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The Coach You Want To Take Over ... 91 to 105

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 21, 2011


What coach would you want to run your program for the next five years and beyond? Who's on the hot seat? As part of the 2011 Spring Preview, CFN ranks all the coaches based on the future and not necessarily on how good they are right now. Here are the coaches No. 91 to 105.

2011 Spring Preview 
 
The Coaches You'd Want - 91-105
 

Here's the drill. You have to hire a head coach right now to lead your program for the next several years from among the 120 current coaches. Forget about what happened in the past and forget about legendary status - you wouldn't hire Joe Paterno to build a franchise - you want a guy who can be the head man for a long, long time. Okay, so maybe you just want a coach to win right away, but you need a guy who can go on the recruiting trail tomorrow, bring in the talent, and then be there to win with the players brought in. That’s why age is a factor and why so many big names are down low.

This is NOT a list of the best head coaches in college football. 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 

105. Dan Enos, Central Michigan
Career Record: 3-9

The former Michigan State quarterback was handed a fat load of jack squat when he took over the MAC powerhouse. Most of the top players were gone, including Dan LeFevour, and he had to do a major rebuilding job. The quarterback coach at MSU has a nice pupil to build around in Ryan Radcliff, but he has to get the offense going and has to start winning close games after losing five by a touchdown or less.
Hot Seat Status: Toasty. Central Michigan isn’t Michigan when it comes to high expectations, but after winning MAC titles on a regular basis, more 3-9 seasons won’t sit well. The Coaching Change Will Come … In five years. Either CMU will try to find another Butch Jones/Brian Kelly who can win titles, or Enos will turn out to be good and he’ll move on to a mid-level job.

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

It has been quickly forgotten, but 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.

103. Mike MacIntyre, San Jose State
Career Record: 1-12

The one-win first season as a head coach wasn’t exactly inspiring, but he had NOTHING to work with after taking over from Dick Tomey. He did what he could making his team competitive with five losses in the last nine games by seven points or fewer, while giving Wisconsin a fight in a 27-14 loss. Known as a top defensive mind, it’ll be interesting to see what he can do with a little more time to work. It would be more interesting to see what he could do with better players.
Hot Seat Status: Little. It’s only been one year and there aren’t any expectations. He’ll get a few years to try to come up with wins in an unwinnable situation, but the potential is there to be a star in 2012 when all the good WAC teams bolt to the Mountain West.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In several years. MacIntyre is a good coaching prospect and he’ll get a few chances to show what he can do, and in 2012 the stars in the WAC will be Louisiana Tech and Idaho. San Jose State’s window might finally be opening.

102. Tom O’Brien, NC State
Career Record: 100-70
As long as he gets to bowl games, where he’s 7-2, everything is fine. After working wonders at Boston College, he has cranked out some decidedly mediocre teams at NC State. A Marine, he coaches well-disciplined, tough teams, but the wins aren’t coming and the recruiting classes aren’t near what Chuck Amato brought in.
Hot Seat Status: Toasty. He needs to make the Pack a player in the ACC race in a hurry. The program can’t fall behind North Carolina.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. Even if he turns State into a power, he’s 62. Age won’t be his problem, but a lack of championships will be.

101. James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Career Record: 0-0

He’s playing it straight. No more nice guy Vanderbilt for new head coach James Franklin; the offense is going to start producing under his watch. An extremely bright prospect who’s one of the best recruiters in the game, he’s a high riser who could make Vandy more competitive on his skills and drive alone. While he might have been a fourth or fifth choice for the vacancy, but he’s what the program needed. He’ll be an innovator who’ll get to take a few chances that other coaches wouldn’t.
Hot Seat Status: None. It’s Vanderbilt. Four wins is a plus, five wins means the team is on the move, and six wins gets a contract extension.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. The wins won’t be there, but his offenses will put up the numbers to get him noticed. Only 39, he has a long and productive career ahead.

100. Ron Zook, Illinois
Career Record: 51-59

While there was a little bit of success last year when the pressure was on, and there’s a little bit of hope that all the planets will align and he can take Illinois to another Rose Bowl, but he’s not doing enough to make the program a consistent factor. The best thing he did over the last few years was bring in the right assistants in a job-saving move, and while it was a good 2010, it wasn’t anything truly special. The recruiting magic appears to have dried up and the top-shelf talents aren’t mysteriously signing on the dotted line like they did in 2005.
Hot Seat Status: Toasty. One more mediocre year and it’ll be time to change. Illinois didn’t want to east the contract two years ago, but it’ll be able to do it after next season if needed.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Ten minutes after the 2011 season is over.

99. Greg McMackin, Hawaii
Career Record: 23-17

He took over from June Jones and kept the success going. No, Hawaii isn’t knocking on the door of any BCS games, but the offense is still running and shooting and the defense, while always deficient of top talent, is always aggressive. The problem is McMackin’s age, and at 66 going into the season, he’s not going anywhere else and his last job, if and when he’s done with Hawaii, will be as someone’s defensive coordinator.
Hot Seat Status: Little. The only reason he might be gone and the only reason the pressure is on is because of the move. With Hawaii going to the Mountain West in 2012, the pressure will be on soon to beat the better teams on a more consistent basis.
The Coaching Change Will Come … By 2014. It’s all about age. McMackin might be feisty and he’s doing a good job, but he’ll be pushing 70 by the time the program is trying to make a splash in the new league.

98. Rocky Long, New Mexico
Career Record: 65-69

He wasn’t bad at New Mexico with a 40-34 record and five bowl appearances, but one losing season was enough to try to start over. The program hadn’t exactly become stale, but it hadn’t gotten over the hump. After two years as Brady Hoke’s defensive coordinator he gets one last chance at running a program. At 61, this is his chance to show New Mexico that it made a mistake.
Hot Seat Status: A little bit. It’s asking too much for him to be Hoke, but the pressure is on to get to a bowl game after a great 2010.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In four years. Long will do a good job and the program will tread water, and then he’ll retire after a decent run.

97. Chris Ault, Nevada
Career Record: 219-97-1

The Hall of Famer is picking a great time to do his best coaching job. His Pistol attack ripped up the stat sheet over the last few years producing some of the greatest rushing careers in the history of college football. He’d be one of the hottest coaches around if he was a bit younger, but at 64 and after spending his whole career in Reno, he’s going to finish out things out with the Wolf Pack. After building the program to this point, he wouldn’t have much immediate success starting from scratch somewhere else.
Hot Seat Status: Zero. Buildings and streets will be named after him when he’s done.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Longer than it might seem. He’ll turn 65 during the season, but he’s not showing any signs of slowing down. He’ll be around for a few years with the program stepping up to the Mountain West in 2012.

96. Steve Fairchild, Colorado State
Career Record: 13-24

The former CSU quarterback and offensive coordinator came back to his alma mater after running the St. Louis Ram attack. He came in preaching about how the team was going to get physical again and was going to relive the good old days under Sonny Lubick, but things fizzled after a hot start. The hope rests on star quarterback prospect Pete Thomas possibly getting the offense rolling, but the defense still needs a ton of help.
Hot Seat Status: It’s heating up. He seems like he’s the right guy for the job, but it hasn’t been working. Two straight 3-9 seasons have started the grumbling, and another dud year might be too much to overcome.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In two years. The Rams will be better this year, but they won’t rock. A fourth straight losing season in 2012 will end the fun.

95. Hugh Freeze, Arkansas State
Career Record: 20-5

A terrific head coach at Lambuth for two years and the coach at Briarcrest High, highlighted in the movie The Blind Side, he was great as the offensive coordinator for Arkansas State last year. Now it’s his gig after taking over for Steve Roberts, and the offense should blow up. Can he make the program a consistent winner? He’ll get plenty of time to figure it out.
Hot Seat Status: More than it might seem. Roberts was good at ASU, winning the Sun Belt title in 2005, but two straight 4-8 seasons led to the change. Freeze will be fine for a year, but then he needs to get to a bowl game.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Soon. Young and talented, he’s as upwardly mobile as they come in the Sun Belt. He’ll take the first good job he’ll get a chance at.

94. Willie Taggart, Western Kentucky
Career Record: 2-10

Just wait. He only went 2-10 in his first year, but the WKU job is a marathon, not a sprint. The running back coach at Stanford who helped make Toby Gerhart a near-Heisman winner, he has a star in Bobby Rainey to make a national name and should make the young team far better. Taggart is a former WKU quarterback who’s young and fired up to make his program shine.
Hot Seat Status: Little. He’ll get as much time as he needs for a relatively new FBS program that might need a little while to be consistently solid.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In a while. Again, he went to WKU and isn’t going to just jump at the first opportunity he’ll get. However, he’s a talented, smart coach who’ll get a great next-step gig within the next five years.

93. Gary Andersen, Utah State
Career Record: 12-23

He hasn’t won much of anything with just a 12-23 career record, but he cut his teeth as the Utah defensive coordinator for four years and proved that he has the talent to crank out strong defenses. Now he has to do it at Utah State. His running game has been impressive, and he’s doing what he can with little talent to work with, but he’s in a tough situation and his teams are competitive. It would be interesting to see what he could do at a midrange program.
Hot Seat Status: He’s fine for a little while, but at some point in the next few years he has to come up with at least one shockingly good winning season to buy more time.
The Coaching Change Will Come … 2015. He’ll either have a little bit of success and will move on, or he won’t come up with the winning seasons needed and the program will try someone else.

92. Mark Hudspeth, Louisiana
Career Record: 66-21

A tremendous high school coach who went 25-1, and excellent at D-II North Alabama going 66-21 with six ten-plus winning seasons in eight years, he’s ready to show what he can do. A receiver coach at Mississippi State before getting the job, his offense will be strong from the start.
Hot Seat Status: Little. After two straight 6-6 seasons, ULL went 3-9 making it time for a change. He’ll get one year, but then he has to start winning.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Quickly. He was phenomenal when he got to run his own program at South Alabama, and he’ll be great for a few years until the next big opportunity opens up. Only 43 this year, he’s going to be a high riser.

91. Robb Akey, Idaho
Career Record: 17-33

While his Vandal defenses have yet to come up with a stop, which is particularly galling considering his background is as a defensive coordinator, his teams always, always bring the maximum effort. Taking the program to a bowl win two years ago was special, and now he has to make more magic. Again, his teams try and it’s not like things fell off the map despite an ugly second half stretch that killed any hopes of a winning campaign, and the future is bright with all the league’s good teams leaving next year for the Mountain West.
Hot Seat Status: Little. Considering the way former coaches Nick Holt and Dennis Erickson bolted, Akey can stick around for a while without any concerns.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In more than ten years. He’s only 44 and Idaho is on the verge of being a WAC power when Louisiana Tech becomes the league’s other decent program in 2013.

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