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Who do you want as head coach?


copper4eva
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8 hours ago, CleCoTiger said:

Ya gotta admit that there is some resemblance. And ya know, with him AU would never lose a game. Every score would get tied up in court with claims that only AU TD's are genuine and the other team's are fraud. :)

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Since we went down that road lol...

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4 minutes ago, auburnphan said:

Another name I really like is Jim Leonhard DC from Wisconsin.  IF he doesn't go NFL to be a DC, he has a very bright future and is gonna be a good one I think

I have mentioned him previously. He is a really good coach, but Wisky is his alma mater and he is poised to take over there.

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11 minutes ago, auburnphan said:

Another name I really like is Jim Leonhard DC from Wisconsin.  IF he doesn't go NFL to be a DC, he has a very bright future and is gonna be a good one I think

Not going to happen. Loves it up here. His family is from here. He probably will inherit the squad 

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19 minutes ago, DAG said:

Not going to happen. Loves it up here. His family is from here. He probably will inherit the squad 

 

23 minutes ago, bigbird said:

I have mentioned him previously. He is a really good coach, but Wisky is his alma mater and he is poised to take over there.

Probably, but I would at least give my best shot.  Paul Chryst is only 53-54 years old, might be a long wait.  I could see him going to Green Bay as DC potentially as well.

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5 minutes ago, auburnphan said:

 

Probably, but I would at least give my best shot.  Paul Chryst is only 53-54 years old, might be a long wait.  I could see him going to Green Bay as DC potentially as well.

Like I said, I've liked him for a while Chryst as well. I just don't think they're viable for Auburn

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3 minutes ago, WarTim said:

Gus will be HC at least through 2021. JMHO 

I'm still in denial, like a kid waking on Christmas morning only to find out Santa brought him an Atari instead of a PS5. The only gift Santa has for AU this year is a high school bus with four flat tires and a blown engine. Guess I'll be playing asteroids for the next twelve months... 

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30 minutes ago, WarTim said:

Gus will be HC at least through 2021. JMHO 

I'm good with that as long as he's HC at another school through 2021. 

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1 hour ago, AuburnTiger4Life said:

Can someone explain the Cristobal love to me? Yes he recruits well but he hasn’t exactly been a national contender at Oregon. 
 

I don’t know who I want at AU but it needs to be someone that is proven and can get us to the SEC championship again. No more diamonds in the rough please 

These are just my thoughts:

1. Recruits at a Saban/Kirby level, the likes of which we haven’t ever had here.

2. If you read up on him he is extremely intelligent and has a similar blueprint to Saban as far as the process goes and is a relentless worker. There was a rumor going around that Saban wanted him to come back to Bama after he retired which shows what he thinks about him. 

3. He doesn’t mince words like our robot coach. When he loses he admits it and puts the blame on himself to prepare his team better instead of the same answer Gustav always gives. He doesn’t make excuses. 

4. Rumor that he wants to come back to the SEC which shows he isn’t afraid to come back and compete with the big boys. 

5. Can develop talent, especially on the offensive line which we are criminally behind in this conference. 

Would he be the best option? I don’t know. But I feel like he could do something great here. But I also had a list of about 5 other guys I’d be good with so he’s not my end all be all. Again just the opinions of a tired Auburn fan ha. 

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20 hours ago, CleCoTiger said:

Ya gotta admit that there is some resemblance. And ya know, with him AU would never lose a game. Every score would get tied up in court with claims that only AU TD's are genuine and the other team's are fraud. :)

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We definitely don’t want to get Biden. If his team loses his fans will just loot the stadium and burn it to the ground.

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27 minutes ago, PigskinPat said:

We definitely don’t want to get Biden. If his team loses his fans will just loot the stadium and burn it to the ground.

Bwahaha 

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1. Billy Napier

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Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Napier has rebuilt the Louisiana program into a big winner, leading the Ragin’ Cajuns to a 11-3 record last season and having them at 9-1 this year including a 31-14 victory over Iowa State to start the season.

He has the pedigree as well. The 41-year-old Napier spent six years working under Nick Saban at Alabama, five of those as the wide receivers coach. We all know how good the Crimson Tide have been in the receiver department lately.

Some big name is going to get Napier sooner than later.

2. Hugh Freeze

 
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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

(Full disclosure: Freeze and I are friends so please take that into consideration when reading below.)

If there is any coach who is working his way toward major redemption, it is Freeze. He has Liberty at 9-1 on the season including away victories at Western Kentucky, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Last year, he led the Flames to their first ever bowl and bowl victory.

He is one heckuva coach, there is no doubt about that. He has made Auburn transfer Malik Willis a force in his offense and there is no doubt that if he came to The Plains, Bo Nix would look like a totally different person under center.

The negatives are definitely there including the recruiting scandal that happened at Ole Miss under his watch but the man is worthy of a second shot. Would he want to replace his good friend at Auburn? That’s another question.

3. Brent Venables

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Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

The longtime Clemson defensive coordinator has recently discussed becoming a head coach and the time is right for Auburn to swoop in. His Clemson defenses have been a major part of why the Tigers have been so good and in the College Football Playoff so often, winning two national titles.

The only question is how would he handle being a head coach. Many coaches are fine being assistants — look at Gene Chizik — but can’t thrive as the head man.

4. Matt Campbell

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Brian Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Could the Iowa State-to-Auburn pipeline occur again?

While Chizik came to Auburn and won a national title after going 5-19 in his time in Ames, many will argue that his tenure was not exactly a major success. Matt Campbell has the Cyclones humming on all cylinders and, after routing West Virginia on Saturday, has led the program to its first ever appearance in the Big 12 title game.

He’s only 41 and has won at two extremely hard places in Toledo and Iowa State. The only knock? He has no experience in the SEC or even in the South.

Other names to consider

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Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian before the Texas A&M game at Kyle Field in College Station, Texas on Saturday October 12, 2019.

Steve Sarkisian (Alabama offensive coordinator) – Another coach who is looking for his second shot at being a head coach, Sarkisian has turned the Crimson Tide offense into quite possibly the most explosive in the nation.

Manny Diaz (Miami, FL) – Could Auburn offer Diaz a better job than he has in Coral Gables right now? Not sure. It wouldn’t hurt to find out though.

Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss) – Why not?

Mario Cristobal (Oregon) – I somehow omitted him originally. Cristobal has experience recruiting in the SEC with Alabama and has Florida roots. The only question is if he would leave Oregon for Auburn.

 

 

Jamey Chadwell (Head Coach, Coastal Carolina)

Age: 43

Salary: $375,000

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Jamey Chadwell of the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers reacts during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Sept. 12, 2020. (Brian Davidson/Getty Images)

Jamey Chadwell is a hot name in coaching searches across the country, as he’s led the 18th-ranked Coastal Carolina Chanticleers to a 9-0 record in 2020 and has reportedly already interviewed for the South Carolina head coaching vacancy. The Chanticleers’ nine-win season paces the country, and Chadwell—a former East Tennessee State quarterback—has propelled the program into a spotlight big enough for College GameDay to make its first appearance on Coastal’s campus.

It’s quite possible that Chadwell finds a new gig this offseason, but given his past, it seems unlikely that’ll happen on West End. Chadwell served as the head coach of Charleston Southern from 2013 to 2016, and in 2020, the university was forced to vacate 18 wins—including his 2015 Big South championship—due to various NCAA violations. Surely, Vanderbilt would want nothing to do with an infraction-ridden past.

Tony Elliott (Offensive Coordinator, Clemson)

Age: 41

Salary: $1,600,000

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Tony Elliott in a Clemson football practice. (Clemson Athletics/Carl Ackerman)

If Lee really wants an offensive-minded head coach, look no further than Tony Elliott, the play-caller who played a significant role in Clemson’s two national championships the past three years. Elliott has worked at Clemson as an assistant since 2011 and stepped into a coordinator role in 2015. He may not have the head coaching experience that Lee could target, but he did earn the 2017 Frank Broyles Award as college football’s top assistant coach. 

This is a candidate who has long been expected to receive a head coaching role at some Power Five school. If it’s Vanderbilt, though, will Elliot want to take it? He could remain at Clemson, his own alma mater, and continue building a college football powerhouse. Plus, his current salary seems more than enough to stay.

Jeff Fisher (Former Head Coach, Tennessee Titans and Los Angeles Rams)

Age: 62

Salary: N/A, unemployed

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Jeff Fisher as head coach of the Tennessee Titans. (John Rivera/Icon SMI)

This is a longshot, if at all possible, but Jeff Fisher’s name has been a mainstay in the rumor mill for over a year. Fisher was named head coach of the Houston Oilers in 1995, and when the franchise relocated to become the Tennessee Titans, so too did Fisher. He remained at the helm of Tennessee’s sole NFL team until 2010, then had a shorter, four-year tenure as head coach of the St. Louis-turned-Los Angeles Rams. He was fired by the Rams in 2012 and amassed a 178–171–1 record as an NFL head coach.

In October of 2019, before then-athletic director Malcolm Turner delivered a press conference in support of head football coach Derek Mason, Fisher-Vanderbilt rumors began circulating. Turner then told The Hustler that the Fisher news is a “completely false narrative,” but with the head coaching job now officially open—and with Fisher still living in Nashville—there’s a fleeting chance the Commodores give him a look.

Todd Fitch (Offensive Coordinator, Vanderbilt)

Age: 56

Salary: Undisclosed

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Todd Fitch in his first press conference as interim head coach on Dec. 1, 2020. (Vanderbilt Athletics)

Vanderbilt fans must understand that Fitch, the interim head coach, has not yet been ruled out of the conversation. It may seem unlikely that Lee gives Fitch the reins of the program, but she did express confidence in naming him interim head coach; furthermore, when asked whether he’s a candidate in the search, Lee did not provide a clear-cut answer. Obviously, she’s not going to comment on an ongoing search. But if Vanderbilt finds its bearings and pulls off two upset wins in the final two games of the season, this may seem a lot less crazy.

Fitch was most recently the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, where he helped string together a 34-19 record and four straight bowl victories. He was hired in Jan. 2020 to replace Gerry Gdowski as Vanderbilt’s offensive coordinator and has an impressive track record in offensive development. Remember: Lee is looking for an “offensive-minded” head coach. And also worth noting: Fitch has been close friends with Tim Corbin since college, the very coach who Lee tabbed “the prototype” of program-building leaders.

Herb Hand (Co-Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line, Texas)

Age: 52

Salary: $700,000

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Herb Hand coaching the Texas Longhorns. (Associated Press/Trask Smith)

Herb Hand has produced elite offensive lines at practically every stop in his career—including Vanderbilt, where he coached from 2010-2013. He helped the Commodore offensive line pave the way for a lethal rushing attack that tallied 34 rushing touchdowns in 2013 alone before he was brought to Penn State along with head coach James Franklin. Hand was successful with the Nittany Lions, too, helping form the nucleus of a Saquon Barkley-led rushing attack. 

Routinely a candidate for Offensive Line Coach of the Year, Hand would likely bring a run-heavy offensive attack to Vanderbilt. He may not be the most likely candidate, but as head coach Tom Herman’s seat continues to heat, Hand might begin looking for next stops.

Will Healy (Head Coach, Charlotte)

Age: 35

Salary: $755,000

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Will Healy as head coach of the Charlotte 49ers. (The Free Press)

Like Chadwell, Will Healy is another hot name in the college football head coaching carousel. The current head coach at Charlotte said on Dec. 2 that the rumors linking him to Vanderbilt are “flattering,” but the school has not yet reached out; however, this comment should hold little-to-no weight, seeing as no head coach in the country would comment on an ongoing interview process—especially if they already have a job.

At just 35 years old, Healy is the youngest candidate on this list and likely the youngest legitimate candidate for any Power Five head coaching job in the country. He has only amassed a 9-9 record since taking over the Charlotte program in 2019, but what stands out about Healy is his past: at just 30 years old, the Chattanooga native was named head coach of a bottom-dwelling Austin Peay football program—one with the longest active losing streak in the nation—which he subsequently resurrected to the tune of a near-Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) playoff team. If Lee is truly looking for an “offensive-minded” head coach, and one with a proven track record of changing the fate of a program in no time, Healy fits the build.

Charles Huff (Associate Head Coach/Running Backs, Alabama)

Age: 37

Salary: $550,000

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Charles Huff coaching the Alabama Crimson Tide. (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images/Rich von Biberstein)

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more qualified 37-year-old than Charles Huff. Vanderbilt fans might even recognize the name from the James Franklin era—Huff served as the Commodores’ offensive quality coach in 2011 before he was courted away by the Buffalo Bills as an assistant running backs coach in 2012. After a one-year tenure in Buffalo and at Western Michigan, Huff was brought to Penn State (again, by head coach James Franklin) as the running backs coach and special teams coordinator. He proceeded to recruit and develop Saquon Barkley, arguably the best running back in program history, and helped claim a 2016 Big Ten Championship. Since then, Huff coached a few seasons at Mississippi State before he was brought to Tuscaloosa in 2018.

Huff, the associate head coach and running backs coach of the No. 1 Crimson Tide, is clearly an “offensive-minded” coach. And Alabama’s Najee Harris-led backfield may reveal why head coach Nick Saban has entrusted Huff with such immense responsibility. He could be a target for the Commodores, should they choose to pursue SEC assistant coaches.

Clark Lea (Defensive Coordinator, Notre Dame)

Age: 38

Salary: Undisclosed

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Clark Lea coaching the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. (Notre Dame Athletics)

Another young candidate, Clark Lea boasts something that Healy—or any candidate, for that matter—does not: he’s a Vanderbilt alumnus. Better yet, the former Vanderbilt fullback is a Nashville native and graduated from Montgomery Bell Academy in 2000. Lea is largely responsible for a Notre Dame defensive unit that has finished in the nation’s top 15 the past few seasons, and he even helped lead the Fighting Irish to the College Football Playoff in his first season as coordinator. But with Brian Kelly, the Fighting Irish head football coach of the last decade, just 59 years old, it seems unlikely that Lea finds himself in the driver’s seat at Notre Dame anytime soon.

Maybe it makes sense for Lea. But does it make sense for Vanderbilt? In theory, maybe. Judging from Lee’s comments on Monday, though, maybe not. Lee said she prefers an “offensive-minded” head coach; while that may not be a dealbreaker (she said if the candidate is not offensive-minded, she prefers they have a strong offensive support staff), she also alluded to a preference for candidates with a demonstrated history of program building. Lea, formerly a linebackers coach at Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Bowling Green and UCLA among other roles, did not receive his first coordinator role until his current one in 2018. So, he’s not offensive-minded, and he doesn’t have a background in building a program from scratch, sure. Still, it’s hard to overlook this young candidate who could turn an opportunity at his alma mater into a long-term, career-defining move. 

Lance Leipold (Head Coach, Buffalo)

Age: 56

Salary: $465,000

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Lance Leipold coaching the Buffalo Bulls (Buffalo Athletics)

If Lance Leipold jumped from Buffalo to Vanderbilt, it would be his first time coaching in the SEC. While Leopold has coached since 1987, his only Power Five experience lies in three seasons as a graduate assistant at Wisconsin and three seasons as a recruiting coordinator at Nebraska. That’s not to say he’s not qualified, though. Now in his sixth season at Buffalo, Leipold has proven quite the opposite.

After winning six Division-III national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Leipold has resurrected a Buffalo program with little-to-no history of success. It took a cumulative 7-17 record in his first two seasons to figure it out, but since then he’s coached the Bulls to a 28-15 record and a 4-0 record to-date in 2020. He has turned the Bulls into a MAC powerhouse and led the program to its first-ever bowl win in 2019 in the Makers Wanted Bahama Bowl over a Charlotte team led by none other than Will Healy. Leipold is an offensive-minded guy, too, if that wasn’t abundantly clear by running back Jaret Patterson’s 409-yard, eight touchdown performance on Nov. 28 in a 70-41 win over Kent State. 

Jay Norvell (Head Coach, Nevada)

Age: 57

Salary: $625,000

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Jay Norvell coaching the Nevada Wolfpack. (Nevada Athletics)

Surprisingly, 57-year-old Jay Norvell is only three seasons into his first head coaching gig. One glance at his resume and you’ll see 30 years of valuable experience; he’s coached a myriad of offensive position groups at every level, from schools like Iowa State, Wisconsin, Arizona State, UCLA, Oklahoma and Texas to NFL franchises like the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders. All that—and a seven-year tenure as co-offensive coordinator to Oklahoma’s legendary head coach Bob Stoops—has landed him one head coaching gig. And it’s in the Mountain West Conference.

Well, maybe Vanderbilt is Norvell’s big break. An offensive specialist, Norvell has led the Wolf Pack to their best start in 11 years (5-1). He took over a program that struggled in his rookie campaign, finishing just 3-9, but parlayed the first season into a 20-12 record since. Norvell has the offensive prowess that Vanderbilt so desperately needs, and if he’s turned Carson Strong, Nevada’s quarterback, into a major force, who knows what Norvell could do with not one, but two talented, unique, young quarterbacks in Ken Seals and Mike Wright.

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3 hours ago, AuburnTiger4Life said:

I don’t know who I want at AU but it needs to be someone that is proven and can get us to the SEC championship again. No more diamonds in the rough please 

There are no diamonds out there. The kind of coach with any sort of proven track record is quite secure in their current position. The closest coach with those kind of credentials and is available would be Urban Meyer, who, if given the choice between Head Coach at Auburn or Fox Sports analyst, would choose Fox Sports...

At this point we have to just accept that the current risk of keeping Malzahn is quickly outweighing the risk of acquiring a new coach.

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