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Nov
20
2016

Which College Football Coaches Are Rising?

3656029Good morning, Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) fans.

Aside from Tom Herman, who is the hot commodity on the NCAA coaching circuit now?  Who is rising?   We got a few suggestions for you – these are guys that are turning their football programs around – here we go:

  1. P.J. Fleck (Western Michigan) – One of the hottest names in coaching right now.  P.J. Fleck’s Broncos football team went from 1-11 in 2013 and are 11-0 today likely headed to a 12-0 regular season, a MAC championship, and a likely New Year’s Day Bowl Bid.  His cell phone might be in over drive with the number of texts and calls he’s going to get in the offseason for job offers.
  2. Mike MacIntyre (Colorado) – MacIntyre, perhaps, had one of the biggest rebuilding jobs in all of the Power 5.  The Buffs went 2-10 in 2014 and 4-9 in 2015.  Now in his third season, MacIntyre has his Buffs on the cusp of a ten win season – and an appearance in the Pac-12 championship game.
  3. Chris Creighton (Eastern Michigan) – Creighton’s Eastern Michigan Eagles went 2-10 in 2014, 1-11, in 2015; and are now bowl eligble in 2016 at 6-5 (with one game to go).  A masterful coaching job considering all the programs that the Eagles have to compete with for recurits not only in Michigan, but also in the Midwest.
  4. Bobby Wilder (Old Dominion) – Bobby Wilder’s Monarch football program was built from scratch – an FCS start up that went 9-2 in 2009, 8-3 in 2010, 10-3 in 2011 (and the 2nd round of the FCS playoffs), and 11-2 (and NCAA quarters).  The Monarchs went 8-4 in 2013 (their first season at FBS), 6-6 in 2014 in their first season with Conference USA membership, and 5-7 in 2015.  Wilder’s team, however, this year in 2016 is on the verge of finishing with a 9-3 record and potentially getting to the Conference USA championship game.
  5. Craig Bohl (Wyoming) – Make no mistake about it; Wyoming is one of the absolute hardest jobs in all of FBS.  Laramie is a rural, isolated location several thousand feet in the air (it is hard to recruit to a place like that).  We know about Bohl’s success at North Dakota State (his teams won FCS titles in 2011, 2012, and 2013).  Bohl’s first two seasons at Wyoming included a 3-9 campaign in 2014 and 1-11 in 2015.  However, in 2016, Bohl has orchestrated a massive turnaround in Laramie – the Cowboys are 6-1 in the Mountain West (with wins over Boise State and San Diego State) – and will likely play in the Moutain West championship game vs. San Diego State.  Here’s thinking Kansas State should hire Craig Bohl after Bill Snyder retires.
  6. Bobby Petrino (Louisville) – Petrino got that big win this year vs. Florida State and likely has the Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson.  On top of that, you’re likely going to see Louisville with a 10 win season.  That’s pretty damn good.  Don’t expect Petrino to go anywhere, though.
  7. Dave Clawson (Wake Forest) – Perhaps the hardest Power 5 FBS job and Dave Clawson has his kids bowl eligble in this third season (the Demon Deacons are 6-5 going into the last week – and have equaled their win total from the last two years).
  8. Justin Fuente (Virginia Tech) – In Justin Fuente’s 1st season at Virginia Tech, his Hokies are a win away from an appearance in the ACC championship game (not bad for a first year).
  9. Bubba Schweigert (North Dakota – FCS) – Schweigert’s Fighting Hawks went 5-7 in 2014, 7-4 in 2015, and 9-2 in 2016 (and a top 8 seed in the FCS playoffs).  If you’re a non-Power 5 FBS program, someone must give Schweigert a chance.

These guys have shown that a good coach can turn around their football program.  Many of these guys have shown that you can win at places (save Virginia Tech and Louisville) where it’s not easy to win.

Who else do you have?

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