The college football coaches’ silly season is in full throttle now, which has become increasingly apparent by the headlines of the last forty-eight hours. In that time, four FBS schools have had their head coaches bolt for other positions: Arkansas State, Kent State, Temple, and Wisconsin.
The Arkansas State job opened up on Monday when Red Wolves head coach Gus Malzahn left for the head coaching job at Auburn. Malzahn, who spent three seasons as Tigers offensive coordinator before taking the Arkansas State job after the 2011 season, led the Red Wolves to a 9-3 regular season record and a Sun Belt conference championship.
Kent State is in search of a new coach thanks to Purdue, who officially hired Golden Flashes head coach Darrell Hazell. Hazell, who spent seven years at Ohio State as an assistant under Jim Tressel, posted a 16-9 record at Kent State, including an 11-2 mark this year. It is unclear whether or not Hazell will coach the Golden Flashes in the GoDaddy.com Bowl against the aforementioned Arkansas State.
The Temple Owls’ football program lost its head coach on Monday with the announcement that Steve Addazio had left for the Boston College head coaching job. Addazio posted a 13-11 record as Owls head coach, including a 4-7 mark in Temple’s first season in the Big East since 2004.
Perhaps the most surprising vacancy so far this season is in Madison, where Bret Bielema resigned to take over as the Arkansas Razorbacks head coach. Bielema’s run with the Badgers made him one of the most successful head coaches in Wisconsin history, as he posted a 68-24 record in seven seasons with four seasons of ten wins or more and three straight Rose Bowl appearances.
Who will these respected schools turn to as their next head coaches? Here are candidates that I think should definitely be considered for these particular openings:
Arkansas State: Manny Diaz, Texas DC; Todd Grantham, Georgia DC; Bobby Petrino, former Arkansas HC; Houston Nutt, former Ole Miss HC
Kent State: Skip Holtz, former South Florida HC; Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State DC; Tom Hermann, Ohio State co-OC; Chuck Martin, Notre Dame OC
Temple: Bob Diaco, Notre Dame DC; Chuck Martin, Notre Dame OC; Mario Cristobal, former Florida International HC; Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State HC; Tom Bradley, former Penn State DC
Wisconsin: Paul Chryst, Pitt HC; Butch Jones, Cincinnati HC; Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern HC; Pat Narduzzi, Michigan State DC; Greg Mattinson, Michigan DC