The college football coaching carousel keeps actively spinning early, as Virginia Tech parted ways with Justin Fuente, Washington fired Jimmy Lake in his second season, Butch Davis will not return to FIU, UMass fired head coach Walt Bell after a loss to Rhode Island in his third season and Akron fired head coach Tom Arth amid his third season, too.
Those moves come after Gary Patterson stepped down at TCU, Texas Tech fired Matt Wells, Nick Rolovich was fired by Washington State for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine, LSU and Ed Orgeron announced they will part ways at the end of the 2021 season, Georgia Southern fired coach Chad Lunsford, USC parted ways with head coach Clay Helton and Randy Edsall stepped down at UConn.
Keep track of all of the latest FBS coaching moves here, from head coach firings and hires to assistants on the move to stories and scoops from The Athletic’s team of college football reporters. Bookmark this tracker to stay up to date with all the latest news on the college football coaching carousel. Contact Chris Vannini with tips at [email protected] or via Twitter direct message @ChrisVannini. Sources remain confidential.
Head coaching changes
Jim Mora (former UCLA HC)
Clay Helton (former USC HC)
Joey McGuire (Baylor AHC)
Nov. 16: Fuente out at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech: Virginia Tech parted ways with head coach Justin Fuente on Tuesday, ending his tenure with the Hokies after six seasons. Co-defensive line coach J.C. Price will work as interim coach for the rest of the season. The Hokies went 43-31 in Fuente’s time in Blacksburg and are 5-5 this season.
Nov. 15: Davis won’t return at FIU
Miami: Miami parted ways with athletic director Blake James. Deputy athletic director Jenn Strawley will serve as Miami’s interim AD during the search period.
FIU: Head coach Butch Davis will not return next season, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Chris Vannini. Davis is 24-30 at the school, including 1-14 over the past two years. He went 23-16 from 2017-19, reaching three bowl games, including a nine-win season in 2018. Davis first told The Action Network about the news. His contract expires on Dec. 15.
Nov. 14: Lake out at Washington
Illinois: Defensive coordinator Ryan Walters has received an extension through 2024 that will pay him $1.3 million next year, with $100,000 annual raises. His buyout if he leaves for a non-head-coaching job is $750,000, or $1 million if it’s in the Big Ten, according to Illini Guys.
Washington: Washington fired coach Jimmy Lake following a one-game suspension for an altercation with a player during UW’s Nov. 6 loss to Oregon. Lake was terminated without cause, meaning UW will owe his full buyout of $9.9 million — paid in monthly installments through January 2025, when his contract expires — minus any new compensation he earns during that time. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory, who served as interim coach during the 35-30 loss to Arizona State, will remain in that role through the end of the season.
Nov. 13: McGuire makes hire from Baylor
Texas Tech: Baylor assistant athletic director for scouting James Blanchard has joined the Texas Tech staff as director of player personnel under Joey McGuire.
Nov. 12: Kent State DC out
Washington: The Athletic’s Christian Caple breaks down the financial cost of keeping or firing head coach Jimmy Lake.
Texas Tech: Who could Joey McGuire add to his Texas Tech staff? The Athletic’s Sam Khan takes a look at some options.
Kent State: Defensive coordinator Tom Kaufman has been dismissed, people with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic’s Chris Vannini. Cornerbacks coach CJ Cox is expected to take over as interim coordinator.
Nov. 11: UConn hiring Mora
UConn: Former UCLA head coach Jim Mora has been named head coach at UConn. Mora went 46-30 at UCLA from 2012-17. Mora will join the staff now as an assistant coach and take over as head coach on Nov. 28. Interim head coach Lou Spanos previously served as Mora’s defensive coordinator at UCLA. Mora’s contract is a five-year deal worth $1.5 million in the first season.
Nov. 10: FIU AD steps down
FIU: Athletic director Pete Garcia has stepped down after 15 years in the role. Senior associate AD Heath Glick will serve as interim AD.
Nov. 9: Hammock gets extension
Northern Illinois: Head coach Thomas Hammock has received an extension through 2026. Hammock is 11-16 in three seasons, but 6-3 overall and 4-1 in MAC play this year.
Nov. 8: Frost returning; Texas Tech hires McGuire
Nebraska: Athletic director Trev Alberts says Scott Frost’s restructured contract will drop his salary from $5 million to $4 million, and the buyout if he’s fired next year drops from $15 million to $7.5 million.
Nebraska: Offensive coordinator Matt Lubick, offensive line coach Greg Austin, running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco have been fired.
Nebraska: Head coach Scott Frost will return in 2022 and has agreed to a restructured contract. In a statement, athletic director Trev Alberts said. “Scott has laid out a clear plan and vision for the future of Nebraska football. … We all recognize our record has not been what anyone wants it to be. I have been clear that I have been looking for incremental progress, and I have seen that in several key areas this season.” Frost is 15-27 at Nebraska. The Huskers are 1-6 in Big Ten play this year but have outscored their conference opponents 190-176, losing five games by one possession. His buyout would have totaled $20 million.
Washington: Head coach Jimmy Lake has been suspended without pay for this week’s game against Arizona State after striking a UW player in the helmet during last week’s Oregon game.
Texas Tech: Texas Tech has named Baylor associate head coach/outside linebackers coach Joey McGuire its new head coach. McGuire was in his fifth season at Baylor and was previously a Texas high school coach, winning three state championships. McGuire will join Texas Tech immediately and take over after the season. Sonny Cumbie remains the interim head coach.
Florida: Linebackers coach Christian Robinson will take over defensive play calling, analyst Paul Pasqualoni will move to an on-field role, and graduate assistant Michael Sollenne will coach the offensive line.
Nov. 7: Bell out at UMass
Oregon State: Defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar has been dismissed. Tibesar had been on staff since 2018. Oregon State lost 37-34 to Colorado on Saturday. Linebackers coach Trent Bray will take over the job, and analyst Kendrick Van Ackeren will take over linebackers
Florida: Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham and offensive line coach John Hevesy have been dismissed, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. Florida is 4-5 this year after a 40-17 loss to South Carolina.
Washington: Offensive coordinator John Donovan has been fired. Donovan spent two seasons on staff. Wide receivers coach Junior Adams will take over play calling, and analyst Payton McCollum has been promoted to quarterbacks coach.
Texas Tech: USC offensive coordinator Graham Harrell will interview for the Texas Tech head coaching job, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. Harrell is a former Texas Tech quarterback from 2004-08.
UMass: Head coach Walt Bell has been fired. Bell was 2-23 in three seasons and lost to Rhode Island on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Tommy Restivo has also been fired, and offensive line coach Alex Miller will serve as interim head coach.
Jacksonville State: Head coach John Grass has stepped down. Grass went 71-26 in seven seasons. He won six of the past seven OVC titles, but the Gamecocks are 4-5 this year. JSU will move up to the FBS and Conference USA in 2023.
Nov. 6: Grinch interviews at Texas Tech
Texas Tech: Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch interviewed Friday for the open Texas Tech head coaching position, The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported on Fox.
Nov. 5: SMU offers Dykes new deal
SMU: SMU has offered Sonny Dykes a long-term extension that would almost double his salary, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in the Group of 5, along with a larger assistant salary pool and further commitments to a football operations building, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Chris Vannini. The sides have been in discussions for a while. Dykes is expected to be a top candidate for the TCU job. 247Sports first reported the details.
Nov. 4: Arth out at Akron
Texas Tech: Oklahoma defensive coordinator Alex Grinch and Baylor associate head coach Joey McGuire will interview for the Texas Tech head coaching job, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
Akron: Head coach Tom Arth has been dismissed. Arth was 3-24 in three seasons, including 2-7 this year. Inside linebackers/associate head coach Oscar Rodriguez Jr. is expected to be named interim head coach.
Nov. 3: Fleck signs extension
Minnesota: Head coach P.J. Fleck has signed a seven-year extension through 2028. Fleck is 32-21 with the Gophers since 2017.
Nov. 2: Georgia Southern hires Helton
Georgia Southern: Former USC coach Clay Helton has been hired as head coach at Georgia Southern. Helton was fired by USC in September after going 46-24 with the Trojans. Before deciding on Helton, Georgia Southern approached former Eagles and Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson about returning to Statesboro but Johnson declined, a source told The Athletic’s Jeff Schultz. Helton’s deal at Georgia Southern will be five years at an average of $800,000 per year, a source tells The Athletic’s Chris Vannini.
Oct. 31: Patterson steps down
TCU: TCU and coach Gary Patterson have parted ways immediately. Jerry Kill will serve as interim coach. Patterson, in his 21st season with the Horned Frogs, was the second-longest tenured head coach in the FBS. The 61-year-old was 181-79 at TCU and 3-5 in 2021. The Horned Frogs have lost three consecutive games by double digits, including a 31-12 loss to Kansas State on Saturday.
UTSA: Head coach Jeff Traylor has agreed to a contract extension. Traylor’s contract runs through 2031 and will pay him an average annual salary of $2.8 million. Total contract value over the life of the deal is $28 million. Traylor’s original contract had a base salary of $830,000. UTSA announced it will also increase the assistant coach and support staff salary pool. Traylor has a substantial buyout if he leaves early in the contract. If he departs in the first year of the contract extension, he owes UTSA $7.5 million. The total goes down to $7 million in Year 2, $6 million in Year 3, $5 million in Year 4 and $4 million in Year 5.
Oct. 25: Matt Wells out at Texas Tech
Texas Tech: Head coach Matt Wells has been fired, people with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic’s Chris Vannini and Max Olson. Wells was 13-17 in two-plus seasons and 5-3 this year after losing a two-score lead against Kansas State last Saturday. Offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie is expected to take over. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram first reported the news.
Colorado: Quality control/defensive blitz & offensive front specialist William Vlachos is expected to take over as O-line coach for the Buffaloes, sources tell The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. Vlachos, a former all-SEC lineman at Alabama, replaces Mitch Rodrigue who was let go Sunday.
Washington State: Edge coach A.J. Cooper is now the full-time defensive line coach, offensive analyst Dan Ferrigno has become a full-time offensive assistant, and defensive analyst Jordan Malone has moved to full-time cornerbacks coach. This fills the final openings following the dismissal of Nick Rolovich and four assistants.
Oct. 24: Colorado OL coach out
Colorado: Offensive line coach Mitch Rodrigue has been dismissed, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Chris Vannini. Colorado is 2-5 this year after Saturday’s loss to Cal. Altitude Sports first reported the news.
Oct. 22: Gundy receives extension
Oklahoma State: Head coach Mike Gundy’s contract has returned to a perpetual five-year deal, the school announced. The deal was reduced by a year last year following backlash to a photo of Gundy wearing an OAN shirt. He currently makes $4.2 million (down from $5.2 million last year), but financial terms for the new contract have not been announced.
Oct. 21: Wazzu adds assistants
Georgia: Assistant Scott Cochran has returned to work in an off-field role after stepping away in August due to personal reasons. Will Muschamp will remain in an on-field role.
Washington State: Former Hawaii and SMU QB coach Dan Morrison and former SMU and Hawaii OL coach Dennis McKnight are expected to join the Washington State staff, a person with knowledge of the situation tells The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. The Cougars are down five full-time coaches.
Oct. 18: Rolovich done at Washington State
Washington State: Head coach Nick Rolovich has been fired for cause for not receiving a COVID-19 vaccination. Along with Rolovich, co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Craig Stutzmann, offensive line coach Mark Weber, defensive tackles coach Ricky Logo and cornerbacks coach John Richardson were dismissed for not getting the vaccine. Defensive coordinator Jake Dickert will serve as interim coach. Read Chris Vannini’s job profile and Bruce Feldman’s candidates to watch.
Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher says he plans to stay at Texas A&M. Here’s more from Sam Khan Jr. on the latest with Fisher and the LSU opening.
LSU: Ed Orgeron will be paid a buyout of $16.949 million through Dec. 2025. That includes $5.68 million this coming December. Who is next at LSU? Here is Chris Vannini’s job profile and Bruce Feldman’s candidates to watch.
Oct. 17: Orgeron out after 2021 season
LSU: Ed Orgeron will not return to LSU as head coach after the 2021 season. LSU will pay Orgeron his entire buyout, which is around $17 million, to pursue a new coach. He’s 49-17 at LSU and won the national championship in 2019, and he will finish out the 2021 season as head coach.
Oct. 3: Missouri fires D-line coach
Missouri: Defensive line coach Jethro Franklin has been fired, and analyst Al Davis will fill the role. The Tigers have allowed 103 points to Boston College and Tennessee over the past two weeks.
Sept. 26: Lunsford out at Georgia Southern
Georgia Southern: Head coach Chad Lunsford is out after a 1-3 start to the season, the school announced. Lunsford has a 28-21 record since taking over midway through the 2017 season. Cornerbacks coach Kevin Whitley has been named interim head coach.
Auburn: Wide receivers coach Cornelius Williams has been dismissed, according to On3 and multiple reports. Williams was in his first year on Brian Harsin’s staff, coming from Troy. Analyst Eric Kiesau is expected to be promoted to the role.
Sept. 17: Ousted former OC rejoins Kentucky staff as special assistant
Kentucky: Eddie Gran has returned to Kentucky as special assistant to the head coach. Gran had been fired by the Wildcats after last season, as he served as assistant head coach of offense, offensive coordinator and running backs coach from 2016-20.
Sept. 15: USC elevates analyst to linebackers coach
USC: Defensive quality control analyst Michael Hutchings was elevated to linebackers coach, the school announced. Hutchings was a grad assistant with the Trojans in 2018 and 2019 after playing linebacker for the program from 2013-16.
UConn: Former Arizona and Texas A&M offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone has joined the UConn staff as an analyst.
Sept. 13: USC fires Helton
USC: USC fired head coach Clay Helton two games into his seventh season. The Trojans won their opener against San Jose State but lost to unranked Stanford in Week 2. Helton finishes his tenure with a record of 46-24. Associate head coach and cornerbacks coach Donte Williams has been named interim head coach. “As I committed to upon my arrival at USC, during the past two offseasons we provided every resource necessary for our football program to compete for championships,” athletic director Mike Bohn said in a statement. “The added resources carried significantly increased expectations for our team’s performance, and it is is already evident that, despite the enhancements, those expectations would not be met without a change in leadership.”
Navy: Offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper has returned to the staff as quarterbacks coach after he was fired by athletic director Chet Gladchuk following Saturday’s loss to Air Force. Head coach Ken Niumatalolo asked Gladchuk to let Jasper return, and Niumatalolo will run the offense moving forward. In addition, offensive assistant Billy Ray Stutzmann has been relieved of his duties following his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read more here.
Sept. 7: UConn promotes assistant to DC
UConn: Star/nickel/dime coach Jarren Horton has been promoted to defensive coordinator, and quality control assistant Jake Bahr has been promoted to linebackers coach.
Sept. 6: Edsall steps down
UConn: Head coach Randy Edsall stepped down as head coach, effective immediately, one day after announcing he would retire at the end of the season. “Upon further reflection by both Randy and I, and after having the opportunity to visit with Randy today, we are both in agreement that it is in the best interest of our student-athletes to have a new voice leading UConn football,” athletic director David Benedict said. Defensive coordinator Lou Spanos will act as interim coach.
Sept. 5: Edsall to retire
UConn: Head coach Randy Edsall announced he will retire at the end of the 2021 season. The Huskies started the season 0-2, including a loss to Holy Cross. Edsall is 6-32 in his fourth season since returning to UConn after previously going 74-70 in his first stint from 1999-2010.
Sept. 2: Creighton gets extension
Eastern Michigan: Head coach Chris Creighton has received an extension through the 2025 season.
Kent State: Florida State recruiting assistant Ephi Levy has joined Kent State as director of player personnel.
Sept. 1: Fisher’s new deal
Weber State: Former Utah State head coach Gary Andersen has joined the Weber State staff as a volunteer defensive assistant.
Texas A&M: Jimbo Fisher has agreed to a four-year extension that will see his annual salary raise from $7.5 million to $9 million, the school announced. The terms of the new contract include an annual salary of $9 million starting on Jan. 1, 2022, and will increase to $9,150,000 on Jan. 1, 2023. In each of the following years, the base salary increases by $100,000 on Jan. 1.
(Photo: Ryan Hunt / USA Today)
https://theathletic.com/2201022/2021/11/16/college-football-coaching-changes/?source=rss | Justin Fuente out at Virginia Tech; Butch Davis won’t return at FIU – The Athletic