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College Football: Coaching carousel tracker, updates

Due to NIL rules, NFL rumors, and one major retirement, the College Football coaching landscape has never been more volatile.

The moment the college football regular season ended, the coaching carousel began. Rumors swirled throughout bowl season, and some coaches have put rumors to bed by signing contract extensions.

Let’s take a look at the wild college football coaching carousel as it currently stands.

UCLA: DeShaun Foster

UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame member and former NFL running back DeShaun Foster has been named the head coach of the school's football team. Foster was most recently the team's running backs coach under former head coach Chip Kelly. He has a total of 10 years of coaching experience, nine of those years with UCLA, and had a six-year NFL career. The UCLA job is Foster's first head coaching job.

Ohio State offensive coordinator: Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly, who was the UCLA head coach from 2018-2023, is moving east to join Ryan Day's staff at Ohio State, becoming the team's offensive coordinator. Kelly has previously worked as the head coach of Oregon and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers. It's a reunion for Day and Kelly, as Day played for Kelly at New Hampshire in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The position will allow Kelly to focus on dialling up creative offenses - and accomplishing the program's goal of beating Michigan.

Boston College: Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien, the former head coach of Penn State and the NFL's Houston Texans, was going to take the Ohio State offensive coordinator job, but when the biggest football program from near his native Boston came calling, he couldn't say no. As a result, O'Brien takes over at Boston College, who finished 7-6 last season and play in a difficult ACC with the likes of Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, and a potential NIL titan in Miami.

Michigan: Sherrone Moore

Less than a month after winning the College Football National Championship, Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh decided to leave and take the Los Angeles Chargers coaching job in the NFL. After a relatively short search, Michigan announced that offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Sherrone Moore would replace Harbaugh.

Harbaugh went 89-25 in nine seasons at Michigan, winning the Big Ten Championship in each of his last three seasons. While Harbaugh was suspended for four games in 2023, Moore coached the Wolverines to wins over Bowling Green, Penn State, Maryland, and Ohio State. Moore signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract to become Michigan head coach.

Alabama: Kalen DeBoer

Nick Saban’s departure sent shockwaves through the college football world, but Alabama wasted no time in finding a successor. The Crimson Tide hired Kalen DeBoer, who had just taken Washington to the National Championship game, and is already one of the best coaches in the sport. 

Read more: Alabama head coach Nick Saban retires

South Alabama: Major Lee Applewhite

Major Lee Applewhite was promoted from the offensive coordinator role to head coach following the departure of Kane Wommack, who took the defensive coordinator job under DeBoer at Alabama. 

Washington: Jedd Fisch

The Washington Huskies hardly had time to celebrate their terrific season before DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb left the team. Fisch, who was hired from the University of Arizona after going 7-2, should be a home-run hire but he has to rebuild with most of Washington's stars heading to the NFL.

Arizona: Brent Brennan

Brent Brennan was a solid coach in the Mountain West Conference for seven seasons at San Jose State. However, he’ll have his work cut out for him in the Big 12 succeeding Jedd Fisch at Arizona. 

Texas A&M: Mike Elko

At long last, Jimbo Fisher is no longer the head coach at Texas A&M. Replacing him is former Duke head coach Mike Elko, who had tremendous success in a difficult place to succeed over the past couple of seasons.

Michigan State: Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith is the perfect hire for a rebuilding Michigan State team. Smith had great success at Oregon State and should be able to slowly rebuild the program in East Lansing.

Mississippi State: Jeff Lebby

Jeff Lebby has been a successful offensive coordinator at Ole Miss and Oklahoma in recent years but it will be a lot harder to find success with Mississippi State in a loaded SEC. 

Northwestern: David Braun

One of the most surprising teams in college football this past season was Northwestern as they qualified for a bowl game following the dismissal of Pat Fitzgerald. Interim coach David Braun was promoted to the full-time head coaching role as a result.

Syracuse: Fran Brown

Dino Babers was dismissed and Fran Brown will step into the head coaching role at Syracuse. The Orange needed some new life, and it remains to be seen if the former defensive backs coach at Georgia is the solution going forward. He has brought in high-profile transfers including former Ohio State QB Kyle McCord and former Georgia WRs Jackson Meeks and Yazeed Haynes.

Oregon State: Trent Bray

The Beavers defensive coordinator was promoted to head coach following the departure of Jonathan Smith. Oregon State was traditionally a top-25 program under Smith and will look to continue that trend under Bray despite losing Smith and QB DJ Uiagalelei in the transfer portal.

Indiana: Curt Cignetti

Curt Cignetti is widely seen as one of the better mid-major coaches in the game, as he led James Madison into the national conversation with 10 straight wins to open the campaign. It’s going to be tough to rebuild a putrid Indiana program but Cignetti might be the right man for the job.

Duke: Manny Diaz

After a few years away from the head coaching role in the ACC, Manny Diaz will now be the head coach at Duke, succeeding another brilliant defensive mind in Mike Elko. 

Ohio State: Bill O'Brien

An offensive coordinator hire that is as notable as many head coaching hires, Bill O'Brien has been hired as Ohio State's offensive coordinator, replacing Brian Hartline. O'Brien last worked as the New England Patriots offensive coordinator and previously worked in the same role for Alabama. Before that, he coached Penn State and the Houston Texans, and he is now in charge with getting the best out of new QB Will Howard, returning WR Emeka Egbuka, and returning RB TreVeyon Henderson.

San Diego State: Sean Lewis

Sean Lewis has long been a coveted offensive mind in the world of college football and San Diego State struck while the iron is hot, hiring him from Deion Sanders' Colorado coaching staff. Lewis should give the Aztecs an offensive identity following the retirement of Brady Hoke.

Houston: Willie Fritz

Willie Fritz has been one of the best coaches in the nation for years and this is an ideal hire for a program that moved on from Dana Holgorsen after a poor season in the Big 12. Fritz arrives form Tulane after going 23-5 in the past two seasons combined.

Boise State: Spencer Danielson

The Broncos were an extremely disappointing team for most of the season, but interim coach Spencer Danielson led them to four consecutive victories to end the year, including a massive victory over UNLV in the Mountain West Conference title game. Needless to say, Danielson will be staying on as head coach in 2024.

UTEP: Scotty Walden

A hot name in the Group of 5 coaching ranks, Scotty Walden should provide a boost for a UTEP program in the dumps. He coached Austin Peay from 2020-2023 before taking the UTEP job.

Louisiana-Monroe: Bryant Vincent

Bryant Vincent has shown flashes as an offensive coordinator and head coach in the Group of 5 with New Mexico and UAB among others, but he could be in for a rude awakening with what should be a difficult rebuild with ULM. 

Middle Tennessee: Derek Mason

The Blue Raiders underachieved this past season, and they’ve long struggled on the defensive end. In steps former Vanderbilt head coach Derek Mason, who should recruit very well in the state of Tennessee. 

New Mexico: Bronco Mendenhall

Bronco Mendenhall should do wonders for the New Mexico football program. The former BYU and Virginia coach has a 135-81 record as a head coach and can be expected to turn things around at a place where winning has been scarce for years.

Wyoming: Jay Sawvell

It’s hard to replace a respected coach like Craig Bohl but Jay Sawvell has been on Bohl's staff as defensive coordinator and safeties coach since 2020.

James Madison: Bob Chesney

In one of the more underrated hires of the offseason thus far, Bob Chesney should be able to hit the ground running for James Madison. Chesney was excellent at Holy Cross, winning four straight Patriot League titles and recording playoff appearances from 2018-22.

Tulane: Jon Sumrall

Another home-run hire in the Group of 5 comes from Tulane, as the Green Wave bring in former Troy head coach Jon Sumrall to take over the program from Willie Fritz. Sumrall posted a 23-4 mark in two seasons at Troy while winning back-to-back Sun Belt championships.

Troy: Gerad Parker

A former Notre Dame offensive coordinator, Gerad Parker doesn't have head coaching experience at any level, which does make this a risk. However, the Troy program is hiring a coordinator who previously worked with Sumrall, so the Trojans should be in good hands.

Nevada: Jeff Choate

Jeff Choate isn’t a household name, but he served as the co-defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach at Texas since 2021. Previously, Choate led Montana State to back-to-back FCS playoff appearances in 2018-19.

New Mexico State: Tony Sanchez

It’s going to be difficult to replace a legend like Jerry Kill, but the Aggies are staying in house with Tony Sanchez, who was the wide receivers coach under Kill for the last two seasons

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