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2007
College Football Season
Coaching Changes

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2007 Coaching Changes: Indiana's Hoeppner Passes Away

by Matt James
(2007 coaching records updated 1/7/08)

Indiana head coach Terry Hoeppner died of complications from a brain tumor on Tuesday (June 19). The school had announced the previous day that assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Bill Lynch would assume the head coaching duties while Hoeppner continued a medical leave of absence. Hoeppner, 59, had been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments in the wake of two brain surgeries in the previous 18 months.

Indiana was 9-14 in two seasons under Hoeppner. He left Miami (Ohio) with a 48-25 record in six seasons that included back-to-back bowl games in 2003 and 2004 and the development of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Hoeppner had been with the RedHawks for 13 years before being elevated to head coach after Randy Walker left to coach Northwestern.

Hoeppner is the third former Miami head coach to pass away in the last year. Walker was felled by a heart attack on June 29, 2006. Head coaching icon Bo Schembechler, who had two quadruple bypass operations in the past, died November 17 when his heart simply gave out.

How New Coaches Fared
TEAM 2006 COACH W-L 2007 COACH W-L
Air Force Fisher DeBerry 4-8 Troy Calhoun 9-4
Alabama Mike Shula 6-7 Nick Saban 7-6
Arizona State Dirk Koetter 7-6 Dennis Erickson 10-3
Army Bobby Ross 3-9 Stan Brock 3-9
Boston College Tom O'Brien 10-3 Jeff Jagodzinkski 11-3
Central Michigan Brian Kelly 10-4 Butch Jones 8-6
Cincinnati Mark Dantonio 8-5 Brian Kelly 10-3
FIU Don Strock 0-12 Mario Cristobal 1-11
Idaho Dennis Erickson 4-8 Robb Akey 1-11
Indiana Terry Hoeppner 5-7 Bill Lynch 7-6
Iowa State Dan McCarney 4-8 Gene Chizik 3-9
Louisiana Tech Jack Bicknell 3-10 Derek Dooley 5-7
Louisville Bobby Petrino 12-1 Steve Kragthorpe 6-6
Miami (Fla.) Larry Coker 7-6 Randy Shannon 5-7
Michigan State John L. Smith 4-8 Mark Dantonio 7-6
Minnesota Glen Mason 6-7 Tim Brewster 1-11
North Carolina John Bunting 3-9 Butch Davis 4-8
North Carolina St. Chuck Amato 3-9 Tom O'Brien 5-7
North Texas Darrell Dickey 3-9 Todd Dodge 2-10
Rice Todd Graham 7-6 David Bailiff 3-9
Stanford Walt Harris 1-11 Jim Harbaugh 4-8
Tulane Chris Scelfo 4-8 Bob Toledo 4-8
Tulsa Steve Kragthorpe 8-5 Todd Graham 10-4
UAB Watson Brown 3-9 Neil Callaway 2-10

Army announced January 29 that Bobby Ross, at age 70, had tendered his resignation as the head coach at Army. Offensive line coach Stan Brock was promoted to succeed him.

Ross' coaching career milestones include a split national championship for Georgia Tech in 1990 and a trip to the Super Bowl in 1995 with the San Diego Chargers.

Army was on a 15-game losing streak when Ross took the reigns in 2004. He went 9-25 with the Black Knights and retires with a 103-101-2.

Brock is a 16-year NFL veteran offensive tackle who played two seasons for Ross with the Chargers, and was hired by Ross upon his arrival at Army. Brock became an Arena Football League head coach with Portland in the middle of the 1997 season and went 12-24. He was then named the first head coach of the expansion Los Angeles Avengers where he was 3-11 in the teams' inaugural season. Brock was fired after an 0-3 start in 2001, ending his AFL head coaching career with a 15-38 record.

David Bailiff of Texas State was hired by Rice on January 18 to succeed Todd Graham. Graham replaced Steve Kragthorpe at Tulsa who replaced Bobby Petrino at Louisville who replaced Jim Mora, Jr. at Atlanta (NFL).

Bailiff led the 1-AA Bobcats to a 21-15 record in his three seasons at the San Marcos school, and reached the division 1-AA semifinals in 2005. His squad was just 5-6 this past season.

It was announced on January 12 that Graham would replace his former boss at Tulsa. Graham was Kragthorpe's defensive coordinator for three years with the Golden Hurricane before landing his first head coaching job with the Owls.

Graham spent just one season with Rice, leading them to a 7-6 record and the school's first bowl bid since 1961. The school had announced just three days earlier that Graham's contract at Rice had been extended through 2012.

Louisville introduced Kragthorpe as the new head coach on January 9, replacing Petrino who was plucked from the Cardinals by the NFL's Falcons on January 7.

Petrino had signed a 10-year pact with Louisville worth $25 million prior to the start of the 2006 college football season. He then led the Cardinals to a 12-1 campaign that included a Big East title and their first BCS bowl berth, a 24-13 win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl.

The Cardinals went 41-9 in Petrino's four years as head coach, including a 2-2 record in bowl games. Louisville elevated its bowl status each year during Petrino's tenure, with a 2003 GMAC bowl bid followed by invitations to the Liberty, Gator and Orange Bowls.

Kragthorpe was 29-22 in four seasons at Tulsa, with bowl appearances in three of those seasons. The Golden Hurricane went 8-5 this year but lost four of their last five games, including a 25-13 setback to Utah in the Armed Forces Bowl. Tulsa had gone 2-21 in the two seasons just prior to Kragthorpe's arrival in 2003 and had not played in a bowl game since 1991.

Minnesota on January 15 tapped Tim Brewster, tight ends coach of the NFL Broncos, as its new head coach.

Brewster has spent the past five seasons in the NFL as tight ends coach for San Diego for three years, and the last two seasons in that same capacity with Denver. Prior to his move to the NFL, he was an assistant in the college ranks under Mack Brown at North Carolina and Texas.

Two days after giving up a 38-7 third-quarter lead over Texas Tech in the Insight Bowl, Minnesota fired head coach Glen Mason on December 31. The Red Raiders came back to win the game 44-41 in overtime. The 31-point deficit is the largest margin any team has ever overcome in a 1-A bowl game.

Mason's team also blew a 24-0 lead over N.C. State in the 2000 MicronPC.com Bowl, and a 21-7 lead over Virginia in the 2005 Music City Bowl. Mason was 64-57 in ten seasons with the Golden Gophers and led the team to seven bowl games. Minnesota had appeared in just five bowl games in its history before his arrival.

Central Michigan hired West Virginia assistant coach Butch Jones on January 5 as it new head football coach. Jones leaves his post as receivers coach with the Mountaineers to take his first head coaching position.

Jones has ties to the Chippewas, having coached the tight ends, receivers and running backs at various times from 1998-2004.

On December 3, three days after Central Michigan won the MAC Championship game over Ohio, head coach Brian Kelly accepted the post at Cincinnati that became available when Mark Dantonio left the Bearcats to go to Michigan State. The Chippewas went on to defeat Middle Tennessee 31-14 in the Motor City Bowl with Kelly's associate head coach, Jeff Quinn, serving as interim head coach. Quinn joined Kelly's staff at Cincinnati after that bowl game.

Kelly made his debut with Cincinnati in the International Bowl on January 6 after going 19-16 in three seasons with Central Michigan.

Nick Saban is back in the SEC as the new head coach at Alabama. After an aggressive campaign and multiple public denials, Saban agreed on January 3 to leave the NFL's Miami Dolphins after a two-year stint and attempt to resurrect the Tide's football image as a traditional power.

Saban becomes Alabama's fourth head coach since 2000.

Saban has the track-record of a quick-change artist, but has also been a journeyman. As an assistant or a head coach, he hasn't stayed anywhere longer than five years. As a collegiate head coach, he led a probation-saddled Michigan State team from 1995-1999. In his final year at East Lansing, the Spartans won 9 regular season games for that school's highest single-season win total since 1966. Prior to their 1999 bowl win over Florida, Saban left to take the job at LSU. He stayed in Baton Rouge for five seasons, from 2000-2004, and won a BCS title with the Tigers in 2003.

Saban is 91-42-1 as a college head coach, and was 48-16 with LSU. He was 15-17 with the Dolphins.

As an incentive for him to stay in Tuscaloosa, the contract is reportedly valued at $40 million over 10 years.

Mike Shula became unemployed on November 27 after just four seasons. The Crimson Tide was 26-23 during Shula's tenure, including a 10-2 season in 2005 that was capped by a victory in the Cotton Bowl over Texas Tech. But Alabama took a step backward in the 2006 season with a 6-6 finish that included a home loss to Mississippi State for the Bulldogs' only conference win of the season. Shula also was 0-4 against state rival Auburn.

Shula's defensive coordinator, Joe Kines, coached the Tide in a 34-31 loss to Oklahoma State in the Independence Bowl.

Air Force filled its job opening on December 22 when it hired Troy Calhoun, a former Falcons' quarterback and assistant coach. Calhoun is just the sixth head coach in the AFA's history, and is also the first graduate of the academy to hold that post.

Calhoun succeeds Fisher DeBerry who resigned on December 15 as the third longest-tenured head coach in major college football with 23 years at Air Force. He is the current offensive coordinator of the NFL's Houston Texan's after serving in various capacities for the Denver Broncos for three seasons before his move to Houston this season.

Under DeBerry's guidance, Air Force dominated the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy competition, winning it fourteen times. The trophy goes to either Army, Navy or Air Force for winning the annual round-robin competition between the three academies. If there is a tie (each team goes 1-1), it stays with the school that last won it. Air Force was uninterrupted in its possession of the trophy from 1989-1995 and 1997-2002. DeBerry's Falcon teams had a cumulative record of 35-11 against the Black Knights and Midshipmen. Navy has kept possession of the trophy since 2003.

Over-all, DeBerry was 169-109-1 at Air Force.

Idaho named Washington State defensive coordinator Robb Akey as its new head coach on December 20, replacing Dennis Erickson who flew the coup to Arizona State after just 10 months in Moscow.

It will be the 40-year old's first head coaching position after nine years with the Cougars. His previous experience involved stints with Weber State and Northern Arizona.

Idaho officials were plainly miffed that Erickson spent just one season with the school after signing a five-year contract and vowing to rebuild the program. Erickson had coached at Idaho prior to more high-profile stints with Miami (Fla.), Oregon State, and the NFL. On December 9, Idaho announced that Erickson had taken the job with the Sun Devils effective after their bowl game.

Arizona State dismissed Koetter on November 26, even though the Sun Devils were bowl-bound for the third straight season. However, the last two seasons produced records of 7-6 and 8-5 amid higher expectations. Koetter was 40-34 in six seasons, including a 41-24 loss to Hawaii in the Hawai'i Bowl. He was just 21-28 against the PAC-10. Before taking the job with the Sun Devils, Koetter led Boise State to a 26-10 mark from 1998-2000.

Erickson has an 18-year career head coaching record of 149-64-1.

Florida International named Miami Hurricane offensive line coach Mario Cristobal as its new head coach on December 19, replacing Don Strock.

Strock resigned as head coach on November 15, effective at the end of the season. Though his team was 0-9 at the time, no one considered him as a candidate for replacement or resignation. The Golden Panthers finished 0-12. The former Virginia Tech and Miami Dolphins' quarterback is a popular south Florida resident who started the program at FIU and had served as its only head coach.

Florida International became a full-fledged 1-A member in 2005 and went 5-6. But after losing several close games early in the season due to kicking problems, the program was hit hard by the brawl at Miami that prompted the indefinite suspensions of 16 players. Two other players were kicked off the team.

Cristobal played on the offensive line at Miami from 1988-1992. He has only served as an assistant coach at Miami and Rutgers. He was tight ends coach with the Hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

Stanford announced Jim Harbaugh as its new head coach on December 18, while Boston College named Jeff Jagodzinski on December 20.

Harbaugh has been the head coach at 1-AA San Diego for the last three seasons, leading the Toreros to a 29-6 record while going 27-2 over his last 29 games. The former Michigan star quarterback played 15 seasons in the NFL.

Harbaugh replaces Walt Harris who was fired by the Cardinal on December 4 after just two seasons. He was 6-17 at Stanford, including a 1-11 mark this year.

Jagodzinski rejoined the Green Bay Packers as offensive coordinator this season after a two-year stint in Atlanta as offensive line coach. He was Green Bay's tight ends coach from 1999-2003, a job he took after serving as Tom O'Brien's offensive coordinator at Boston College in 1997 and 1998.

The Eagles were led by O'Brien's defensive coordinator, interim head coach Frank Spaziani, to a last-second 25-24 win over Navy in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

N.C. State officially announced Tom O'Brien as its new head coach on December 9 after luring him away from Boston College. O'Brien was 75-45 in 10 seasons at BC and included a 6-game winning streak in bowl games. The win over Navy, under Spaziani, extended the school's streak to seven.

O'Brien replaced Chuck Amato who was fired on November 26 after N.C. State finished the season on a 7-game losing streak. Amato was 49-37 in seven seasons from 2000-2006, but the N.C. State alum was just 25-31 in the ACC. The pinnacle of Amato's success was the 2002 season when the Wolfpack went 11-3 and beat Notre Dame in the Gator Bowl, but they only managed a fourth-place finish in the ACC that season with a 5-3 conference record.

Amato also managed something that few coaches have achieved, a 4-3 record against Bobby Bowden's Florida State Seminoles for whom Amato worked with before taking the Wolfpack job.

UAB hired Neil Callaway, Georgia's offensive coordinator, as its new head coach on December 17. Callaway stayed with the Bulldogs through their game against Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl, a 31-24 comeback victory after trailing 21-3 at halftime. Callaway was with Georgia for six seasons. Before that, he was at Alabama where he was the offensive line coach in 1997 and offensive coordinator from 1998-2000.

Callaway was the offensive line coach at Auburn under Pat Dye from 1981-1992, and an assistant at Houston from 1993-1996.

Watson Brown resigned from UAB on December 8 to take the head coaching job at Tennessee Tech in his home town of Cookeville. In 12 seasons, Brown was 62-75 at UAB. His 22-year career record is 94-152-1.

La. Tech hired Derek Dooley as its new head coach on December 18. The son of former Georgia head coach and athletic director Vince Dooley finished the season as the Miami Dolphins' tight ends coach before beginning his new job.

Dooley replaces Jack Bicknell who was booted out the door on December 4. Bicknell's record was 42-53 over eight seasons and included a trip to the 2001 Humanitarian Bowl, the Bulldogs' first bowl appearance since 1990 and the only time they've been invited anywhere besides the nearby Independence Bowl. Louisiana Tech slipped to 3-10 this year after going 7-4 last season.

North Texas plucked a coach from the Texas high school ranks, announcing Todd Dodge as the man in charge on December 12. Dodge was the head coach at Southlake Carroll High School, located just 20 minutes from UNT's Denton campus. Under Dodge, the school won its third straight state 5-A Division 1 championship on December 28 to end the season on a 48-game winning streak. The school was ranked No. 1 in the final USA Today Super 25 prep football rankings.

Dodge served as offensive coordinator at North Texas from 1992-1993 before beginning his head coaching career in the high school ranks. At Southlake, he ran a no-huddle offense with four receivers in a spread formation that followers dubbed "Dodge Ball".

Dodge replaces Darrell Dickey who was fired from North Texas on November 8 after winning just 2 of his last 15 games. He coached the team for its last three games of the season and went 1-2. Through nine seasons Dickey had a 42-64 record in Denton. The Mean Green captured the first four Sun Belt Conference titles from 2001-2004 and represented the conference in the first four New Orleans Bowls where they went 1-3.

Tulane on December 11 hired New Mexico offensive coordinator, and former UCLA head coach, Bob Toledo. He succeeds Chris Scelfo who was fired on November 28 after producing just two winning seasons in eight years. Toledo has a career head coaching record of 78-68, but was 49-32 at UCLA where his Bruins set a school record with 20 consecutive wins from September 13, 1997 through November 21, 1998. Two losses at the beginning of the '97 season, and two losses at the end of the '98 season, prevented UCLA from winning a national championship both years.

The Green Wave went 37-57 in Scelfo's tenure, including a 2-9 record in 2005 when the school had to play all 11 games away from home after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the New Orleans campus.

On December 8, Rich Rodriguez declined to leave West Virginia for Alabama. Meanwhile, Miami officially announced it had promoted defensive coordinator Randy Shannon to replace Larry Coker.

A tumultuous season at Miami ended with the firing of Coker just hours after a 17-14 win over Boston College made the Hurricanes eligible for the postseason at 6-6. Coker coached Miami to a 21-20 win over Nevada in the MPC Computers Bowl against Nevada. Coker won a national championship in his first year with Miami, and compiled a 60-15 record in six seasons. But a third-quarter brawl in their October 14 game with FIU marred the rest of season and left the Hurricanes with a tarnished image.

November 27 was a busy day as Alabama fired Shula, Michigan State hired Dantonio, Iowa State hired Texas defensive coordinator Gene Chizik as their new head coach, and Butch Davis was formally introduced as the head coach at North Carolina.

Dantonio was 18-17 in three seasons with Cincinnati. He was an assistant under Nick Saban when he was head coach of the Spartans. Dantonio also served under Jim Tressel at Ohio State and Youngstown State.

Chizik has been with Texas for two seasons after serving as the defensive coordinator at Auburn from 2002-2004.

Dan McCarney resigned from Iowa State on November 8. The Cyclones went 22 years without a bowl appearance, but went to five bowl games in McCarney's last seven seasons. At the time of the announcement, however, his team had slipped to 3-7 and lost seven straight games to 1-A opponents. His team finished 4-8, dropping his record at the school to 56-85 in 12 season in Ames.

On November 1, John L. Smith was fired from his post at Michigan State. Smith seemed to have potentially saved his job when his team rallied from a 38-3 deficit in the third quarter to beat Northwestern. The following week, however, the Spartans lost to Indiana 46-21 to drop his teams' record to 4-5 for the season when the decision was made. Michigan State then lost the final three games of the year leaving Smith with a 22-26 record in four seasons in East Lansing, Michigan State has not posted a winning season since it went 8-5 in Smith's inaugural campaign in 2003. His teams won just 12-of-32 conference games and their Big Ten record has declined each season. Smith has a career head coaching record of 132-86 that included stints at Utah State, Idaho and Louisville.

Shula's firing left Alabama looking for its fourth head coach since 2000.

While Butch Davis wasn't formally introduced until November 27 as the new head coach at North Carolina, his pending arrival had been known since November 13. Davis spent six seasons with the Miami Hurricanes from 1995-2000 and had a 51-20 record. He was the only one of Miami's last five head coaches who failed to win a national championship at the school with much of his tenure spent rebuilding a program hit hard by probation. Howard Scnellenberger, Jimmy Johnson and Dennis Erickson all won titles before him, and Larry Coker won the title with Davis' recruits in 2001.

UNC fired John Bunting on October 23 but he coached the Tar Heels through the end of the season. Bunting's team was 1-6 at the time of his dismissal and the Tar Heels had lost 7 straight games to 1-A teams. They went 2-3 down the stretch to give him an over-all record of 27-45. Bunting was hired in 2000 after Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer appeared to be headed to Chapel Hill but declined at the last minute. Bunting's first team went 8-5 and beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl, but his best record since then was 6-6 in 2004 with a loss to Boston College in the Charlotte-based Continental Tire Bowl (now known as the Meineke Car Care Bowl).