Auburn has decided to fire head football coach Bryan Harsin after he was 9-12 in parts of two seasons for the team. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the Auburn Tigers.
1. Lane Kiffin
It has long been rumored that Auburn will pursue Lane Kiffin to be their next head coach. He has been a great hire for Ole Miss, who is 7-1 so far this season. He went 10-3 last season as well. Before his time at Ole Miss, he was a head coach at Florida Atlantic, USC, Tennessee and with the Oakland Raiders. When things went south, he signed on with Alabama to be the offensive coordinator for Nick Saban to revitalize his career. Ever since that point, he has found success as a head coach.
Kiffin has shown he can be successful in the SEC and is a great fit for the conference, which is something that was lacking under Harsin. He has shown that not only can he recruit impact players, but he can also hit the transfer portal hard to find talent. Kiffin is qualified for the job, now Auburn just has to convince him to leave Ole Miss while he is finding success there.
2. Deion Sanders
One of the bigger names making waves this coaching cycle is Deion Sanders. He took over the Jackson State job a few years ago and is 23-5. After getting the team to an 11-2 record last season, the Tigers are 8-0 this season. Before his time as a coach, he worked in television and was one of the best cornerbacks in NFL history.
Why would Auburn hire someone with just three seasons of FCS experience? Hiring Sanders generates a lot of buzz. He has also recruited well to Jackson State, stealing some five-star recruits along the way. For Auburn to be successful, they will need to battle the likes of Alabama and Georgia for recruits. Sanders is can win some recruiting battles and turn things around at Auburn if he is ready to leave Jackson State, where two of his sons play for him.
3. Mark Stoops
Stoops has done a fantastic job turning Kentucky around. In his first season, the team went 2-10. Since that point, he has made six bowl games. He has two double-digit win seasons and has built the program up to a respectable one in the SEC. Not only does he have experience in the SEC, but he also spent time as a defensive assistant at Florida State, Arizona and Miami, showing he is well traveled.
Auburn may be able to pry Stoops away from Kentucky because his ceiling may have been reached with the Wildcats. They have won double-digit games, but they have been followed up by tougher seasons. It may be easier to build a winner with Auburn’s resources and ability to recruit. If Stoops is feeling stuck, the Auburn job would be a fresh start.
4. Hugh Freeze
Freeze is currently at Liberty, where the Flames have lost just one game this season. He is 33-12 in four seasons at the school. His best season was in 2020 when they went 10-1. Before Liberty, he was the head coach at Ole Miss. He went 39-25 and was able to have some success against Alabama. Freeze resigned after showing a “pattern of personal misconduct”.
After reestablishing himself at Liberty, Freeze may have earned another chance at an SEC job. He has proven to know offense and how to beat Alabama over his career, which are both things Auburn will want in a coach. If Auburn can look past some of the things that Freeze did when he was at Ole Miss, he could be successful for the Tigers.
5. Jamey Chadwell
Chadwell has taken Coastal Carolina from a FCS team to one that has been really good in the FBS. He has a 37-20 record at the school. His best seasons were in 2020, when he went 11-1 and 2021 when he went 11-2. This season, he has the Chanticleers sitting with a 7-1 record. What he has done with limited resources has been incredible.
Auburn may want to look into hiring Chadwell, because he has a good offense and could do better if he had Auburn’s resources. His spread-option offense could be successful with the right recruits in the SEC. They will have to pry him away from Myrtle Beach, as he has said that he is happy there, but if he wants a shot at a big school, this might be it.
Make sure to check out our college football page for more content like 5 Potential Head Coach Candidates for the Auburn Tigers!