tah State Aggies head coach Gary Andersen celebrates in a sea of fan after the conclusion of the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl at Bronco Stadium. Utah State defeated Toledo 41-15. Mandatory Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY (Brian Losness / December 19, 2012)
So far this offseason, there have been 29 coaching moves made with the latest coming when the University of Oregon announced that Mark Helfrich was being promoted to head coach. With that in mind, here is our updated look at the coaching hires with grades.
The Buzz: Truth be told, Bielema’s hiring took a lot of people off guard including myself. The 42-year-old Bielema had Big Ten in his veins and I figured that’s where he would remain most of his career especially considering the recent success that Wisconsin has seen. In the past three seasons, the Badgers were 30-10 with three straight Rose Bowl appearances. Arkansas doesn’t need to be rebuilt as a football program, just some tweaks if it wants to contend with the likes of Alabama and LSU in the future.
Bryan Harsin (Arkansas State)
The Buzz: Harsin has been one of the most sought after college football assistant coaches over the past couple of seasons. He was the offensive coordinator at Boise State (2006-10) where he helped guide the Broncos to a 61-5 record thanks, in part, to the development of quarterback Kellen Moore. He spent the past two seasons as co-offensive coordinator for Texas under Mack Brown. He becomes the third head coach for the Red Wolves in the past three seasons with the two previous coaches – Hugh Freeze and Gus Malzahn – moving on to jobs in the SEC. He takes over a program that has gone 19-6 in the past two seasons and has won back-to-back Sun Belt titles.
Gus Malzahn (Auburn)
The Buzz: It’s hard to imagine that one person could mean so much to a team, but when you look at the state of the Tigers during this past season, you can see why. Malzahn helped transform Auburn into one of the best offensive teams in the country during his three seasons there, but after he left, the program took a major turn for the worst. The hire made sense in the way that he was familiar with the program, it’s traditions and he recruits the South really well. The biggest question will be just how patient will Auburn fans will be with Malzahn.
The Buzz: Addazio called Boston College his ‘dream job’ during his introductory press conference and Eagles fans are hoping that he can wipe away the memory of the past two seasons. The 53-year-old Addazio spent two seasons at Temple where he helped bring the Owls back to a certain level of relevance including a spot in the Big East, but it will take a lot more to get Boston College back on the map. Statistically, this year’s team ranked 10th in the Atlantic Coast Conference in both total offense and total defense with wins against FCS opponent Maine and Maryland.
Sonny Dykes (California)
The Buzz: Dykes was one of the hot names in coaching candidates this offseason. After transforming Louisiana Tech into a top 25 contender, the 43-year-old Dykes was mentioned for openings at Tennessee, Colorado and Arkansas before landing in Berkley. The Bulldogs were second in the nation in total offense behind only Baylor and Cal officials hope he can bring back a level of excitement to the program that it hasn’t seen in some time. He’ll have a tough task with at least six starters lost on offense next season including quarterback Zach Maynard and running back Isi Sofele.
Tommy Tuberville (Cincinnati)
The Buzz: This one is a head scratcher. On one hand, it’s a great move for Cincinnati officials to get a guy with the coaching pedigree of a Tuberville – he won 130 games including seven bowls at stops like Ole Miss and Auburn – but is he the right fit at your school? He’s leaving a lucrative job at Texas Tech, worth $2 million per season to take over a rising program in the Big East? Even in their best years, the money doesn’t translate. Plus, how long before he gets the itch to interview somewhere else?
Mike MacIntyre (Colorado)