College football coaches change positions regularly. With that, schools are always looking for coordinators who are doing a good job. This could be to take the same spot or the head coaching position. Here are coordinators on the rise.
Miami: Josh Gattis
Gattis was hired away from Michigan after helping them make the College Football Playoff. He implemented a ground attack that was successful for the Wolverines. In Miami, he will be working with quarterback Tyler Van Dyke who impressed at the end of the 2021 season. A big year in Miami after a solid season at Michigan could have plenty of other schools looking in his direction.
NC State: Tim Beck
Beck has been a longtime offensive assistant and coordinator with stops at Texas and Ohio State. He is currently the offensive coordinator at NC State, where he has done a solid job. The Wolfpack scored 33.1 points per game last season and won nine games. Things look good heading into the 2022 season for NC State, which could help Beck elevate his status.
NC State: Tony Gibson
Both of NC State’s coordinators have had good stints with the team. The Wolfpack allowed 19.7 points per game last season, ranking them 14th. NC State is set up for a good season, which could help Gibson be a candidate for head coaching jobs.
North Carolina: Phil Longo
Over the last few seasons, Longo’s offenses have scored points with Sam Howell at quarterback. The Tar Heels lost a lot of key players from the offense last season and still scored 35.2 points per game. If the offense can still produce without Howell, Longo could be moving on up.
Wake Forest: Warren Ruggiero
Ruggiero has been the offensive coordinator for Wake Forest since 2014. Things haven’t always been great, but more recently Ruggiero has the offense scoring points. The Demon Deacons scored 41 points per game last season, putting them at fourth in the country. Another good season offensively and people will be interested in Ruggiero for other positions.
Ohio State: Jim Knowles
Knowles totally turned around Oklahoma State’s defense last year. That resulted in him being hired by Ohio State. The Buckeyes had a bad defense by their standards last season, giving up 35 and 42 points in their losses. If Knowles can make Ohio State into a top 10 defense, much like he did at Oklahoma State, he will be coveted by all.
Wisconsin: Jim Leonhard
Leonhard has been the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin, his alma mater, since 2017. He is widely respected and continually retools the defense to be successful. The Badgers ranked fourth defensively last season. They lost a lot from that unit, but another good defensive season could have Leonhard widely considered for other jobs, but the question is whether he would want to leave his university.
Baylor: Jeff Grimes
The last four seasons of football have had some nice highlights for Grimes. He was Zach Wilson’s offensive coordinator at BYU, then was hired by Baylor. For the Bears, he had the offense scoring 31.6 points last season. Now Blake Shapen takes over at quarterback with a chance to improve that number.
Baylor: Ron Roberts
Dave Aranda gets a lot of credit for turning around the program and defense, but Roberts has certainly helped. He has been the defensive coordinator since 2020. Last season, he led the Bears to only giving up 18.3 points per game, ranking 10th in the country. The Bears’ defense should be good once again, which only helps Roberts.
Kansas State: Joe Klanderman
Klanderman has worked his way up the ranks from Division II to FCS to Division I. He has helped Chris Kleiman be successful in three years at Kansas State. The defense ranked 23rd in the country last season. One more good season and Klanderman should start getting noticed as much as he deserves.
West Virginia: Graham Harrell
Fans may remember Harrell as a quarterback for Texas Tech. He is now a solid offensive coordinator who has worked at Oklahoma State, Washington State, North Texas, USC and now West Virginia. There were some good times at USC, but the Trojans could never stay healthy. He is rejoined by former USC quarterback JT Daniels, who transferred in and is already familiar with the offense. A good season in West Virginia could be in store for Harrell.
USC: Alex Grinch
From his time at Washington State through Ohio State to Oklahoma, Grinch has proven to be a solid defensive coordinator. He has his work cut out for him at USC, as the defense didn’t rank in the top 100 last season. If Grinch can turn around USC’s defense, he will be in line for head coaching jobs.
Utah: Andy Ludwig
Ludwig has moved his way up through the ranks and worked at many different schools. He has been the offensive coordinator at Utah since 2019. Last season, the offense averaged 36.1 points per game, ranking them 14th in the country. At 58 years old, maybe getting a head coaching job isn’t in the cards, but Ludwig is doing very well at Utah.
Utah: Morgan Scalley
Scalley played for Utah in the early 21st century and has been an assistant with the program since 2007. He worked his way up to defensive coordinator in 2016. Scalley has done a solid job and last season helped the Utes allow 22.6 points per game. After aiding the team on their way to the Rose Bowl last season, bigger things might be in Scalley’s future.
Alabama: Bill O’Brien
While his NFL tenure was a disaster, O’Brien has been successful at the collegiate level. He did a very good job at Penn State in a difficult situation following Joe Paterno. Now he is the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban and like so many other coaches, is trying to turn his career around at Alabama. The first season produced a Heisman quarterback. Another season could result in another college head coaching job for O’Brien.
Alabama: Pete Golding
Golding has been a defensive coordinator for Alabama since 2019. While he struggled early in his tenure, he helped the Crimson Tide win the title in 2020 and the defense ranked in the top 20 in 2021. Golding is still just 38 years old and could be one of the more notable names on the coaching market next offseason.
Arkansas: Kendal Briles
Briles is one of the more experienced coordinators in the country and is just 39 years old. After working for his dad at Baylor, he has also worked at Florida Atlantic, Houston, Florida State and now Arkansas. While the offense barely ranked in the top 50 last season, K.J. Jefferson being back at quarterback gives the team a chance to really improve. If Briles can separate himself from the scandal his dad found himself in at Baylor, he could be a head coach in the future.
Georgia: Todd Monken
Monken has spent time at both the NFL and college levels with success at both. He has worked at Georgia as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach since 2020. Georgia won the Peach Bowl in his first year with JT Daniels starting down the stretch. In 2021, he was able to have an effective offense with Stetson Bennett at quarterback. His limitations didn’t seem to matter, as the Bulldogs scored 38.4 points per game.
Kentucky: Brad White
Kentucky promoted White to defensive coordinator in 2019 after he spent one season as outside linebackers coach. Before that, he had time logged as a college coach and an NFL one. Kentucky’s defenses have routinely been solid during his tenure and last year ranked 26th in the country. The Wildcats could have a solid season, but it could come at the cost of losing White.
Tennessee: Alex Golesh
Golesh has bounced around Division I teams, but is now heading into his second season as offensive coordinator at Tennessee. While head coach Josh Heupel gets a lot of credit for the offense, Golesh deserves some as well. The Volunteers broke out offensively last season, averaging 39.3 points per game. Things look good for 2022 as well with quarterback Hendon Hooker and wide receiver Cedric Tillman back in the fold. Golesh could be a coveted coach after the season.
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