College Football: Ranking The 2013 Coaching Hires

By Al Burke
February 14, 2013 9:28 am
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What makes a good coaching hire? Signing a guy with a great track record? The next big thing? A seasoned coordinator taking over at a school with a strong talent base? All of the above?

With 31 schools - almost a quarter of next year's FBS - signing new head coaches, every single scenario mentioned above has been put in place. But which schools look like they have done well, and who'll be back to the drawing board in a couple of years?

Order will be from number 31 though to 1, with a brief outline of each new coach. feel free to agree or object in the usual fashion in the comments below. Enjoy!

31. Trent Miles, Georgia State

Miles gets the bottom spot as he takes over the FBS new boys who won just 1 game last season under (the) Bill Curry. He's a veteran assistant who was on the verge of turning around FCS Indiana State before jumping at the chance to take a job in the big league.

30. Sean Kugler, Texas El-Paso

Kugler's a respected offensive-line coach, but he's never even been a coordinator, and he's taking over a school where it's notoriously difficult to win. Heck, even an experienced HC like Mike Price couldn't succeed there.

29. Matt Rhule, Temple

Another long time assistant, Rhule has some experience as an OC, but he's stepping into a job where the talent is suited to the MAC, but playing in the Big East. He'll need time to get the team rolling, but he has to show progress from the start.

28. PJ Fleck, West Michigan

After long-time HC couldn't get the job done with some fine teams, the administration decided to go in a different direction. I'm not so sure Fleck, a career WR coach who was a graduate assistant as recently as 2006, is the right direction. 

27. Paul Petrino, Idaho

Petrino last stop at Arkansas may not have been his finest moment as an OC, but he is a good, experienced coach who has earned an HC gig, despite his brother's shenanigans. Why isn't he higher up the list? He's at Idaho, which is in such a mess right now no conference would pick them up when the WAC dissolved.

26. Ron Caragher, San Jose State

I could be way off the mark here, Caragher was a fine recruiter at Kentucky and did a good job as HC at non-scholarship San Diego (34-13), but I think Mike MacIntyre raised the bar at SJSU with a tremendous season, but may have struggled to maintain it a move to the Mountain West looming. 

26. Scott Shafer, Syracuse

This is a good signing in terms of continuity, but apart from 2010, the defense hasn't been spectacular under Shafer. He's still a decent coach, but the move to the ACC should have necessitated a bigger name. The first recruiting class didn't smack of success either.

24. Paul Haynes, Kent State

Do you see a trend here? Another career position coach who gets a shot at a mid-level coaching job, Haynes did a stint as Arkansas' DC last year, but it was hardly of note. The Flashes may have been a one-hit wonder after previous HC Darrell Hazell got them to the MAC championship. Let's see if Haynes can sustain that success.

23. Brian Polian, Nevada

 It's asking a lot to replace a school legend like Chris Ault, who retired at the end of last season (again), but surely they could have found someone with a stronger resume than career special teams (mostly) coach Polian, even if he does have a famous and respected dad. Nevada are loaded though, so he's higher up.

22. Matt Wells, Utah State

Wells is an Aggies alumnus and coached their the last two years, including last year as OC which saw their offense take off. He's a solid choice to replace Gary Andersen, but USU are moving to the Mountain West and have lost their star RB.

21. Rod Carey, Northern Illinois

Another school promoting from within, Carey is another odd choice. He's been an OL coach for most of his career, with very brief stints as a co-OC, but he's not exactly my first choice to take over the MAC powerhouse. 

 

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By Al Burke
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14 months ago
Apologies to Bill Cubit, formerly of Western Michigan, whose name mysteriously vanished from the article.

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