Yesterday, Neil Shulman began his list of candidates to replace Will Muschamp. I agree with some of them… but not all. So, I’ve made up my own list for diversity purposes.
I am not going to bother with the obvious names. Bob Stoops. Kevin Sumlin. John Gruden. Mike Leach. Chip Kelly. Art Briles. We have heard those names mentioned repeatedly. We know their credentials and you don’t need me to puke them back to you. Stoops makes the most sense and he might be ready for a move. Or, he might love Oklahoma. Who knows, but he should be Foley’s first call.
Be that as it may……
I also am not interested in rattling off Coordinators. While there are plenty of great OCs out there, this is more about people with head coaching experience. We have learned that Florida and OJT don’t work out, so I am sticking to head coaches.
Larry Fedora – The man knows offense. He has HC experience now. Most importantly, he is well familiar with how to navigate the waters at Florida in a pressure situation, having been Ron Zook’s OC. Sure, he is a bit weak on the defensive side of things, but he can hire a good DC to max our Florida’s talent. Gene Chizik is a Florida alum, currently out of work.
Dave Doeren – Young. Bright. An up and comer who has a future beyond NC State. Perhaps most importantly, the guy knows how to adapt; he made his name at Northern Illinois using Jordan Lynch who was a Tebow type player (read: giant fullback who can throw the ball) and now has Jacoby Brissett tearing it up as a pocket passer. Clearly he can adapt his scheme to the talent on hand. He is from a small school so there might not be an “dream job” hopping from him.
Mark Hudspeth – Young. No power alma mater. Winner. Everywhere he has been. Check his record. He wins . Period. One of the other advantages is he was Dan Mullen’s WR coach so he not only knows the SEC but he also has a varied skill set i terms of offensive experience he can deploy at Florida.
Sonny Dykes – What a lineage. Father was Spike Dykes, Texas Tech legend. Look at his track record as an OC. He ran Texas Tech’s O with Dana Holgorsen. He produced Gronk at Arizona. he has been at the helm of two programs grow. In all reality, he or Hudspeth would be my favorite choice simply because of the Air Raid and his youth, but given his lifelong ties to Texas Tech, I think he might be inclined to want a Texas job and might not be long for Florida. Unless Kingsbury starts tearing it up at Tech, Strong dominates at Texas and Patterson stays at TCU.
Matt Wells – Up and comer in the coaching ranks. I won’t spend too much time fawning over him simply because he is coaching Utah State, his alma mater. He may not be inclined to leave.
Matt Campbell – He might be the best possible get. Another small school guy who might not job hop as Florida would be a destination job for him. he also cut his coaching teeth in a great way; he learned under Gregg Brandon at Bowling Green. You may remember, Brandon was Urban Meyer’s right hand man and OC at Bowling Green which means he is well versed in an offensive philosophy we know will work at Florida.
Pete Lembo – Young. Successful. He is 44 years old with 13.5 years worth of head coaching experience and he has been successful every step of the way with gradual increases in success which tells the story that he is a builder, not just an inheritor. He too might not job hop as his alma mater is not a football school.
Gary Patterson – Winner. Period. His first two years in the Big 12 were a struggle, as he was still working with “lower rated” recruits. However, now that he is in his third year he has his team humming, currently ranked in the CFP with their only loss being a 3 point loss on the road to Baylor. One thing of note, TCU’s strength program is arguably the best in the country. It’s how he got his “lesser” players to play with the big boys. So, what happens when the top tier athletes get into his program ? Well, we are starting to see, aren’t we ?
Bronco Mendenhall – Why not ? He wins and he has managed to field some pretty competitive teams while facing some of the more restrictive conditions in FBS. Because of where he is, he would also be apt to run a “clean” program as well.