball State (2003-2008) and the Aztecs (2009-2010). He guided the Cardinals to a 12-0 regular season finish in 2008 before falling to Buffalo in the MAC Championship game. Hoke then led San Diego State on a resurgence from a 2-10 season the year before he arrived to a 9-4 campaign that included a Poinsettia Bowl victory over Navy in 2010. His 8-year career record is just 47-50, and while both schools showed dramatic improvement under his tutelage, he has left each job too quickly to see if he could sustain any success. All told, he has had just 3 winning seasons as a head coach, going 7-6 with Ball State in 2007, 12-1 with the Cards in 2008 and 9-4 with the Aztecs last year.

The Wolverines ditched Rodriguez on January 5, four days after an embarrassing 52-14 blowout loss to Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl to conclude a 7-6 season with 3 straight losses. His tenure reaped three seasons of NCAA investigations and unaccustomed losing. The winningest program in college football history was 15-22 under Rodriguez, 6-18 against Big Ten foes and 11-11 at home. Rodriguez' Wolverines won a total of 10 games in three years against teams from BCS automatic qualifier conferences and were 5-20 overall after September 30. He was 1-11 vs. ranked teams and 0-6 vs. Michigan's chief rivals, Ohio State and Michigan State.

The new head coach of Temple in 2011 will be Florida offensive coordinator and associate head coach Steve Addazio who was hired on December 22. He is a veteran of Urban Meyer's staff who was promoted to OC for the 2009 season after beginning his 6-year Florida stint as tight ends coach and then offensive line coach. It will be is first head coaching job outside of high school, other than his interim assignment during Meyer's leave of absence following the '09 season. He will stay with Florida through the Outback Bowl game against Penn State.

Ohio State assistant coach Darrell Hazell was named the head coach of Kent State on December 20. Hazell has spent the pasty seven seasons in Columbus after a 3-year stint at Rutgers. He replaces Doug Martin who announced his resignation on November 21, prior to the season finale against Ohio. The Golden Flashes responded with a 28-6 upset of the Bobcats who would have clinched the MAC East division title with a win. Martin's 7-year tenure produced an overall record of 29-53, including 5-7 this season. Jerry McManus, the assistant head coach for the past six seasons, was named as his interim successor during the search for a permanent replacement.

Also on December 20, Ball State announced the hiring of Elon (N.C.) head coach Pete Lembo as the successor to Stan Parrish. Lembo was a combined 79-36 as a head coach for five years each at Elon and Lehigh (Pa.). Parrish was fired on November 23 after a short two-year stint that created a 6-19 record. Parrish took over the program after Hoke left for San Diego State. Under Parrish, Ball State was blown out 45-13 in the GMAC Bowl. Things didn't get much better after that as the Cardinals went 2-10 in 2009 and 4-8 this season. Parrish's 11-year head coaching record is 61-50-3 in 11 total seasons with Ball State, Wabash (1978-82), Marshall (1984-85) and Kansas State (1986-88). Offensive Coordinator Eddie Faulkner served as interim head coach until Lembo was named.

Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Doeren was introduced on December 13 as the new head coach at Northern Illinois, succeeding Jerry Kill who accepted the Minnesota head coaching job on Sunday, December 5. The 39-year-old Doeren spent four seasons with Kansas prior to his stint with the Badgers.

Kill was 23-16 in three seasons at the DeKalb, Illinois school, including an 0-2 record in bowl games. NIU went 10-3 in 2010 while claiming the MAC West title. Previously, Kill was the head coach at Saginaw Valley State (38-14 record from 1994-1998); Emporia (Kansas) State (11-11 record from 1999-2000; and Southern Illinois (55-32 from 2001-2007). Northern Illinois linebackers coach Tom Matukewicz was the interim head coach for the 40-17 Humanitarian Bowl win over Fresno State on December 18.

Miami (Fla.) filled its vacancy on December 12 with Temple head coach Al Golden. Golden replaces Randy Shannon who was dismissed on the evening of November 27 after a 23-20 overtime loss at home to USF. Shannon was 28-22 in four seasons after replacing Larry Coker. His teams were just 16-16 in ACC conference games and never finished better than 5-3 in league play. His teams finished with consecutive 8-4 regular seasons in 2009 and 2010. The '09 team went on to lose to UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl while the '10 team had the best record of any eligible squads that were left out of the postseason. The 'Canes were 7-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC this year with losses in their last two games. Shannon was 0-2 in bowl games, 2-2 vs. chief state rival Florida State and 1-3 vs. Miami's main division rival Virginia Tech.

Golden brings little experience as a head coach to the program and takes a giant step up from Temple, but the 41-year-old was successful in turning a dreadful Owls program into a winner over the last two seasons. Golden was 27-34 in five seasons at the Philadelphia school, including a 9-4 record and a bowl bid in 2009. Golden's 2010 team was 8-4, but was one of just two bowl eligible teams that was not given a slot in any of the season's 35 bowl games. Interim head coach Jeff Stoutland coached the 'Canes in their 33-17 Sun Bowl loss to Notre Dame.

December 11 brought the news that Texas defensive coordinator and head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp would be the new head coach at Florida. The Gators targeted Muschamp after Urban Meyer resigned just three days earlier (December 8). It will be the first head coaching job for the 39-year-old Muschamp who, ironically, was a 4-year letterman at safety for rival Georgia.

Meyer stayed on to coach the Gators in their 37-24 Outback Bowl win against Penn State. He leaves with a 65-15 record at Florida where he guided the team to BCS titles in 2006 and 2008. Prior to taking the Florida job, Meyer was 22-2 at Utah and 17-6 at Bowling Green. Meyer temporarily resigned from his job the day after Christmas in 2009, but changed his mind and took only took February off.

On December 12, Louisiana's Ragin' Cajuns confirmed their new hire of Mississippi State assistant Mark Hudspeth as their new head coach. Hudspeth served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator for the past two years. Before that, he compiled a 66-21 record with North Alabama in division 2 school.

Louisiana announced on November 29 that Rickey Bustle was dismissed after an injury-plagued 3-9 season (3-5, Sun Belt). Bustle managed to win 23 games over his first five seasons at a school that had only won a total of 9 games in the five seasons prior to his hiring. However, his 9-year overall record was just 41-65 and his teams were 31-33 in the Sun Belt. UL-L tied for the Sun Belt title in 2005, but never played in a bowl game. Bustle's best teams posted a 6-5 mark in 2005 and 6-6 records in '06, '08 and '09.

On December 7, Indiana introduced Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson as its new head football coach after agreeing to a 7-year deal worth $1.2 million per year. Wilson spent 9 years in Norman under Bob Stoops, coaching three of the most productive offenses in college football history in 2003, 2007 and 2008. The 2008 offense set NCAA records by scoring 60 or more points in five straight games and 716 for the season. Wilson won the Frank Broyles Award that season as the nation's top assistant coach.

Indiana's Bill Lynch was relieved of his duties on November 28, the day after coaching the Hoosiers in a 34-31 overtime upset of state rival Purdue. Lynch replaced Terry Hoeppner who died of complications from a brain tumor in the summer of 2007 and led the team to a 7-6 season that included an Insight Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, the team's first postseason appearance since 1993. That success, however, was never replicated as Indiana went 5-7 this year after campaigns of 4-8 in 2009 and 3-9 in 2008, leaving Lynch with a record of 19-30 overall. His teams were just 6-26 in Big Ten games and produced just 1 conference victory in each of the last three years.

Colorado named former tight end Jon Embree as its new head coach on December 6. Embree played football for the Buffaloes in the mid-80's and later was a member of then-head coach Gary Barnett's staff from 2001-2002. The school also announced that another former member of Barnett's staff, Eric Bieniemy, would return to the staff and serve as offensive coordinator. Embree and Bieniemy were both coaching in the NFL - Embree as tight ends coach of the Washington Redskins and Bieniemy as the assistant head coach and running backs coach with the Minnesota Vikings. Bieniemy is Colorado's all-time leading rusher.

Dan Hawkins was relieved of his duties as Colorado's head coach on November 9 with the Buffaloes in the midst of a 5-game losing streak. Long-time assistant Brian Cabral took over as interim coach and immediately won his first two games before finishing with a loss to Nebraska. Hawkins was 19-39 overall in just over 4-1/2 seasons at Colorado after going 53-10 in five seasons at Boise State. Hawkins' final game may long be remembered around Boulder as Colorado blew a 45-17 lead in the 4th quarter and lost 52-45 at Kansas State.

The coaching carousel first took off on October 17 with Minnesota's Tim Brewster onboard as the first passenger. Brewster had signed a contract extension in January, but was dumped after a 1-6 start to the 2010 campaign. Co-offensive coordinator Jeff Horton was immediately named "Interim Head Coach" and the Gophers won 2 of their last 5 games with back-to-back season-ending upsets of Illinois and Iowa to finish the year 3-9 overall and 2-6 in the Big Ten. Overall, Brewster coached a total of 45 games with the Gophers and compiled a 15-30 (.333) record. His teams were a lowly 6-21 (.222) in Big Ten games. Brewster guided the Gophers to a pair of Insight Bowl appearances with his best season coming in 2008 when he coached Minnesota to a 7-6 record.

Arkansas State promoted from within when it named offensive coordinator Hugh Freeze as the head coach on December 2. In just one season with the school, the Red Wolves' offense improved from 95th nationally to 43rd. As a high school coach in Memphis, Freeze coached Michael Oher whose story was told in the award-winning feature film, "The Blind Side".

Steve Roberts resigned as head coach at Arkansas State on November 29 after compiling a 9-year record of 45-63 overall and 33-31 in the Sun Belt. The Red Wolves were co-champions of the conference in 2005 when they represented the Sun Belt in the New Orleans Bowl where they lost 31-19 to Southern Miss. Arkansas State never posted better than a 6-6 regular season record under Roberts.

Also on November 29, Florida assistant Dan McCarney agreed to terms with North Texas. It will be McCarney's first head coaching job since 2006 when he resigned 2 games shy of completing his 12th season at Iowa State. McCarney's 56-85 record includes 5 bowl appearances from 2000-2005, the first of which ended a 22-year bowl-less streak. His 56 wins are the most of any coach in Iowa State football history.

North Texas fired Todd Dodge on October 20 and replaced him on an interim basis with offensive coordinator Mike Canales. Dodge was 6-37 in his 3+ years at the helm. The Mean Green was 1-6 under Dodge in 2009, and 2-3 under Canales. North Texas won or shared 4 straight Sun Belt titles from 2001-2004 but is just 10-49 since then with a trio of 2-win seasons, a single 3-win campaign and one season with just 1 victory.


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