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Spring 2011 - Ranking The Big East Coaches
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong
Louisville head coach Charlie Strong
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 15, 2011


What coach would you want to run your program? Who's on the hot seat? As part of the 2011 Spring Preview, CFN ranks all the Big East coaches based on the future and not necessarily on how good they are right now.


2011 Spring Preview - No. 13
 
Ranking the Big East Coaches
 

Here's the drill. You have to hire a head coach right now to lead your program for the next several years; whom would you choose? Forget about what happened in the past and forget about legendary status - you wouldn't hire Joe Paterno to build the franchise - you want a guy who can be the head man for a long, long time.

2011 Spring Preview  

- No. 20 Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 1-10) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 11-20) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 21-30) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 31-40) 
- Top 50 Non-Conference Games (No. 41-50)  

- No. 19 - Is a smaller Big 12 better? 
- No. 18 - Who doesn't want to be Independent?  
- No. 17 - Should the SEC champ play in the BCS Champ?  

- No. 16 Top 50 Conf. Games (No. 1-10) 
- Top 50 Conference Games (No. 11-20) 
- Top 50 Conference Games (No. 21-30) 
- Top 50 Conference Games (No. 31-40) 
- Top 50 Conference Games (No. 41-50)  

- No. 15 The Preseason Polls Will Probably Be ...

Schedules and Too-Early Spring Picks
ACC | Big East
Big Ten | Big 12
C-USA | Ind | MAC   
Mountain West | Pac-12
SEC | Sun Belt | WAC 
Age is a factor, being able to recruit helps, and the ability to do big things with mediocre talent doesn't hurt. So with that in mind, this isn't a ranking of the best coaches in the Big East; this is a ranking of the coaches you'd want to lead the program for the next five years or more.

RANKING THE COACHES YOU'D WANT TO BUILD YOUR PROGRAM
- ACC Coaches | Big East Coaches | Big Ten Coaches
- Big 12 Coaches | C-USA Coaches | Ind Coaches
- MAC Coaches | M-West Coaches | Pac-12 Coaches
- SEC Coaches | Sun Belt Coaches | WAC Coaches

- Top 15 | No. 16 - 30 | No. 31 - 45 | No. 46 - 60
- No. 61 - 75 | No. 76 - 90 | No. 91 - 105 | Bottom 15 

1. Charlie Strong, Louisville
Career Record: 7-7

After finally getting his shot, Strong immediately started to clean up Louisville after falling off the map under Steve Kragthorpe. A long time top defensive coordinator, he’s revamping the Cardinal D, and he’s bringing in some good talent, but it could be a long year with more rebuilding to be done. Even so, he’s a tremendously talented coach who should shine over the next several seasons.
Hot Seat Status: Zero. Louisville was lucky to keep him when the Florida job came open.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Three years. This might be a stepping stone to one huge payday. South Carolina could come calling in the near future.

2. Skip Holtz, USF
Career Record: 80-55

One of the hottest prospects a few years ago, South Florida got the high-riser and the hope is for the Big East titles to come. He’s doing a good job recruiting, he came up with a good first year, and the sky is the limit. The key will be to keep bringing in the talent and keeping the better players at home, but he should be able to crank out better offenses with a little bit of time. (The 2010 version was awful.)
Hot Seat Status: None. USF would love nothing more than to keep Holtz around and for his name to be out of the mix whenever a big opening comes up (helloooo, South Carolina, where he was an assistant).
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. He’s getting paid just under $2 million a year, but he’s young, upwardly mobile, and should be in the hunt for openings at Penn State, South Carolina, and others in the near future.

3. Greg Schiano, Rutgers
Career Record: 59-63

Alright, so the bloom is off the rose with a disastrous 4-8 season after five straight strong years. Even so, Schiano is still doing a decent job on the recruiting trail and he’s still doing things the right way keeping the academic side of things up. With the way he made a miserable program good, he’ll have his pick of any mid-range BCS-league jobs if he ever wants to move.
Hot Seat Status: Little. He has been around for ten years, but what he did taking one of college football’s worst programs and making it relevant has been nothing short of miraculous.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. He was strangely quiet in when Miami was looking for a head man, but the former Penn State assistant could be the main target for the Nittany Lions very, very soon.

4. Bill Stewart/Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Career Record: 0-0 for Holgorsen
s the coaching situation going to screw up a team good enough to win the Big East title, or will the transfer of power by seamless and effective? Holgorsen is the head coach-in-waiting as Stewart gets one more year, and things will be very, very interesting. Holgorsen is a phenomenal offensive coordinator, but can he run the entire team? Can he recruit at a high level? He has star potential and the expectations are high.
Hot Seat Status: Medium-high. Mountaineer fans might hate Rich Rodriguez, but they loved his offense and Stewart couldn’t fill the shoes. Holgorsen will be expected to win and get the offense to blow up and do it with pizzazz to make the Mountaineers a national power.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. Either Holgorsen will be great and he’ll take over at Iowa whenever Kirk Ferentz is done, or it won’t work, the Mountaineers won’t win big, and he’ll be back to being a special offensive coordinator.

5. Doug Marrone, Syracuse
Career Record: 12-13
The Syracuse alum has the job he wanted, and he’s trying to restore the glory. Things started to turn last year with a strong year and a thrilling bowl win over Kansas State, but he has to recruit better, learn how to win at home, and use his NFL offensive coordinator talents to make the attack more dangerous.
Hot Seat Status: None. It’s been years since Syracuse was strong, and Marrone will get plenty of room to keep trying to improve things. As long as the Orange is going to bowls, for now, that’s fine.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In ten years. Only 46, Marrone is still young, and at his alma mater, he’s not actively looking to bolt. He’d take a pro gig before going the college route again.

6. Todd Graham, Pitt
Career Record: 33-20

After three ten-win seasons in four at Tulsa, Graham was the fill-in choice after the Mike Haywood fiasco. A winner who kept the Rice offense going in his one year at the helm in 2006, now he has to make Pitt more explosive while proving his teams can play a little bit of defense. They didn’t stop many teams in shootouts at Tulsa. He has to prove he can recruit like Dave Wannstedt did.
Hot Seat Status: High. Wannstedt was successful and was very, very close to going to the BCS. He didn’t get the job done and the program never got over the hump. Graham has to bring a Big East championship yesterday. The program didn’t dump Wanny just to tread water.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Five years. Graham's offense … great. Graham’s defense … uhhhh.

7. Butch Jones, Cincinnati
Career Record: 31-21
He followed Brian Kelly at Central Michigan and was wildly successful with MAC titles in 2007 and 2009. He followed Kelly at Cincinnati, and a year after being close to playing for the national title, the team clunked in an ugly 4-8 year. Jones is starting to recruit better, but 2010 was about rebuilding. Now the magic has to come.
Hot Seat Status: High. How can UC fans be kept down after so much success under Kelly? Jones doesn’t have to win the Big East title, but he has to show that things are quickly changing for the Bearcats after the disastrous 2010.
The Coaching Change Will Come … 2014. Either he’ll rock and will be snapped up by a bigger name program, like Kelly, or the problems will continue and he’s one. Either way, something will likely happen in the next three seasons.

8. Paul Pasqualoni, Connecticut
Career Record: 141-76-1

It was quickly forgotten how Syracuse was a national player not all that long ago. Pasqualoni didn’t get fired for being awful; he got fired because SU football became mediocre. He knows how to recruit in the Northeast, and he’s planning on not trying to reinvent the wheel at UConn, but he’s 61, was mediocre in the end at Syracuse, and appears to be more of a placeholder for the job than a star.
Hot Seat Status: Little. There’s a football team? Even after the Fiesta Bowl season, UConn’s focus is on Kemba, Kemba, Kemba.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In five years. Pasqualoni isn’t going to be bad, and the program will do more than just tread water, but he’ll be 62 when the season starts and isn’t a long term solution. 

RANKING THE COACHES YOU'D WANT TO BUILD YOUR PROGRAM
- ACC Coaches | Big East Coaches | Big Ten Coaches
- Big 12 Coaches | C-USA Coaches | Ind Coaches
- MAC Coaches | M-West Coaches | Pac-12 Coaches
- SEC Coaches | Sun Belt Coaches | WAC Coaches

- Top 15 | No. 16 - 30 | No. 31 - 45 | No. 46 - 60
- No. 61 - 75 | No. 76 - 90 | No. 91 - 105 | Bottom 15