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The Coach You Want To Take Over ... 76 to 90

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. 76 to 90.

2011 Spring Preview 
 
The Coaches You'd Want - 76-90
 

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 

90. Larry Blakeney, Troy
Career Record: 161-82-1

One of the nation’s best coaches that no one has heard of, he has put together great season after great season at Troy on the way to being named the Sun Belt’s 10th Anniversary Most Outstanding Coach. Troy has won at least a piece of five straight conference titles and has gone to five bowl games in seven years. His only issue is age turning 64 this year.
Hot Seat Status: None. There should be streets and stadiums named after the guy. The statue is coming.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In five years. He’s still going strong, but he’s not going to be rolling into his 70s. At this point he’s not going to leave for a bigger gig.

89. Paul Wulff, Washington State
Career Record: 58-72

He’s trying hard enough. Good at Eastern Washington, but not special, he got his teams to the D-IAA playoffs three times in four years before taking the step up to Wazzu. He wasn’t exactly handed a heater, but he hasn’t been able to do much to turn things around in three seasons going 5-32 with his 2009 Cougars, arguably, the worst team in Pac-10 history. He has a good offensive mind and he’s innovative, but he’s not able to get the talent to compete with the top Pac-12 teams and experience hasn’t translated into production so far.
Hot Seat Status: Red hot. No one was expecting Mike Price, but two conference wins in three years isn’t going to get the job done. And now the league just got tougher.
The Coaching Change Will Come … At the end of the 2011 season. Wazzu will be more competitive and won’t just be a speed bump like it’s been over the last three years, but the wins simply won’t be there.

88. Dan McCarney, North Texas
Career Record: 56-85

It’s not like things got that stale at Iowa State. McCarney had come up with five seven-plus winning campaigns in seven years at a tough place to consistently win, and then he was dumped. After bouncing around as a defensive line coach, he’s getting another shot at North Texas and he might be fantastic. Only 58 when the season starts, there’s still time for him to make the Mean Green shine.
Hot Seat Status: None. After the Todd Dodge disaster, McCarney will get at least three years to make everything better.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In ten years. At his age, McCarney isn’t going anywhere, but he’s young enough to build up the program and make it his for the next decade. It was an underappreciated hire.

87. Dennis Erickson, Arizona State
Career Record: 171-89-1

How many current head college football head coaches have won more than one national title? Jim Tressel? Nope. Bob Stoops? Nyuh-uh. Mack Brown, Steve Spurrier or Les Miles? No, no, and no. There’s Joe Paterno, Nick Saban, and Erickson. While many of the players on his current Arizona State team weren’t born yet the last time Erickson won a championship, he has been busy since 1991. But here’s the problem. For all the good things he has done, like taking 2000 Oregon State to an 11-1 season and a Fiesta Bowl romp over Notre Dame, he has just two winning seasons in his last seven years as a college coach. He has a heater of a team returning, and he has the personality and the long career that makes him a fun coach in the spotlight, but he needs a winning season after not going to a bowl game in three years.
Hot Seat Status: He might has well have a pitchfork and be on the side of the helmet. Fun stat: Erickson has just one bowl win, the 2001 Fiesta victory over the Irish, since winning the national title in 1991.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Sometime in the next few years. Bruce Snyder, Dirk Koetter, and now, possibly, Erickson. Since John Cooper left for Ohio State, Arizona State is where promising coaching careers go to die. At 64, this will be Erickson’s last stop.

86. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa
Career Record: 0-0

A legendary high school coach, he took over an assistant job at Tulsa where he’s been a big part of the offensive machine for the last few seasons. Now he gets to move up a spot with Todd Graham leaving to take over the Pitt job, and the expectations will be high for a program that’s been in the Conference USA title chase for years. Turning 65 late this year, this is the chance he’s been waiting for. At the very least the offense should keep on rolling.
Hot Seat Status: High. After winning ten games last year and with so much success over the last several seasons, even with a down 2009, nothing less than a bowl game will do. The Golden Hurricane offense finished fifth in the nation and it should rock again.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. Turnover is the norm at Tulsa, but this time the coaching change will come from retirement. He’ll do a fine job.

85. Larry Porter, Memphis
Career Record: 1-11

He was handed an empty cupboard and wasn’t able to do much with it. The former Memphis running back knows the program and he knows what he’s supposed to do, but he wasn’t anything more than a running back coach before getting the head gig at MU. Only 39 going into the season, he’s young, bright, and expected to make big things happen.
Hot Seat Status: None. There was such a big rebuilding job needing to be done that he’ll get at least two more years to change things around.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In five years. Either he’ll be great and he’ll leave for a bigger, better job, or he’ll struggle, sputter, and will be off to be someone’s offensive coordinator for a few years before getting another chance.

84. Don Treadwell, Miami University
Career Record: 0-0

Hayes, Parseghian, Schembechler, Blaik … Treadwell. The former Michigan State offensive coordinator knows the program, having been a receiver at MU in the in the late 1970s, and now he’ll try to be the next star for the “Cradle of Coaches.” He is more than ready to get his chance, getting time in an interim role last year at MSU when Mark Dantonio suffered his heart attack, and he has a strong team returning with a chance to win big right away. If nothing else, his offense will be effectively balanced.
Hot Seat Status: Warm. Considering the RedHawks won the MAC title game, a losing season would be a disaster. He doesn’t have to win the championship, but his team has to be in the hunt. The Coaching Change Will Come … Soon. Turning 52 this summer, if he has any designs on pulling a Mike Haywood and getting a bigger job he’ll have to bolt at the first opportunity. While he’s at his alma mater and wouldn’t be too upset if he stuck around for a long time, it’ll be tough to turn down a BCS job.

83. Bill Cubit, Western Michigan
Career Record: 74-51-1

Turning 58 in October, he still has several good years left in him. A solid MAC coach for the last six years, he hasn’t been able to lead the way to the conference title and he’s 0-2 in bowl games, but his teams are always competitive. The MAC coach of the year in 2005 has a whale of a team returning in 2011 and should have his best season yet.
Hot Seat Status: A little warm. He hasn’t won a bowl game and hasn’t gotten the Broncos to the MAC title game. He has two second place West finishes and three thirds, but the program might be interested in trying to go younger if Cubit can’t produce a winner. The Coaching Change Will Come … 2017. He has another several years left in him, but can WMU be consistent enough and can it get a conference title? With only one winning season in the last four years, this might be a make-or-break season. His team will come through.

82. Dave Christensen, Wyoming
Career Record: 10-15

A tremendous offensive coordinator at Toledo and Missouri, he was expected to come in to Wyoming and get the attack rolling. Last year, the Cowboys finished 116th in the nation in total offense and 106th in scoring. However, he started out hot with a winning 2009 finished up with a New Mexico Bowl win, and now he has to prove he bring a winner on a regular basis. More offense along the way would be nice.
Hot Seat Status: Little. The 3-9 2010 wasn’t a plus, but he’ll get at least two more years to see what he can do.
The Coaching Change Will Come … 2016. He’ll come up with one really good year to get everyone fired up and to buy him a few more years, and then the struggles will come.

81. Darrell Hazell, Kent State
Career Record: 0-0

Hazell knows Ohio as a key assistant for Ohio State since 2004, and he’s a strong enough offensive coach to be ready to take over and shine. The Golden Flashes haven’t shown much golden flash on offense, and that’s where Hazell comes in after working with the offense as an assistant head coach for the Buckeyes.
Hot Seat Status: Little. Doug Martin did a great job coming up with one of the nation’s most aggressive defenses and one of the best run stopping units in the MAC, but Hazell needs to start winning right away. The Coaching Change Will Come … More than five years. Hazell, like all MAC coaches, might be interested in moving up quickly, but it’ll be hard to do big things with Kent State to show he’s ready for a top-flight job. He should be a conference regular for a while.

80. David Bailiff, Rice
Career Record: 36-37

It’s a shame he’s not getting a shot to show what he can do with more talent and at a bigger program. Only 53 when the season starts, there’s still time for him to come up with one more good year and parlay it into a mid-level BCS gig, but the window is closing after going 6-18 over the last two years and three years removed from the 10-3 2008 campaign.
Hot Seat Status: Lukewarm. He hasn’t had much luck over the last few years, but after two bad seasons he might be allowed to have one more. A truly disastrous campaign might be enough to make a change.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. It’s too tough a task to win consistently at Rice, and while Bailiff can coach, the wins won’t be there.

79. Mike London, Virginia
Career Record: 4-8
A premier defensive line coach, London is going to soon make the Cavaliers a killer on defense and more physical on offense. He’s going to have a tough time getting the talent that Al Groh brought in, but he’s a fantastic coach who’ll make the program more competitive in the logjam of an ACC. It would be nice to see what he could do with more top-shelf players.
Hot Seat Status: Little. There’s no real pressure in his second year of the rebuilding job, but he has to come up with six wins and can’t afford a total disaster.
The Coaching Change Will Come … In five years. He’ll make Virginia good, but at some point the school will want to get over a hump that might not be possible in the upgraded league.

78. Turner Gill, Kansas
Career Record: 22-32

The legendary Nebraska quarterback might be the Bucky Dent of college coaches, coming up with one magical year taking Buffalo to the 2008 MAC title when everything, everything went right. No matter how it happened, he took one of the worst programs in college football and came up with eight wins and a miraculous championship. He didn’t have senior QB Drew Willy in 2009, his defense didn’t come up with a ton of turnovers for a second straight year, and the 5-7 follow up was a disappointment. Still a hot prospect, he was hired by Kansas and was at the helm for a disastrous 3-9 campaign. There’s a lot of work to be done, and he still has to prove he can recruit well enough to turn KU to a winner, but he’s young, smart, and talented. Now he needs some luck.
Hot Seat Status: It’s about to be blazing. It might not be fair to judge a body of coaching work on just two seasons, but if KU doesn’t show a major improvement this year, 2013 will be pressure packed.
The Coaching Change Will Come … After the 2013 season. The talent level isn’t going to be good enough to come up with a winning record over the next two years in the new, tougher Big 12.

77. David Cutcliffe, Duke
Career Record: 54-50

After being unceremoniously dumped by Ole Miss, he revived his career as a coordinator and now is trying to do the impossible at Duke. The offense has been more interesting, but the overall results haven’t been there with talent level always going to be an issue. Tennessee flirted with him when Lane Kiffin bolted, but he stuck around in Durham to fight the good fight.
Hot Seat Status: None. Duke was happy to keep him around.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within five years. He’s relatively young, turning 57 this season, but the losses will mount. He’d have been good at Tennessee.

76. Mike Sherman, Texas A&M
Career Record: 19-19

Thank you, Ryan Tannehill. Lost in the tremendous second half of the 2010 season was how the Sherman era was going nowhere fast. After going 13-18 over the first two-plus years, he made a key quarterback switch, Tannehill pumped life into the program, and A&M rolled to six straight wins before a bowl loss to LSU. Now there’s an excitement around what A&M might be able to do, and he has to capitalize on the momentum to get off to a hot start to prove the run wasn’t a fluke. A top offensive coordinator, his offenses are starting to work as originally hoped for.
Hot Seat Status: To paraphrase the famous Bobby Bowden saying, there’s only about a foot difference between a halo and a noose. Remember, Sherman had a great six weeks. He needs to have a great full season.
The Coaching Change Will Come … Within three years. For all the great things the Aggies did, tying for the Big 12 South title, they still didn’t do enough to win the Big 12 title and now things will be tougher. Thanks to a nasty schedule A&M will struggle this year, and the program will have a big decision to make. If he’s done, even at 57 by the end of the year, he can immediately get a big job as a top assistant.

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