University of Texas' Head Coach search

Discussion in 'College Football & the NFL Draft' started by Playoffs, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    Mac Brown has resigned. There's a lot of talk that Texas will not be able to get the "big name" they hope will make a "big splash" in hiring and recruiting. Here's a list cobbled together from a few articles linked below:
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    Gus Malzahn, Auburn

    Malzahn was born in Texas. He spent much of his early career in nearby Arkansas. He's winning national coach of the year awards. In an era of offense-first football, Malzahn is perhaps the best offensive mind around.

    During its year between his stints at Auburn, the Tigers averaged 18.7 points and 305.0 yards per game on its way to a 3-9 record. This season, the Tigers are 12-1, SEC champions and set to play Florida State in the BCS Championship Game. The offense has exploded for 40.2 points and 505.3 yards per contest, and Auburn's 335.7 rushing yards per game leads the nation.

    Malzahn might be the hottest head coach in America right now, and Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel recently reported that Texas is his "dream job." However, Malzahn and Auburn agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension this month, a deal that has built in raises and will pay $5.1 million in base salary during its final year. Even notorious nomads Bobby Petrino and Todd Graham would raise their eyebrows if he decided to leave right after signing a new deal.

    James Franklin, Vanderbilt

    If Malzahn isn't the hottest coach in the country, then it would be Franklin. Franklin took over at Vanderbilt in 2011 and has led the Commodores to three consecutive bowl appearances and has a chance at back-to-back nine-win campaigns. Yes, Franklin has done that at Vanderbilt, a school that had been to one bowl game in the previous 36 seasons. From 1975 through 2010 the 'Dores had a winning percentage of .290. Under Franklin, that number is .605.

    Franklin recruits well, has the on-field credentials, and is a high-energy guy. His seemingly tireless promotion of the program at Vanderbilt shows a personal quality that would be valuable at Texas. He's a coach who'd look forward to selling his team on the Longhorn Network. Whoever gets the Longhorns gig will be in the spotlight and likely needs an outgoing attitude to thrive.

    Charlie Strong, Louisville

    For years, Strong toiled as a SEC defensive coordinator longing to take over a program. Louisville finally gave him the opportunity prior to the 2010 season. After 7-6 seasons in 2010 and '11, Strong has led his team to a 22-3 record over the last two years, including a Sugar Bowl win over Florida. He has a great background as a defensive coach, and Louisville has been among the top 25 nationally in scoring defense in three of his four years, including a No. 3 ranking this season.

    Perhaps the biggest question mark for Strong is whether he would actually leave Louisville. The coach has been mentioned as a possible candidate for previous openings, but he's indicated a strong sense of loyalty toward his school, once spurning Tennessee to stick with the Cards. Would the allure of Texas trump that loyalty?

    David Shaw, Stanford

    Shaw hasn't been a head coach long, but he's already had significant success. Taking over for Jim Harbaugh in 2011, he's taken Stanford to three consecutive 11-win seasons and BCS bowl berths. Most thought the Cardinal would take a step down when Harbaugh left for the NFL, but Shaw has proven that he too can run an elite program. USC reportedly had some interest in Shaw before hiring Steve Sarkisian, but he said the feeling wasn't mutual.

    As with Strong, the biggest question regarding Shaw's possible candidacy at Texas is loyalty, and it's an even bigger question here. He's a Stanford alum and the son of a Stanford coach, and even if the Longhorns offer a big pay day, it likely will not be enough to pluck him from Palo Alto.

    He has eight years of experience as an NFL assistant, and some think if he ever leaves Stanford, it would be for the professional ranks like his predecessor. The Houston Texans are already rumored to be suitors.

    Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

    If Texas can't get Nick Saban, why not a Saban disciple? After Florida State struggled in the twilight of Bobby Bowden's career, Fisher has returned the Seminoles to prominence. Could he replace another fading legend?

    After 10-4 and 9-4 seasons in in 2010 and '11, the Seminoles won the ACC title and defeated Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl last year. Now, FSU is 13-0 and playing Auburn for its first national championship since 1999. Fisher has been an outstanding recruiter for the 'Noles, hauling in four straight top-10 classes, according to 247 Sports.

    But Fisher might not be the guy, for the same reasons Malzahn is unlikely to be the guy. He's tied up for a month to prepare for the title game, and he just agreed to a contract extension, coming to terms for $4.1 million for at least the next five years. It's hard to see him leaving a brand-new deal and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

    Art Briles, Baylor

    Briles, who also has a new deal, could be the front-runner. He's from Texas and was a championship high school coach in the state. He knows local recruiting. He's turned Baylor from a doormat into a contender. He coached Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III in 2011.

    This year, employing his explosive offensive attack, the Bears have had the best offense in America, averaging 53.3 points and 623.8 yards per game. Baylor defeated Texas, 30-10, in the regular-season finale to clinch its first conference title since 1994 and will play in its first BCS game in January.

    Briles appears to be the perfect fit, and Texas could likely out-bid Baylor, but would he leave Waco for Austin? If he continues his current level of success with the Bears, he'll be the most-beloved coach in school history. Baylor will open a new stadium next fall, he just signed an extension, and at 58 years old, he might not want to start over at a new destination, especially one that would be so firmly in the limelight.

    But if the question is about which coach would be most likely to find immediate success at Texas, the answer is likely Briles.

    - FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 15, 2013

    Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

    He hasn't been a college coach in 15 years, and he was only a position coach at small schools even then. And when he was connected to USC rumors, he shot those down.

    But if CBS Sports' Bruce Feldman says Tomlin is a name to keep in mind, then Tomlin's a name to keep in mind.

    Jim Mora, UCLA

    Mora has done a fine job at UCLA, turning the Bruins into the best program in Los Angeles. Yes, some of that is because of Lane Kiffin's downfall at USC, but Mora deserves plenty of credit. The Bruins have nine wins this year for the second season in a row, and they can reach 10 with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl. His recruiting has been among the best in the Pac-12, and since he's already in L.A., he knows how to deal with the kind of media scrutiny that would come with the Texas job.

    Mora is a Washington alum and once spent a year as an assistant on the Huskies staff, but when that head coaching job opened up a few weeks ago, he didn't have any interest in returning to his alma mater. Texas is a much bigger job than Washington -- and it's bigger than UCLA, too -- but Mora recently signed a six-year extension with the Bruins and seems to be happy in Southern California.

    Jim Harbaugh, San Francisco 49ers

    This might be the best name on the list, even better than Saban. Harbaugh is the one who turned Stanford into a Pac-12 power, and since taking over the 49ers, he's returned San Francisco to the NFL's top tier. The Niners were 6-10 in 2010, but Harbaugh immediately turned them around to 13-3, reaching the second round of the playoffs and winning Coach of the Year honors in the process. It was San Fran's first postseason appearance since 2002. Last year, Harbaugh's team advanced to the Super Bowl, and it's primed for another playoff run this season.

    And this was all after taking Stanford from a seven-year bowl drought to a BCS bowl win.

    ESPN's Colin Cowherd said Harbaugh would have taken the USC job if offered (and while Cowherd isn't known for breaking news, he's very connected to USC), and if that's really the case, it's not a stretch to think the head coach would consider moving to Austin. But with success building Stanford and in the NFL, would taking over at Texas be a step down? Harbaugh would likely have to have a significant preference for the college game in order to leave the 49ers for the Longhorns.

    Barking Carnival wrote this before Saban re-upped with Alabama:
    If it sounds insane for a highly respected NFL coach with an elite young team to even consider moving because he's unhappy with his surroundings, then you don't know Jim Harbaugh very well. There's walking to the beat of your own drummer and then there's pushing the drummer down, smashing his drums, and walking off of the road.

    Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State

    Gundy's overall record at Oklahoma State is outstanding. 77-36 over nine years (OSU started 12-15 under Gundy), but 41-9 over his last four years (including two Big 12 titles -- you know, the same number as the guy who has coached SIXTEEN YEARS at TEXAS). Though Oklahoma State has some financial and facility resources courtesy of T. Boone Pickens, they're still the No. 2 school in a state with a paucity of FBS recruits and a clear step below neighboring OU, Texas, A&M, and LSU in the program potential power rankings. And the recruiting rankings bear that out. This is a program clearly overachieving.

    Gundy nearly left Oklahoma State for Tennessee last year, so pulling him away from his alma mater isn't out of the question, especially since his staff sees Texas' advantages up close on the recruiting trail every day. Whether he'd choose to leave at this point is another question.

    Nick Saban, Alabama

    Yep, the guy who signed a new deal just two days ago will remain part of the conversation until Texas' next coach is giving his introductory presser.
    ...

    Mark Dantonio, Michigan State. This is a dark horse to consider. (And only in this search would Dantonio be considered a dark horse.) Dantonio has led Michigan State to 11 wins in three of the past four years – and to the Big Ten title in 2013 – with a never-fail, old-as-football-itself system: run the football, protect the football, makes plays downfield, hit the quarterback, jam up receivers, tackle, convert on special teams. If not as big-time as Saban, not as trendy as Fisher, not as local as Gundy or as explosive as Malzahn, Dantonio would put the bread and butter back in Texas football.

    Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora)
    Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M

    Yes, Sumlin has a $5 million buyout and makes $5 million a year. But that's pocket change for Texas. So can you imagine the joy that Longhorn fans would feel in stealing away the state's hottest coaching star? Especially since that Aggie little brother has surpassed Texas as the preeminent program in the Lone Star state, what better way to strike at the heart of a rival?

    Major Applewhite, Texas (OC)

    Todd Graham, ASU. Do you even have to ask? Just because of his connection to AD Steve Patterson.

    Will Muschamp, Florida

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...oach-opening-mike-gundy-jimbo-fisher/4012495/
    http://msn.foxsports.com/college-fo...didates-to-replace-mack-brown-at-texas-121413
    http://www.sbnation.com/college-foo...508/texas-football-coaching-search-candidates
     
  2. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    Gundy, Shaw, O'Brian, and Tomlin would all be great choices. Look forward to seeing who they get.
     
  3. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    I really think most Texas fans are going to end up disappointed when the new coach is named. 10 of those 16 names we have zero shot at. I have no problem with us gauging interest but let's not get our hopes up.

    I really don't care how big the name is. I would just like a coach who has more to offer in game and doesn't have to lean on his assistants so much.
     
  4. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    O'Brien is probably my top choice.
     
  5. htownfan32

    htownfan32 Hall of Fame

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    O'Brien is eyeing the NFL. I think he might end up here or in Minnesota.
     
  6. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    YOu might be correct Bah. I will be happy just to see a new regime. And if this new regime doesn't get going after about 4 or 5 years, then they should find another hot name. I don't think it's healthy for a team to keep a HC way to long if they aren't keeping their team amongst the top contending Universities every year. Sure, teams can have down years here and there or even two or so, but the great coaches always bounce back and re-load with great talent and get their teams clicking. Bob Stoops has always done that at Oklahoma which has been a pretty irritating thing to watch for me as a Texas fan. Guys like Saban and Meyer seem to be able to keep their teams at a very high level as well.

    I just hope they don't give the next guy a ridiculously long leash. He should get a fair one on par with what most big time Universities give to other guys when they go to a new job.
     
  7. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    He is mine for both the Texans and the Horns. It would be nice to just clone him and use him for both. :clap:

    Very well put.
     
  8. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    Would be nice for both organizations to have a HC that recognizes and develops QB talent.
     


  9. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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  10. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    I posted this in the Mack Brown thread but I'll post it here too.

    Realistic options among current FBS Head Coaches:

    Art Briles - Baylor
    Todd Graham - Arizona St
    Charlie Strong - Louisville
    Bill O'Brien - Penn St
    James Franklin - Vanerbilt
    Bobby Petrino - Western Kentucky
    Bronco Mendenhall - BYU

    You also have a whole slew of top NFL and FBS coordinators who could be potential candidates but I figure a school like Texas would want to go after a top head coach.
     
  11. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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  12. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    Agree. Waco's gotta be pretty cozy for him right now.
     
  13. Stemp

    Stemp Brew Master

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    No go on Malzahn and Fischer as they are getting ready to play in the MNC game and won't be able to interview before. Texas can't afford to wait that long.
    Shaw is also likely No because he has WAY to many ties to Stanford.
    Franklin is hot, but I don't think he'll be targeted because they've said they want someone who has won a MNC or Super Bowl.

    Actually, I've heard the top target right now is actually Les Miles.That would be a big get for them.
     
  14. Texecutioner

    Texecutioner Hall of Fame

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    What about Sumlin?? :shades:


    I would hate to get Les Miles.
     
  15. bah007

    bah007 Hall of Fame

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    If I'm Miles, leaving LSU for Texas seems like a sideways move.
     
  16. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    More candidates to Replace Mack Brown at Texas
    http://athlonsports.com/college-football/10-candidates-replace-mack-brown-texas#sthash.ggxDuGq3.dpuf
     
  17. Dutchrudder

    Dutchrudder King of the Potato People

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    You guys just need a football coach and talent developer, something you haven't had in many years. The recruiting will take care of itself, especially if the new coach is willing to entertain taking more than one QB each year.
     
  18. WolverineFan

    WolverineFan Hall of Fame

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    This. Texas recruits itself. Find a guy who can develop and utilize talent.
     
  19. ArlingtonTexan

    ArlingtonTexan Moderator Staff Member

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    This sort arrogance is what keeps Texas from walking with the true big boys of college football. The big timers don't take their spit for granted and recruit hard like they are TCU or Baylor.

    Two of the last three Heisman trophy winners played football less two hours from Mack Brown's office and third (rumored) wanted to talk to Texas but could not get the Longhorns to respond.
     
  20. Playoffs

    Playoffs Subscribed Contributor

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    Signed, Andrew Luck, RG3, Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston, et cetera.
     

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