|Baylor||I Jim Grobe (7-6)||Matt Rhule|
|California||Sonny Dykes (5-7)||Justin Wilcox|
|Cincinnati||Tommy Tuberville (4-8)||Luke Fickell|
|Connecticut||Bob Diaco (3-9)||Randy Edsall|
|FAU||Charlie Partridge (3-9)||Lane Kiffin|
|FIU||Ron Turner (0-4), I Ron Cooper (4-4)||Butch Davis|
|Fresno State||Tim DeRuyter (1-7), I Eric Kiesau (0-4)||Jeff Tedford|
|Georgia State||Trent Miles (2-8), I Tim Lappano (1-1),||Shawn Elliott|
|Houston||Tom Herman (9-3), I Todd Orlando (0-0)||Major Applewhite (0-1, 2016)|
|Indiana||Kevin Wilson (6-7)||Tom Allen|
|LSU||Les Miles (2-2), I Ed Orgeron (5-2)||Ed Orgeron (1-0, 2016)|
|Minnesota||Tracy Claeys (9-4)||P.J. Fleck|
|Mississippi||Hugh Freeze (5-7)||I Matt Luke|
|Nevada||Bill Polian (5-7)||Jay Norvell|
|Oregon||Mark Helfrich (4-8)||Willie Taggart|
|Purdue||Darrell Hazell (3-3), I Gerad Parker (0-6)||Jeff Brohm|
|San Jose State||Ron Caragher (4-8)||Brent Brennan|
|Temple||Matt Rhule (10-3), B Ed Foley (0-1)||Geoff Collins|
|Texas||Charlie Strong (5-7)||Tom Herman|
|USF||Willie Taggart (10-2), B T.J. Weist (0-1)||Charlie sup|
|Western Kentucky||Jeff Brohm (10-3), B Nick Holt (1-0)||Mike Sanford, Jr.|
|Western Michigan||P.J. Fleck (13-1)||Tim Lester|
Hugh Freeze resigned July 20, just 44 days before Ole Miss opens at home versus South Alabama. The resignation continues a messy trail of public relations issues and NCAA violations dating back to the Houston Nutt era. The final straw may have been a call to an escort service found on Freeze's school-issued phone after Nutt filed suit against Freeze and Ole Miss in federal court a week earlier for allegedly orchestrating a smear campaign against him. Nutt lost his job after the 2011 season due to a handful of NCAA violations and a woeful final two seasons. The NCAA has cited numerous violations by Freeze and his staff from October 2012 to January 2016 and leveled the most serious charge of lack of institutional control. In response, Ole Miss self-imposed a 2017 bowl ban and other restrictions. Freeze was 39-25 in five seasons, but 5-7 in 2016. His teams were 19-21 in the SEC and finished 5th or worse in the SEC western division in 3 of his 5 seasons. Matt Luke was tagged as the interim head coach. Luke has served alongside Freeze as co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
The college football world was shocked June 7 by the announcement that 56-year-old Bob Stoops is retiring as head coach at Oklahoma, effective immediately. The reins will be handed over to 33-year-old offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley. In 18 seasons in Norman, Stoops compiled an overall record of 190-48, including a 121-29 mark in conference play. Under the direction of Stoops, the Sooners took 9 outright conference titles and 1 co-title. From 2000-2008, Stoops guided the storied program to 4 BCS Championship game appearances and won the 2000 title in just his second year at the school. As for Riley, he was anticipated to be the school's next head coach, but not this soon. Riley had just been granted a 3-year extension on his contract as offensive coordinator in May. Considered to be one of the top offensive guru's in college football, Riley won the 2015 Broyles Award as the nation's top assistant.
Cal on Saturday (January 14) announced Justin Wilcox as its new head coach, replacing the fired Sonny Dykes. It's the first head coaching job for Wilcox who spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons at Wisconsin as defensive coordinator and previously worked at Cal as linebackers coach (2003-2005) under Jeff Tedford. Cal fired Dykes on January 8, forty-four days after the team finished its season at 5-7. Dykes was 19-30 overall in 4 seasons, but just 10-26 in the PAC-12. His teams never finished above .500 in conference play. In a statement posted on the school's athletics website, Director of Athletics Mike Williams said, "...Coach Dykes clearly built up our program – both on the field and in the classroom – and he leaves Cal in a stronger position than when he arrived... I understand that the timing may not be ideal – it rarely is... We believe that this change will reinvigorate the program, stimulate lagging ticket sales and renewals, and energize our donor base." Thus, it primarily appears to be a financial move, perhaps urged by high-level donors.
On Friday (January 13), Western Michigan announced its new head coach would be its own star quarterback from the late 90's, Tim Lester. From 1996-99, the school sports hall-of-fame member (inducted 2011) passed for 11,299 yards and 89 touchdowns while setting 17 school records. This is his second trip back to his alma mater as a coach, having held the QB coach responsibilities in 2005-06. He replaces P.J. Fleck who made the jump from the MAC to the Big Ten when it was announced on January 6 that Fleck was hired to replace Tracy Claeys at Minnesota. That move came just 3 days after Claeys was fired. Claeys sealed his own fate when he tweeted of his support of a players' threatened bowl game boycott when 10 players were suspended in the wake of an ugly sex scandal. The administration stood solidly in support of the decision to keep the suspensions in place, and the head coach's tweet appeared to put him publicly at odds with the administration. The players ultimately backed down when they were assured the suspended athletes would get a fair hearing and the Golden Gophers went on to defeat Washington State in the Holiday Bowl. Claeys was 11-8 overall, 2-0 in bowl games, since replacing Jerry Kill in the middle of the 2015 season. But the school simply couldn't risk looking like victories mean more than high moral standards.
Western Michigan was the story of the year among the Group of Five conferences (American, CUSA, MAC, MWC and Sun Belt) as the Broncos went undefeated in the regular season and earned a Cotton Bowl bid where they lost 24-16 to Wisconsin. Overall, Fleck was 30-22 at WMU.
12 days after the last college football head coaching vacancy had been filled, UConn decided to fire Bob Diaco. The Huskies were 3-9 this season and just 11-26 in 3 seasons under Diaco. The school made the announcement on December 26, the day after Christmas. Two days later, Randy Edsall was announced as the not-so-new hire. Edsall was the head coach of the Huskies from 1999-2010 and oversaw the transition from the FCS to the FBS (classified as 1-AA and 1-A at the time). He was lured away by Maryland after leading UConn to the Fiesta Bowl in 2010, but couldn't duplicate the success he had with the Huskies. He was fired by Maryland halfway through the 2015 season. Overall, Edsall is 96-104 as a head coach.
Former Boise State backup QB (2000-2004) and Western Kentucky QB Coach (2010), Mike Sanford, Jr. had filled what was thought to be the final head coaching vacancy when he was hired at Western Kentucky on December 14. Sanford spent the last two seasons as offensive coordinator at Notre Dame. He replaces Jeff Brohm who took the same position at Purdue (December 5).
Brohm left Western Kentucky after a 3-year run that ended with consecutive CUSA titles, a 30-10 record overall and a 2-0 mark in bowl games. At Purdue, Brohm replaces Darrell Hazell who was fired on October 16 with the team sitting at 3-3. Gerad Parker was named to the interim position, and the wide receivers coach/recruiting coordinator guided Purdue to an 0-6 finish for a 3-9 overall record.
Hazell was 1-11 in 2013, followed by 3-9 in 2014 and 2-10 in 2015 for a cumulative record of 9-33. It was a far cry from what Purdue thought they would get after Hazell led Kent State to the MAC Championship game in 2012 (lost 43-37 in overtime to Northern Illinois), an 11-3 overall record, an 8-0 regular season conference record, and a final No. 25 ranking in the BCS Standings after rising as high as No. 17. Kent State ended that campaign with its first bowl appearance (lost 17-13 to Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl) since 1972 and only its second in school history.
After Brohm announced he was leaving Western Kentucky, the school appointed defensive coordinator Nick Holt as interim coach for the Hilltoppers' Boca Raton bowl game against Memphis on December 20 which WKU won..
Temple hired Florida defensive coordinator Geoff Collins on December 13 where he assumes the head coaching job that Matt Rhule vacated when he left for Baylor on December 6. Comments seemed to suggest Collins will not stay with Florida for its Outback Bowl game with Iowa on January 2. Rhule replaced Jim Grobe who served as acting head coach in 2016 and the Bears stumbled to a 6-6 finish after an 0-6 start, on par with expectations. Rhule was 28-23 in 4 seasons at Temple, but 20-7 over the past 2 seasons with back-to-back division titles and the 2016 American Athletic Conference title. Assistant head coach Ed Foley was named as Temple's interim head coach for its Military Bowl game (lost, 34-26 to Wake Forest) on December 27. Baylor called upon Grobe when the Bears fired Art Briles on May 25 following an external investigation by the Pepper Hamilton law firm into allegations of covering up incidents of violence and widespread sexual misconduct by his players. Briles was 65-37 overall at Baylor, including a solid 32-7 from 2013-2015.
Lane Kiffin was hired by FAU on December 12. The Alabama offensive coordinator and former head coach of the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee Vols and USC Trojans will be tasked with revitalizing a Florida Atlantic football program which has gone 9-27 over the last 3 years. But Kiffin quickly demonstarted how little he's learned about public relations, or doing the right thing, when his frist recruit was a QB dismissed by Florida State for punching a woman, and one of his first hires was Baylor offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, the son of Art Briles. Kiffin replaces Charlie Partridge who was dismissed on November 27 after a third consecutive 3-9 campaign. His Owls teams were 7-17 in Conference USA play. Kiffin's career collegiate head coaching record is 35-21, including 0-2 in bowl games. He will remain on the Crimson Tide as long as they are in the college football playoff.
After being fired from Texas, Charlie Strong landed on his feet as the new head coach at USF. The University of South Florida announced on December 11 that it hired Strong to replace Willie Taggart who resigned from the Bulls to take the same position with Oregon. Strong was fired from Texas on November 26 at the conclusion of a 5-7 campaign. His 3-year stint in Austin failed to show improvement in wins and losses, though most will agree that the program was left in much better shape than when he arrived. Strong had a 16-21 record with zero winning seasons and just 1 bowl appearance (loss). Texas plucked Strong from Louisville after he led the Cards to a 23-3 record his last 2 years and a 37-15 mark in his 4-year tenure.
Taggart needed 3 years to rebuild the South Florida football program. Now, he moves on to Oregon to replace Mark Helfrich who was fired even after getting the Ducks to the national championship game in 2014 (lost 49-20 to Ohio State). Helfrich's dismissal came on November 30 after concluding Oregon's worst season (4-8) since 1991 with a rare loss to rival Oregon State. Helfrich had been promoted from OC when Chip Kelly left for the NFL. His 4-year head coaching mark was 37-16, but just 13-12 over the last two seasons. While Helfrich's stock was dropping, Taggart's stock was rapidly rising. Taggart inherited a South Florida program in complete disarray in 2013 and, after 2 rough seasons, guided the Bulls to an 18-7 mark over the last 2 years. Overall, he was 24-25 in Tampa and 18-14 in the American Athletic Conference. Oregon is his third head coaching stop after cutting his teeth at Western Kentucky. Taggart's career head coaching record of 40-45 is a bit deceptive as we was 7-5 in his last season at WKU and 10-2 at USF. Co-offensive coordinator T.J. Weist was named interim coach for South Florida's Birmingham Bowl game which the Bulls won, 46-39 in OT over South Carolina. Weist was 3-5 as the interim head coach at UConn in 2013.
Luke Fickell, former Ohio State nose guard, longtime Buckeye assistant, and one-season interim head coach/head coach (2011) was named December 10 as Tommy Tuberville's replacement at Cincinnati. With Ohio State preparing for the Final 4 Playoffs, Fickell said he will remain with the school until its' playoff run is over. Tuberville saw the writing on the wall and gave himself a pink slip on December 4. Tuberville was expected to be fired 3 days later when his buyout contractually would've fallen from $2.4 million to $1.5 million. The fan base had directed its displeasure at Tuberville for weeks, and the chorus grew louder when the Bearcats endured a 3-game stretch near the end of the season in which they scored a total of 13 points. The 2016 squad met the lowered preseason expectations according of CollegeFootballPoll.com's Congrove Computer Rankings which warned of a 5-7 campaign and a 2-6 conference mark. The Bearcats finished 4-8 overall and 1-7 in the American Athletic Conference. Overall, Tuberville was 29-22 in four seasons at Cincinnati with 3 bowl trips that resulted in 3 blowout losses.
Houston on December 9 promoted from within and named former Texas quarterback Major Applewhite to replace Tom Herman as head coach after Herman left to accept the job with, ironically, Texas. Applewhite was serving under Herman as offensive coordinator, and since he was already on the staff, will take over immediately and lead the Cougars against San Diego State in the Las Vegas Bowl. Todd Orlando, who had been named interim coach for the bowl game, will re-assume his role of defensive coordinator. Applewhite, who holds 8 school records as QB of Texas (1998-2001), was an assistant with his alma mater from 2008-2013, including assistant head coach under Mack Brown. Herman was hired by Texas on November 26, hours after firing Charlie Strong. Herman led Houston to a 9-3 campaign in 2016 and a 22-4 mark in 2 seasons.
Jay Norvell, Charlie Strong's tight ends coach in 2015 at Texas, was announced as the new head coach at Nevada on December 9, replacing Bill Polian. His extensive resume includes NFL stops at Indianapolis and Oakland. Prior to his 1-year stay in Texas, Norvell was an assistant with Nebraska, Oklahoma and UCLA. The former Iowa defensive back (1982-1985) spent last season as the wide receivers coach at Arizona State. Nevada fired Polian on November 27 after a 5-7 season and a 23-27 four-year mark. Polian's downfall seemed to be the lack of success in the conference as the Wolf Pack were just 14-18 in the MWC.
Georgia State on December 8 hired South Carolina assistant Shawn Elliott as head coach to replace Trent Miles. Elliott was the interim head coach at South Carolina in 2015 after Steve Spurrier abruptly retired mid-season, but only managed to guide the Gamecocks to a 1-5 finish. Miles was dismissed on November 12 after a 37-23 loss to UL-Monroe dropped the Panthers to 2-8. In nearly 4 full seasons, Miles was 9-38 overall and 6-23 in the Sun Belt. He took GSU to the Cure Bowl at the end of the 2015 season and expectations were high for a repeat bowl trip in 2016. Tim Lappano was named his interim successor and, under his watch, Georgia State went 1-1.
Brent Brennan is returning to San Jose State where he was an assistant under both Dick Tomey and Mike MacIntyre from 2005-2010. Brennan was named the head coach on December 7, replacing the fired Ron Caragher. Brennan spent the last 6 seasons as the wide receivers coach at Oregon State. Caragher was fired on November 27 after a 4-8 season and a 4-year marks of 19-30 overall, 14-18 in the Mountain West.
Purdue announced Jeff Brohm on December 5 as its new head coach. Brohm leaves Western Kentucky after a 3-year run that ended with consecutive CUSA titles, a 30-10 record overall and a 2-0 mark in bowl games. He replaces Darrell Hazell who was fired on October 16 with the team sitting at 3-3. Gerad Parker was named to the interim position and the wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator guided Purdue to an 0-6 finish for a 3-9 overall finish. Hazell was 1-11 in 2013, followed by 3-9 in 2014 and 2-10 in 2015 for a cumulative record of 9-33. It was a far cry from what Purdue thought they would get after Hazell led Kent State to the MAC Championship in 2012 (lost 43-37 in overtime to Northern Illinois), an 11-3 overall record, an 8-0 regular season conference record, and a final No. 25 ranking in the BCS Standings after rising as high as No. 17. Kent State ended that campaign with its first bowl appearance (lost 17-13 to Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl) since 1972 and only its second in school history.
After Brohm announced he was leaving, Western Kentucky appointed defensive coordinator Nick Holt as interim coach for the Hilltoppers' Boca Raton bowl game against Memphis on December 20.
Indiana and head football coach Kevin Wilson parted ways on December 1 over "philosophical differences" and the school immediately announced that defensive coordinator Tom Allen had been promoted from within as Wilson's replacement. Wilson was 26-47 in 6 seasons with back-to-back bowl appearances in each of the last 2 seasons. The 2015 team lost to Duke in overtime in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Ed Orgeron was promoted on November 26 to head coach at LSU. The 'interim' tag was removed ion the wake of the Tigers' 5-2 finish under Orgeron who took over when Les Miles was fired on September 25 after a 2-2 start. Miles was on the cusp of dismissal at the end of the 2015 season before an outpouring of support from both fans and national media gave the school impetus to change course. Miles has a record of 141-55 in his career, including a 114-34 mark in Baton Rouge. His 2007 team won the BCS National Title game 38-24 over Ohio State. LSU returned to the BCS title game at the end of the 2011 season, losing 21-0 to Alabama. A familiar name, Ed Orgeron, steps in as interim coach. Orgeron had the interim tag at USC in 2013 after Lane Kiffin was fired and went 6-2.
FIU on November 14 announced Butch Davis as its new head coach. The 64-year old has an extensive resume that includes head coaching tenures of 6 years at Miami (51-20, 33-9 Big East) from 1995-2000 and 4 years at North Carolina (28-23, 15-17 ACC) from 2007-2010, Under his watch, UNC had to vacate 16 wins in the 2008 and 2009 seasons due to NCAA violations. He becomes the permanent successor to Ron Turner who was the first head coach to be let go in 2016 (September 24) after just 4 games. Turner's firing came in the aftermath of a 53-14 loss to Central Florida that dropped the Golden Panthers' record to 0-4. UCF had lost to 14 straight FBS opponents heading into that game. Turner was 10-30 at the Miami school. Ron Cooper, a well-traveled assistant and a former Eastern Michigan and Louisville head coach in the 90's, was named Turner's interim replacement. As a head coach at the FBS level, Cooper was 22-33 with just one winning season (7-4, Louisville, 1995).
Fresno State on November 9th announced the hiring of former Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. There, he replaces Tim DeRuyter who was relieved of his duties on October 23 after the Bulldogs had registered just 1 win in 7 games. DeRuyter was 20-6 in his first two season in the San Joaquin Valley, and a slip to 6-8 in 2014 still produced a conference championship game appearance. But the Bulldogs won just 4 of the last 20 games played under DeRuyter and Fresno State named offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau as the interim coach. Tedford previously served as the head coach at Cal from 2002-2012 where he was 82-57 overall and 50-45 in the PAC-10/PAC-12.