AAC Football Coaching Carousel 2017-2018

I thought this would be a good topic to start a discussion on, and to post relevant info in as its about that time of the year when rumors start spreading:

If coaches like Frost, Norvell, and Morris leave the AAC, what young or up an coming coach would you like to see take the reigns of an AAC team?

Todd Orlando and Frank Wilson I think would both increase the strength of the AAC.

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Chip Long left there to become OC at ND this year.
The ND offense did a huge turn around.
Memphis job is his if he wants it.

Orlando. Seems due but he is making nice $ at Bonghorns.

My first choice would be: Blake Anderson @ Arkansas State
I also like what Frank Wilson @ UTSA has done and Seth Littrell at North Texas seems to have made those folks happy.
And I’m sure someone will mention Keeler at SHSU although I’m not that enamored.

I think Frank Wilson likely goes to a P5. Same with Seth Littrell. Honestly, I think AAC schools are still at a place in the pecking order where we hire assistants, not head coaches – when was the last time an AAC team poached another school’s head coach? What evidence do we have that we can get any sitting HCs worth getting?

I still think there’s a reason we’ve never heard Todd Orlando’s name for any opening except ours. Texas boards seem to think it’s because he has a reputation as a subpar recruiter.

I keep hearing Tee Martin’s name come up. I also think we’re likely to see Manny Diaz get a shot somewhere – Miami has lived on their defense this year. Mike Yurcich from Okie Like and Greg Schiano from Ohio State will likely go somewhere, but those two may wind up P5.

I just want all good teams in the AAC to lose their coaches and for their new coaches to be not very good so we can beat them and go to ny6 bowls.

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It will be interesting to see if south Florida starts a trend of G5 schools hiring fired P5 coaches, especially if said coach had great success at a G5 school before becoming a P5!head coach. I could see Sumlin taking over a program like Memphis or UCF and those schools not missing a beat. The same for Jim McElwane (who took over a terrible Colorado state program and went 4-8, 8-6 and 10-3 in his three years there). I could also see someone like Kliff Kingsbury ending up at a place like SMU (that might even be an upgrade for the ponies).

True. Fritz is the only current head coach that was poached and that was from an FCS school. Most AAC schools seem to want to go with young assistants and it has been working.

Recent poaching of head coaches has been mixed: USF pulled Taggart from Western Kentucky. SMU pulled Jones from Hawaii. Cincy pulled Tuberville from Tech. Tulsa pulled Graham from Rice.

A lot could come down to money and if the AAC is seen as a higher step. In the past, I’m not sure it would have been, but with the recent success and with the recent moves by AAC head coaches into large P5 jobs, that tide may be shifting…or, ADs will continue to try and find the next great thing from the assistant ranks.

Just some names I’ll throw out there that would make a ton of sense for potential vacancies:

  • SMU: Littrell, Orlando, and Sumlin
  • UCF: Neal Brown, Joe Moorhead, Tony Elliott
  • Memphis: Neal Brown, Blake Anderson, Tee Martin
  • USF: Neal Brown, Joe Moorhead, Tony Elliott
  • Navy: Fritz, Ivin Jasper, Mark Helfrich
  • ECU: Neal Brown, Tony Elliott, Jake Spavital

I’m skeptical about this. Schools have been hiring retread coaches for a long time with varying levels of success. The same year that USF hired Strong, Cincy fired Tuberville. (I know, I know, Tuberville was at least nominally not a retread, at least from Tech. But still.)

My thought on this is that, yes, the AAC is clearly a higher step than other G5 schools, but we’re not going to be able to poach their coaches because G5 coaches that are worth poaching will generally leapfrog the AAC and land in a P5.

Also, the thought of Sumlin at SMU scares the bejeezus out of me.

What’s this G5 stuff?!? It is the G4. We are P6. :laughing:


Sumlin to SMU almost makes too much sense as they have the money and could ensure he has the “swag.” Throw in OC Kliff Kingsbury and that could be a terrifying combo in the AAC.

But I don’t think Sumlin goes for it. He’ll probably shoot for a P5 job or go be a TV Analyst for a year or two until a P5 comes calling.

SMU will probably end up throwing a ton of money at Kingsbury if he gets let go.

SHSU seems more pedestrian under Keeler since he lost his OC Longo to one of the Mississippi schools.

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If he’s not willing to settle for a job as a G5 HC or a P5 assistant for at least a year or so, I don’t think he’ll get another P5 HC job. I could see him pulling a Muschamp and going to Oklahoma State or something for a year if Yurcich gets hired somewhere.

I also think Kliff stays P5 as an assistant. I don’t think he’s shown enough as a HC to get hired as the head guy even at a high G5. If he does insist on remaining a HC, I see him landing somewhere like Rice or UTSA, not SMU.

I totally see Sumlin in the NFL.

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Neal Brown from Troy would be my best guess.

2016: 10-3
2017: currently 7-2 with a win over LSU.

I hope he stays far, and far away from the AAC though. lol

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You know what’s annoying about P5 poaching? All it takes is one really good season (not even a conference championship just double digit wins) and the rumors start flying. One. Then the next year as long as they’re bowl eligible they are gone. The schools don’t even wait to see how their recruits pan out in most cases. We are fortunate that our time with cth featured a conference championship and ny6 bowl win.


I think it’s gotten to the point that there are way more openings than really good candidates. If you think about it there are only a few really good candidates available this year after all the poaching that has been done in the past-Scott Frost, Matt Campbell probably head the list and then there is a group of good candidates that might land jobs that they wouldn’t have been able to 5 years ago. There will probably be 4 prime openings (ATM, Florida, Tennessee and Nebraska) followed by a bunch of good openings-Ole Miss, ASU, Arkansas, UCLA which doesn’t include the “middling” P5 openings like tech, Missouri and possibly South Carolina. Once you add in all the lower tier P5 openings and the G5 spots there just seems like there are way more openings than qualified candidates.

I don’t doubt that UF is interested in Bob Stoops but he just retired in June and I question why he would want to unretired to coach the dumpster fire that is Florida football. Two examples: The former AD retired and a new AD was hired but the retired AD has an office on campus and will interfere with the current AD and policy and coaching matters. UF also has a former head coach on the athletic staff who will undermine the current head coach by going to offensive team meetings and giving the OC and position coaches plays that he suggest they run.

Sounds toxic

It appears to be very toxic. MacElwain won 2 consecutive SEC East championships and was fired in the middle of his 3rd year with Florida trying to (please excuse the language) screw him out of his buy out.

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