Mel Tucker originally turned down Michigan State, but with an increased offer, he changed his mind. Now Colorado has to find a head coach very late in the process. Here are five potential head coaching candidates for the Colorado Buffaloes.
1. Eric Bieniemy
For some reason, Eric Bieniemy was not given an NFL head coaching job. The Kansas Chiefs’ offensive coordinator for the last two seasons has done wonders with the offense. He was key in helping the Chiefs win the Super Bowl and as it currently stands, he is set to return to the Chiefs as the offensive coordinator.
Bieniemy could be fed up with the NFL passing him over and could elect to go the college route for the time being. What makes this job appealing is that Bienemy attended Colorado during his playing days. It may be hard for the people in charge to convince him to be a head coach in college, but it could be better than continually getting overlooked for NFL head coaching opportunities.
2. Jay Norvell
After one 3-9 season with Nevada, Norvell has revamped the program with two straight winning seasons. Over the last two years, the Wolf Pack have posted a 15-11 record. Before his time at Nevada, Norvell spent time at Arizona State. His moderate success at Nevada and his experience in the Pac-12 should put him on the shortlist for Colorado.
Convincing Norvell to take a Power Five Conference job shouldn’t be too hard. He knows the landscape out west and will have much better tools at his disposal. If the Buffaloes decide they want Norvell, they can probably get him.
3. Craig Bohl
Bohl helped create the juggernaut at North Dakota State of the FCS before hopping up the FBS with Wyoming. With National Championships under his belt in the FCS, Bohl had a rebuilding job with the Cowboys. He won just six games in his first two seasons in Laramie, but has since never had a season below .500. He has three eight-win seasons out of the last four for an overall record of 30-22 in those years.
While Bohl is a very successful coach, Colorado may not choose to go the route of an older coach. Bohl is 61 years old, so even though he is qualified, the Buffaloes may choose to go younger. Either way, Bohl deserves to be at least considered by Colorado.
4. Graham Harrell
Graham Harrell set records as the starting quarterback of Texas Tech and had a cup of coffee in the NFL. Now, at 34 years old, he is the offensive coordinator of USC. He is rightfully credited with revamping the Trojans’ offense last season and did so despite numerous injuries to the quarterback position. His knowledge of the offensive side of the ball makes him an intriguing candidate.
Harrell would be a young head coach, but that could be the direction Colorado is leaning towards. The offense could be dynamic with Harrell at the helm, but they would need to get an experienced staff around him, which could be hard to do this late in the coaching cycle.
5. Tyson Summers
Summers was the defensive coordinator for Colorado last season. Mel Tucker is reportedly going to bring his coordinators with him, unless they get the Colorado job. The Buffaloes gave up 31.8 points per game last season, but that is not entirely on him, as Tucker was a defensive-minded head coach and should receive some blame.
He was formerly a head coach at Georgia Southern and did not have success. In one and a half seasons, Summers went 5-13, which included going 0-6 before being fired midway through 2017. Since that point, he worked with Tucker at Georgia and at Colorado. His past coaching record does give some alarm, but he is familiar with the program and the players.