Coaching Changes: Search for New Coach Underway at UCF

January 30, 2021 by Staff

Tennessee announced on Wednesday, January 27th that it had plucked Josh Heupel from UCF to serve as its new head coach. The move left Central Florida as the only FBS team with a position to fill.

Overall, it's been a light 'season' of a coaching changes with only 15 teams making moves. Those numbers fall on the heels of 24 maneuvers in 2019, and 27 in 2018.

The Vols fired Jeremy Pruitt on January 18 "with cause", along with numerous assistants, for alleged NCAA violations. The dismissal "with cause" prevents Pruitt from receiving a buyout settlement, but will almost surely result in a lawsuit. Additionally, athletic director Phillip Fulmer is expected to announce his retirement soon so, to paraphrase, a new head coach and AD can share the same vision. Find australian casinos online. Pruitt, a former Alabama assistant, was hired by Tennessee on December 7, 2017. His teams at Tennessee were 16-19 overall, 10-16 in SEC play, and 1-0 in bowl games. Since 2017, Butch Jones, Brady Hoke (interim) and Pruitt have combined to go 21-28 overall and 10-24 in the SEC.

Heupel spent 3 seasons in Orlando leading the Golden Knights to a 28-8 record over-all, a 19-5 record in the American Conference, and a 1-2 mark in bowl games. 

Marshall on Sunday (January 17) announced the hiring of another Nick Saban disciple, Charles Huff, as head coach of the Thundering Herd. Huff was associate head coach as running backs coach for the Tide over the past two seasons. The former Hampton walk-on (2001-2005) has also spent time as an assistant with Penn State and Mississippi State, among other institutions. He becomes the 13th Alabama assistant hired as a head coach in the past 14 years.

The opening at Marshall was created when the school declined to renew the contract of Doc Holliday (announced on Monday, January 4). Holliday had an 11-yaer tenure in Huntington that produced records of 85-54 over-all and 55-30 in Conference USA. The move is more than a bit surprising, given that the Thundering Herd just played in the conference championship game for the first time since 2014. Marshall began the season 7-0 but ended on a 3-game losing streak, bowing to Rice, UAB (title game) and Buffalo in the school's third straight Gasparilla Bowl. Holliday's teams were 6-2 in bowl games, losing the last two. He leaves as the second-winningest coach in school history (Bob Pruett, 94-23).

Former Boise State linebacker Andy Avalos (2001-2005) was named on Tuesday (January 12) as the new head coach of the Broncos, succeeding Bryan Harsin. He was also an assistant with Boise State from 2012-2018, but spent the last two seasons at Oregon as defensive coordinator under Mario Cristobal. As a player, he led the Broncos in tackles every year from 2002–2004. Looking for usa real money casinos?

Harsin resigned to take the head coaching job at Auburn on December 22 after Gus Malzahn was fired on December 13. Harsin was 69-19 at Boise State where his teams won Mountain West conference championships in three of his seven seasons, Harsin was a backup quarterback at Boise State in the late 1990's, but played sparingly.

Malzahn was 68-35 overall at Auburn, and 39-27 in SEC play. In his first season in 2013, he took a 3-9 team from the previous year and went 12-2 with a division title, an SEC title, and a 34-31 loss to Florida State in the final BCS Championship game. Since then, the Tigers have won a single division title (2017) while Alabama has dominated the division and the conference. Malzahn was also just 2-5 in postseason games. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele was handed the reins as interim head coach for Auburn's 35-19 Citrus Bowl loss to Northwestern.

On Saturday, January 2nd, it was reported that Tom Herman had been fired from Texas -- after the school had publicly announced on December 12 he would be retained.  The only thing that happened since then was a 55-23 demolition of Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. Apparently, the wheels were turning behind the scene as reports that Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will be hired as his replacement quickly became confirmed by the school.

Sarkisian stayed with the Tide through the national championship game on January 11 versus Ohio State which Alabama won 52-24 while setting numerous records on offense.

Herman spent four seasons in Austin that produced records of 32-18 over-all and 22-13 in Big 12 play. His teams were 4-0 in bowl games.

'Sark' was 34-29 at Washington from 2009-2013, a  job he left to become head coach at USC (12-6). But the job with the Trojans didn't last long as he was fired five games into his second season for alochol problems. He sough rehabilitation and resurfaced as an Alabama assistant in 2016, spent two seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, and returned to the Tide in 2019. He was 1-0 this season as a head coach when he served in that capacity for the Auburn game after Saban tested positive for Covid-19.

Herman spent four seasons in Austin that produced records of 32-18 over-all and 22-13 in Big 12 play. His teams were 4-0 in bowl games.

First, South Carolina hired Frank Beamer's son. Now, UL-Monroe is the new employer of a Bobby Bowden offspring.

On Wednesday, December 23, Louisiana-Monroe announced Terry Bowden as its replacement for Matt Viator. Bowden brings a 25-year career record of 175-114-2 (.605) to the Warhawk's program, including marks of 47-17-1 at Auburn, and 35-52 at Akron. He has Akron's only bowl win in history to his credit, as well as an undefeated season at Auburn (1993).

Bowden has served as an offensive analyst at Clemson for the past two seasons.

On December 7, Louisiana-Monroe announced the firing of Matt Viator with one game left in an 0-10 season. He spent 5 years with the Warhawks, going 19-39 overall and 15-24 in Sun Belt games. Defensive coordinator Scott Stoker was announced as the interim head coach for the season finale at Troy on December 17 which was ultimately canceled due to Covid issues.

Frank Beamer's son, Shane Bowden, was hired as the new head coach at South Carolina on December 6.

Frank Beamer and Bobby Bowden are head coaching hall-of-fame members, inducted in 2018 and 2006, respectively. Their cumulative football record was 615-250-6.

SEE: Coaching Changes for full coverage of the coaching carousel.