2013 Big 12 Coaches
The Building Factor
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Pac-12 Coaching Rebuild Rankings
Coach You Want To Build Around - Part 2
1. David Shaw, Stanford
Career Record: 23-4
Jim Harbaugh might have set the wheels in motion, but it’s Shaw who actually did something big taking the Cardinal to two straight BCS games, winning a Pac-12 title and coming up with a Rose Bowl. Even more impressive was the way he pulled it all off last season after Andrew Luck left to become the architect of the Indianapolis Colts. Turning 41 this season, he’s among the hottest coaching prospects in all of football.
Hot Seat Status: Absolute zero. It’s not like USC or even Oregon where Rose Bowls are expected on a yearly basis now. Even if Stanford slips a bit for a year or two, the two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year is safe as houses.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within three years. The former assistant with the Oakland raiders, Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles is destined for the NFL.
2. Jim Mora Jr., UCLA
Career Record: 9-5
How long will he stick around in Westwood? A solid NFL head coach at Atlanta, despite the 32-34 record, he might be someday headed back to the next level if he has another big season or two. While his first season didn’t exactly end on a high note, the future is bright with a slew of tremendous young talents to work around and a coaching staff that seems perfectly equipped to get through life in the improving Pac-12 South.
Hot Seat Status: Mild. He can withstand a mediocre second year, but the pressure is on now to take what he did in his first year and turn it the program into Pac-12 champions. It’s not like coaching the UCLA basketball program, but the expectations are high.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within three years. Turning 52 this football season, he has one more shot to move up and show what he can do again in The Show after bringing UCLA at least one really, really big year.
3. Mark Helfrich, Oregon
Career Record: 0-0
Chip Kelly might be given all the credit for being the genius behind the amazing Oregon offense, but Helfrich was the offensive coordinator since 2009 and should be able to keep the music going without much of a problem. The Oregon native was born for this job, and while he has Shaq-sized shoes to fill, after working with some of the best offensive minds in football at Arizona State and Boise State as well as Oregon, there’s a chance he’s able to come up with the tweaks needed to finally bring the Ducks a national title.
Hot Seat Status: Blazing. It’s not like Kelly left the cupboard bard. Oregon is supposed to win the Pac-12 title this season and possibly more. There’s no grace period.
The Coaching Change Will Come … in a long, long while. Turning 40 in October, he might be young and upwardly mobile, but Oregon has become a destination college coaching job. Unless there’s a whopper of an NFL contract out there like Kelly got, Helfrich should do just fine and stick around for a while.
4. Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
Career Record: 16-21
Who turns around San Jose State? MacIntyre didn’t just make the Spartans good, in three years he came up with a whopper of a 10-2 season, pushing Stanford hard early and showing off a tremendously efficient passing offense despite the lack of big-time talent to work with. Is turning around Colorado harder? The 48-year-old not only got the offense moving, but a defensive coach by nature, he cranked up the defensive pressure with one of the best pass rushes in college football. It’s going to be a process and it’s going to take a little while, but this should a piece of cake compared to making the Spartans relevant.
Hot Seat Status: None. He went 1-11 in his first season at San Jose State, and he’s going to get at least two years to figure out what he needs to do in Boulder. Recruiting is going to be the key; can he go toe-to-toe with UCLA, USC and Arizona, not to mention the Pac-12 North? He needs the players.
The Coaching Change Will Come … in over five years. It’s going to be a long process, but he should take to the job. Colorado can be an elite gig, but MacIntyre has to make it that way.
5. Lane Kiffin, USC
Career Record: 25-13
He’s better than you think. Forget for a moment about how things went down with the Oakland Raiders, and try to forget how rough the Tennessee stint was. He actually turned around USC with the big 10-2 2011 season when there wasn’t anything to play for. Okay, so 2012 was a disaster after starting out as the AP No. 1 team, but that was partly due to the NCAA sanctions; the depth wasn’t there once injuries struck. 38 this football season, he’s still young and still has a long coaching life ahead of him at a high level. A great recruiter, he’ll always be fine as a college coach, but he’ll eventually end up back in the NFL.
Hot Seat Status: It might not be as hot as it appears. The media and fans weren’t happy with the 7-6 season and lifeless loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl, but he’s still considered a top talent and he’s coming off a decent recruiting season even though he’s still hamstrung by sanctions.
The Coaching Change Will Come … in just about five years. He’s not going to get fired next year unless there’s a disaster, but with enough talent to get by, USC will be fine. If he doesn’t win at least one Pac-12 title in the next five years, he’ll be gone. If he wins a few, he’ll get another shot at the NFL.
6. Steve Sarkisian, Washington
Career Record: 26-25
Considering how bad Washington was when Sarkisian took over, the tenure hasn’t been too bad, but it’s not like he has taken the Pac-12 by storm. The former BYU quarterback cranked out three straight 7-6 seasons after starting out 5-7, but Oregon and Stanford have grown into mega-powers during the stretch and the Dawgs are treading water. Even so, he’s doing a decent job and at 39 years old, he’s just getting his coaching career started and has a tremendous future ahead.
Hot Seat Status: Growing. There’s no concern about getting fired for now, but there’s little margin for error. The program might be decades removed from being national championship good, but the expectations are still there to get back to a high level. The breakthrough needs to come.
The Coaching Change Will Come … within five years. At his age, either he turns this around and starts to look at the NFL, or he doesn’t get a division title and the program looks for something bigger.
Coach You Want To Build Around - Part 2