After an 0-5 start to the season, the University of Colorado has fired head coach Karl Dorrell. Here are five potential head coach candidates for the Colorado Buffaloes.
1. Lance Leipold
Lance Leipold will be a highly-coveted coach for what he is doing at Kansas. After going 2-10 last season, he has led the Jayhawks to a 5-0 record so far this season. Before that, he successfully led Buffalo to three straight bowl appearances. He had plenty of success at the D-III level with Wisconsin-Whitewater as well.
Getting Leipold will be hard for Colorado because he will be sought out by plenty of schools after this season. He would be a good fit, as he has led a historically bad program to a great start to the season and done a good job turning things around. At Colorado, he would have more resources to utilize and could continue his success.
2. Bryan Harsin
Harsin is in the headlines because he is on the hot seat right now. He has a 9-9 record overall after going 6-7 last season and 3-2 to start this season. Overall, it has not been seen as a good fit from day one. Before Auburn, Harsin found success at both Boise State and Arkansas State. With the Broncos in Boise, he had a 69-19 record.
It seems like Harsin will not fit with the SEC, but he could be more successful out west like he was at Boise State. He has recruiting ties out west and can capitalize in a situation where wins would come more easily. If Harsin is fired by Auburn, he will likely be considered and could be hired by Colorado.
3. Bill O’Brien
Bill O’Brien has plenty of NFL experience as an offensive coordinator and as a head coach which can be appealing. He does also have two years at Penn State as a head coach. In a very difficult situation taking over for Joe Paterno and plenty of NCAA limitations, O’Brien won 15 games in two seasons. Now, he is the offensive coordinator at Alabama under Nick Saban.
Because of his previous experience helping turn Penn State around, O’Brien could do something similar at Colorado. He has far from proved himself as an offensive coordinator under Saban, but his experience in a tough situation as a head coach helps him here. His NFL background will be appealing and he could win in Boulder.
4. Matt Rhule
Matt Rhule is currently the head coach of the Carolina Panthers. His job has come into question, as he has a very bad record in three seasons in the NFL. After a slow start, he may be moving closer to the chopping block. Rhule has proven to be a great college head coach at both Temple and Baylor. He has a 47-43 coaching record at the collegiate level, but is known for turning programs around.
His ability to build programs is why Colorado would be interested. He had two wins in his first year at Temple, but in his last year the Owls won 10. In his first year at Baylor, they won one game. He left Baylor after winning 11 games in a season. Colorado might be in a worse situation than either of those programs. Rhule can be the guy to turn it around if he is fired at the NFL level.
5. Matt Campbell
Matt Campbell had a difficult job at Iowa State, but was able to turn things around. He won three games in first season as head coach of the Cyclones. He has since made a Big 12 Championship Game and five bowl games. Before his time at Iowa State he was successful at Toledo, where he was bowl-eligible in four straight seasons.
Iowa State is currently 3-2, but look like they may struggle in the Big 12. If Campbell decides that his rebuild is tapering off, it may be time to look for a new project. Colorado would be great, as he could use some of his same recruiting ties and have better resources. Getting Campbell to leave Iowa State might be the hard part.
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