2013 Coaching 5-Year Plan - No. 51 to 75

Posted Apr 9, 2013

You have to pick a coach to build your program for the next five years.

2013 Coaching Analysis

The 5-Year Plan, Part 3

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Coaching Analysis & Breakdowns By Conference
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- 2013 New Head Coaches - Arkansas to Idaho
- 2013 New Head Coaches - Kent State to South Florida
- 2012 New Head Coaches - Southern Miss to Wisconsin

2013 5-Year Plan Coaching Rankings
- Part 1 - The Top 20 | Part 2 - 26-50
- Part 3 - 51-75 | Part 4 - 76-100
- Part 5 - The Bottom 26 

We did this two years ago. Take a guess how many of the 120 head coaches in 2011 aren't with their programs anymore? 57. Almost have of the coaches from just two years ago are gone, and it'll probably be close to that many two years from now. So with that in mind, which coaches would you want to bring in to build around?

It's simple: you have to hire a coach for your program with a five-year plan to build it up. Who'd be the best coach to take? No, this isn't a ranking of the best coaches in college football right now; this is a ranking of who'd be best to take over and be in for the relative long haul.

That's why age plays a huge factor - it's not a lock that a coach will still want to do this into his 70s - but it's mostly about who can get the job done. The younger, though, the better. 

51. Paul Rhoads, Iowa State
Career Record: 24-27
Iowa State is a tough gig. There isn’t a big recruiting base, it’s hard to get the limelight with Iowa the state’s big program, and the rest of the Big 12 is fantastic. Even so, Rhoads has used smoke and mirrors to come up with a consistently solid team, going to three bowl games in four years and a not-that-awful 5-7 in the one misfire. A defensive back coach by nature, he does a decent job with the D, but more than anything else he’s able to get his mediocre talents to play at another level.

52. Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Career Record: 0-0
Here we go. The Red Raider faithful has one of its own, getting the legendary quarterback to bring exactly what the program is looking for. He’s young, personable, and really, really talented. The hot offensive coordinator under the hot head coach, Kevin Sumlin, and a big reason the hot new college football star, Johnny Manziel, won the Heisman. 34 this year, he needs to win right away but will also get plenty of time – everyone around the program really wants this to work.

53. 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 gunshy after getting tanked by Ole Miss after a winning season and a bowl appearance and being forced out at Auburn after one down year.

54. Randy Edsall, Maryland
Career Record: 80-88
The guy could use a break. The 2-10 first season at Maryland looked awful on the surface considering the success under Ralph Friedgen before, but there was a major rebuilding and reloading job to be done, and it showed. Then, when it seemed like things were going to be coming into place, the Terp quarterbacks couldn’t stay healthy and the 2012 campaign went into the tank. After creating the UConn program as an FBS player and getting to the Fiesta Bowl, he can coach, but he needs to be able to show what he can do.

55. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia
Career Record: 17-9
Things didn’t exactly get off to a hot start with the transition from the late Bill Stewart regime not exactly smooth, but last offseason Holgorsen was a big deal after his offense obliterated Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Things changed after West Virginia moved to the Big 12 and the second half of last season was such a disaster. The defense couldn’t stop anyone and Geno Smith was wildly inconsistent. There’s no questioning Holgorsen’s offensive mind, but things have to turn back around after the rocky finish.

56. Gus Malzahn, Auburn
Career Record: 9-3
Everyone wondered what he was doing at Arkansas State for a year when the Arkansas gig was there for the taking, along with several other high-profile jobs. He was getting a year under his belt running a college program after years of doing big things as a legendary high school coach before serving as a top-shelf coordinator. He’s more than ready to handle the big-time, and while he has to show that he’s more than just an offensive whiz, he’s a big-time talent who’ll get the woeful offense moving again.

57. Todd Monken, Southern Miss
Career Record: 0-0
Anything will be better than last year’s 0-12 campaign. Monken was a terrific hire for a Southern Miss program with the potential and talent to turn things back around right away with his ability to crank up the offense. The offensive coordinator during Oklahoma State’s last two monster statistical seasons, he was a good get for the program with plenty of upside. He was rumored for several bigger jobs before signing on.

58. Paul Chryst, Pitt
Career Record: 6-7
It was a wee bit of a shock that he wasn’t really in the mix for the Wisconsin job playing quarterback there in the 1980s and serving as the offensive coordinator for six years. He did a nice job with Pitt in his first year considering there was a bit of a rebuilding job needing to be done, and he made quarterback Tino Sunseri into one of the nation’s most effective and careful passers. Just 47, he’s growing into the head coaching role.

59. Ron Caragher, San Jose State
Career Record: 44-22
The former UCLA quarterback has worked his way up the ladder starting out with the Bruins before spending time at Kentucky and taking over the San Diego job. At 46, he gets his FBS chance looking to pull a Mike MacIntyre and come up with one big season before being offered a BCS job. With three conference titles and a high octane offense at USD, the Spartans were lucky to get him.

60. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy
Career Record: 40-26
A 5-7 2011 season aside, he has done a terrific job of keeping the momentum going after Paul Johnson turned Navy into a consistent winner. By going to five bowl games in six years, and with regular wins over Army, Niumatalolo has done exactly what Navy head coaches are supposed to do. He has the right attitude and vision to keep everything working, and he’s expected to be around for a long while. Johnson was terrific, and Niumatalolo has been every bit as good.

61. Dave Clawson, Bowling Green
Career Record: 89-77
At Bowling Green for four years, he’s coming off a nice season and has a tremendous team returning. The defense should be the best in the MAC and there’s a chance he could turn into the next Dave Doeren or Darrell Hazell and turn one big year into bigger job. The one drawback could be his one dud of a stint as the Tennessee offensive coordinator in 2008, but he redeemed himself at BGSU.

62. Matt Campbell, Toledo
Career Record: 10-4
Within about ten minutes of hiring Tim Beckman, Illinois figured out it might have brought in the wrong coach from Toledo. Campbell is only 33, extremely creative and upwardly mobile. He rose up the ranks in a big hurry and had a great first season with prospects for bigger things this year. While he might need one more year to get a next-up gig, he’s becoming extremely hot.

63. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa
Career Record: 19-8
While he’s hardly a household name, he managed to come up with two fantastic seasons finishing second in the West in 2011 and winning the Conference USA title in 2012. He has managed to keep the program’s recent momentum going, and now the excitement is truly building with the move to the Big East in a few years. A high school coach up until 2007, he has managed to get a hang of the college world in a hurry.

64. Dave Christensen, Wyoming
Career Record: 22-27
It’s not easy to be the Wyoming head man. The fan base isn’t huge, but it’s very, very passionate and will get fully behind the program. A good offensive mind who was a key to Gary Pinkel’s rise at Toledo and then Missouri, he’s putting together good offenses with nice quarterback play, but it’s a tough job. The recruiting base isn’t there and it isn’t easy to come up with a consistent winner.

65. Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Career Record: 71-32
The bloom is a bit off the rose after the clunky way 2011’s regular season ended and with last year’s 5-7 disappointment. Everything was fine in the Mountain West with 42 wins in his last four seasons, and then came the move to the Pac-12 and then came the problems. While he’s still considered a top defensive coach and he’s only going to be 54 in November, he’s not the hot prospect he was after his team ripped up Alabama to finish 13-0 in 2008.

66. Pete Lembo, Ball State
Career Record: 94-46
While he might not be the next Brady Hoke, he has been a wild success at every stop so far with just two losing seasons in his 12 seasons as a coach doing a terrific job at both Lehigh and Elon. Ball State needed reviving and he was able to do it with one of the MAC’s best offenses. His team hasn’t played a lick of defense in his two seasons, but the offense is going to be unstoppable.

67. Garrick McGee, UAB
Career Record: 3-9
Don’t let the mediocre first season at UAB fool you – McGee is a good head coaching prospect. The 40-year-old cut his teeth as an offensive coordinator at Northwestern before rising up to become Bobby Petrino’s OC at Arkansas. It was a wee big of a shocker that he didn’t get the job after Petrino’s fiasco, but the program wanted someone with more experience. UAB is hardly a cradle of coaches, but he got the offense moving in his first year with little talent to work with.

68. Sean Kugler, UTEP
Career Record: 0-0
Easily the biggest X factor coach in the new Conference USA, Kugler worked as an NFL assistant for the last 12 seasons before finally getting his first head coaching gig. Turning 47 this football season, he’s just now growing into his coaching career, but can he handle the monumental task of turning around his alma mater? He might be an unknown, but he’s a big name among the coaches. At the moment, he’s mostly known for his sons, especially Patrick, a major-league offensive tackle prospect who’s on his way to Michigan.

69. Gary Pinkel, Missouri
Career Record: 90-61
He deserves a world of credit for making Missouri football relevant, taking the program to No. 1 in the nation in 2007 and three Big 12 North titles in four seasons before slipping a bit in 2011 and struggling in the first year in the SEC. Phenomenal at Toledo, it took him a few years to finally get things going in Columbia, and now it might take a little while to make it all work in the new league. However, it’s going to take a big of a philosophy change on the lines and vastly improved play at the skill spots to get back to the level of a few years ago.

70. Jim McElwain, Colorado State
Career Record: 4-8
Is this the year Colorado State starts to turn it around? The program used to be a powerhouse, but it hasn’t been able to find its groove over the last few seasons, especially offensively. The former Alabama offensive coordinator has a little bit of NFL assistant experience and he’s been involved in some big games, but he hardly has the talent at CSU that he had in Tuscaloosa. However, he’ll get time to try restoring the glory.

71. Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Career Record: 0-0
Bob Stoops – legend. Mike Stoops – working again for his brother after struggling at Arizona. Mark Stoops - ? There’s no questioning his lineage and he has the chops as a defensive coach to field a team that can bang around with the SEC big boys, but he’s an X factor. He has never run his own show spending his career as a top assistant, but he’ll get a long change to finally make UK a consistent winner.

72. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech
Career Record: 88-71
He was a far hotter prospect a few seasons ago and was stronger in the late 1990s after moving on from UConn to become a terrific offensive coordinator. Able to parlay back-to-back Conference USA championships with East Carolina into the South Florida job, it seemed like the situation was perfect. The Bulls were full of great athletes, Holtz’s name was big enough to at least be thrown out there for the Notre Dame job, and it seemed like everything was in place. Instead, the last two seasons were a puzzling disaster, going 8-16 after an 8-5 first season.

73. 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. 

74. Jerry Kill, Minnesota
Career Record: 136-89
He’d be much higher up on the list if it wasn’t for his health issues and problems controlling his seizures. A big winner every place he has been, he made Southern Illinois a regular in the post-season, got Northern Illinois to a MAC West title, and in just two years made Minnesota bowl bound. There’s nothing flashy, but the 51-year-old finds ways to win. 

75. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
Career Record: 112-95
Never dismiss the possibility of Ferentz pulling off one of his patented out-of-the-blue amazing years, but after 14 years the program is trending downward with the 4-8 2012 the worst season since 2000. The recruiting classes aren’t up-to-snuff and the try-hard teams haven’t been able to make up for the overall lack of talent. Turning 58 this year, he’s not done yet, and no one at Iowa wants to see him go, but he needs to turn things back around in a big hurry.

2013 5-Year Plan Coaching Rankings
- Part 1 - The Top 20 | Part 2 - 26-50
- Part 3 - 51-75 | Part 4 - 76-100
- Part 5 - The Bottom 26