On Sunday, Florida State fired Willie Taggart in the middle of his second season with a team. They likely fired him at this point of the year to get a head start on searching for his replacement. Here are five head coach candidates for Florida State.
1. Bob Stoops
The biggest name surrounding the Florida State job has been former Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops. While he has denied it publicly, there have been reports that he was close to accepting the job. Fans can do whatever they want with the information presented, but Bob Stoops would be a home run hire.
Stoops retired from the coaching game young, so he could be longing for a return. He has experience at a big program in Oklahoma, going 190-48 with an undefeated season under his belt in 2000. Stoops would need to tap into some Florida recruiting ties, but someone of his stature should be able to do that with relative ease.
2. Mark Stoops
Bob’s brother Mark actually spent time with Florida State as their defensive coordinator. He spent three seasons with the Seminoles and also spent time at Miami as an assistant, meaning he has good ties in the state to recruit. With his time being spent during a successful stint for Florida State, Mark Stoops knows what it takes to get the program back to where it needs to be.
Since his time at Florida State, he has been at Kentucky helping rebuild the program. In his seven seasons at Kentucky, he has posted a 40-43 record. The record doesn’t show the full picture though, as he inherited one of the worst teams in the SEC and has since turned them into a regular bowl contender. Last season, the Wildcats went 10-3 with a win over Penn State in the Citrus Bowl.
3. Lane Kiffin
Kiffin has had big jobs before, both in the NFL and at USC, but has since been re-signed to other jobs. He spent time as Alabama’s offensive coordinator under Nick Saban. For the last three seasons, Kiffin has been at Florida Atlantic, which has allowed him to get contacts in the state, making him a viable candidate for the job.
He has a 22-13 record for the Owls. His first season resulted in an 11-3 record and this season he is 6-3 on the year, which isn’t bad for a program that historically has struggled. Kiffin has already denied he is taking the job on Twitter, but things could change if Florida State starts talking to him.
4. Mike Norvell
Memphis hit a home run when they hired Norvell. They took a chance on the Arizona State offensive coordinator and he has a 34-15 record since being hired before the 2016 season. They have not had a season with fewer than eight wins in Norvell’s tenure, as he has proved himself as a head coach.
If Florida State strikes out on some of the other names on this list, Norvell could be the move for the program. He might have more success than some of the bigger names too, as he knows what it takes at a smaller school and could do more with the Seminoles’ resources.
5. Joe Brady
LSU’s offense is completely revamped and a lot of that is thanks to Joe Brady. Brady is the new passing game coordinator for the Tigers this season and he clearly knows what he is doing. He has NFL experience with the Saints as an offensive assistant, but because of the results this season, he could be a candidate for some of the biggest jobs in college football.
Brady has no head coaching experience, which could scare some teams away. He did make LSU’s offense go from looking like they were in the stone age to futuristic in one season. The last time Florida State hired an assistant from LSU, he turned out to be a National Championship-winning head coach. Maybe they will go that way again.
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