2013 Big East Coaches
The Building Factor
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Big East Coaching Rebuild Rankings
- Coaches You Want To
Build Around, Part 2
Picture this. You’re a beleaguered athletic director with an opening at the top of the football organizational chart. Your checkbook is open, and your fan base is glaring at you with unwavering anticipation. Which of the
Big East's current head coaches would you put in charge of the program for the next
several years? Knowing that your own job hangs in the balance, to which man would you entrust your future?
Who gets to be the one you'd want to build around?
This is NOT necessarily a ranking of how good the head coaches are. This is a ranking based on who would be best to take over a program and build it up, so age is a major factor. A coach might be legendary, but he might not have another five years of greatness left. So with that in mind, who are the top candidates to run your program?
1. Charlie Strong, Louisville
Career Record: 25-15
One of the hottest prospects in coaching, he signed on to a bigger deal that should keep him around well into Louisville’s move to the ACC. Getting through the Big East was nice, but the win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl jacked up his stock that much more. While his defense wasn’t a brick wall last year, he’s known for being one of the best in the business at cranking up the intensity. Expect big things in the future with his Cardinals coming into the season with tremendous expectations.
Hot Seat Status: Zero. UofL fans might be thinking BCS or bust, and anything less than another great season will be a huge disappointment, but he’s a star who bought himself several years with his great 2012.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within five years. The 52-year-old might be getting paid extremely well – making close to $4 million a year, but he could be making a whole bunch more if he keeps on rocking and rolling.
2. Willie Taggart, South Florida
Career Record: 16-20
One of the hottest young coaches in the game, he went from doing a fantastic job with the Stanford running backs to doing wonders with a Western Kentucky program that needed a big overhaul. While he didn’t win any Sun Belt titles, he got the Hilltoppers to a bowl game last season and put together some talented teams and left the cupboard full for Bobby Petrino.
Hot Seat Status: None. Skip Holtz struggled so much that Taggart will get at least two years to right the ship.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within five years. He’s really, really good. Only 36, he’ll turn South Florida around and will be in line for a much bigger opportunity unless USF gets snapped up by a bigger conference.
3. Kyle Flood, Rutgers
Career Record: 9-4
The 42-year-old is very young and very good. An elite offensive line coach, he did a nice job in his first season after Greg Schiano left coming up with a tie for the Big East title. While he needs to come up with a few more good seasons to become a hotter property, he’s got the tools and abilities to build on what Schiano created and do even more with it.
Hot Seat Status: Little. The Scarlet Knights need to keep on winning, and he needs to come up with a strong season to show that everything is on the right track before going into the Big Ten, but there aren’t any complaints so far.
The Coaching Change Will Come … in more than five years. At his age and with the big move to the Big Ten, as long as this season isn’t an epic disaster, and as long as he’s not throwing the balls at players’ heads, he should stick around for a while.
4. Tommy Tuberville, Cincinnati
Career Record: 130-77
Did he finally find a home? It depends on who you want to believe, but he either got out of Texas Tech before he was pushed out – there’s still a large segment of the fan base that was never pleased about Mike Leach getting canned – or he took off just when the program was just starting to be his. You have to forgive him for being a bit gun shy after leaving Ole Miss after a winning season and a bowl appearance and being forced out at Auburn after one down year.
Hot Seat Status: Little. After what Brian Kelly and Butch Jones did at UC, Tuberville has to win – there won’t be much of a grace period – and he has to make sure there aren’t any assistant coach headphone adjustments. However, he left a Big 12 school for the Bearcats; he didn’t leave Central Michigan.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within five years. This could be interesting. He’s going to turn 59 during the season, but he’s still a good name who might just have one more big gig shot left in him if he wins the Big East title.
5. Justin Fuente, Memphis
Career Record: 4-8
Justin who? A total unknown outside of the innermost of college football circles when he hired by Memphis last season, he did a decent job with a struggling program while providing a little bit of hope for a big turnaround in the near future. The former TCU offensive coordinator has Oklahoma ties, but he’s cutting his teeth with the Tigers as they make the move into the Big East. He’s considered a strong offensive coaching prospect with the potential to make MU dangerous – he can coach quarterbacks.
Hot Seat Status: None. There’s no pressure at the moment with lots and lots of room to grow the program. This isn’t going to happen overnight, and everyone seems to get that.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within five years. He’s turning 37 this summer with a great upside. It’ll take a few seasons, but he’ll come up with one big year that he’ll parlay into a higher-profile opportunity.