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College Football Coaching Carousel Tracker: Oregon To Hire Georgia’s Dan Lanning

Keep up with the many job openings in the FBS this fall at The Grove Report

The college football head coaching carousel is spinning earlier, and faster, than any other season as far as most can compare. 

USC kicked most of the movement off in firing Clay Helton in September, while similar moves went down at LSU and TCU in the middle of the season. 

As of the last week of November 29, Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) head coaching jobs have already come open and plenty more are on the way. Sports Illustrated is tracking the macro, so The Grove Report will go micro, considering the success of the Ole Miss program this year. 

Lane Kiffin's name will always be a popular one to throw out when coaching decisions are to be made and now offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is beginning to pick up momentum in the same light, especially with multiple jobs opening in his native state of Texas. 

We will keep track of the carousel in one, easy-to-read place, as all the money is being put together by various departments. 


Out: Ed Orgeron

In: Brian Kelly 

The Latest: According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, Notre Dame's Brian Kelly is expected to become the Tigers' next head coach. The announcement is expected to be made official on Tuesday. 

Kelly, who has been at the helm of Notre Dame since 2010, became the all-time winning coach in program history this past season. He currently holds a record of 92-39, and has brought the Irish to the College Football Playoff twice. 

Kelly, 60, also led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated season (that was later vacated by the NCAA) in 2012 and national championship appearance against Alabama. Notre Dame has finished ranked in the top 10 of the AP Poll three times under his regime. 

Currently, Notre Dame ranks No. 6 in the AP Poll and No. 6 in the College Football Playoff rankings.  

Athletic director Scott Woodward stated in October that he'd be looking to make a splash hire. Splash, meet hire.  


Out: Clay Helton

In: Lincoln Riley 

The Latest: According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, USC will hire Riley as their next head coach. The news was confirmed by Matt Zenitz of On3 Sports and Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. Riley has informed his staff Sunday that he will be leaving for out west in the coming hours. 

Riley's name was at the height of coaching rumors over the past week after a report suggested that LSU was willing to make him the highest-paid head coach in FBS history. Following a 37-33 loss the in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday, Riley stated he would not become the next head coach of the Tigers.

Riley finishes his time at Oklahoma with a 55-10 record. The Sooners found their way into the College Football Playoff three times under his direction.  

Notre Dame

Out: Brian Kelly

In: Marcus Freeman

The Latest: According to Matt Zenitz of On3Sports, the Fighting Irish will promote defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach. The news was also reported by The Athletic's Bruce Feldman. 

Freeman, who joined Notre Dame last year from Cincinnati, received immense praise from the players and boosters to take over for Brian Kelly, who departed the program after 12 year for LSU earlier this week. Under his leadership and direction, the Irish defense has been the backbone to an 11-1 season and a No. 6 ranking in the CFP. To close out the 2021 season, ND held its final four opponents to a combined 23 points. 

From a recruiting aspect, Freeman is expected to help the program flourish. The Irish are putting the finishing touches on their first top-five class since 2013.

Freeman, 35, will be a first-time head coach with the team. Take caution in looking at the past problems for internal promotions and first-time head coaches since the program's beginnings. 

The last time Notre Dame promoted internally was Bob Davie who followed Lou Holtz in 1997. Davie lasted five seasons after going 35-25. The last time Notre Dame hired a coach without head coaching experience was Charlie Weis in 2005. Weis lasted five seasons after going 35-27. 

According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, Tommy Reiss, Notre Dame's offensive coordinator, is expected to remain with the program despite being offer the offensive coordinator job at LSU by Kelly. 


Out: Lincoln Riley 

In: Brent Venables 

The Latest: According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables has finalized a deal to become the Sooners' next head coach. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione met with Venables on Sunday to hash out the final details. An introductory press conference is expected to come on Monday. 

Venables' name has been one of the top targets all week for the Sooners, who saw Lincoln Riley bolt for USC following a loss at Bedlam last month. One of the top defensive minds in college football, the 50-year-old has been a member of the Tigers' staff since 2012. 

Prior to joining Dabo Swinney in South Carolina, Venables served on Bob Stoops' staff from 1999-2011. He initially began his career as the co-defensive coordinator and LB coach before taking over full-time DC in 2004. 

The Tigers' championship run has in large part been due to the success of the defense. Venables was the Broyles Award winner in 2016 as the top assistant coach in college football after helping Clemson win its first national title since 1981. 

Despite finishing 9-3 in 2021, the defense was Clemson's saving grace on the campaign. Venables' squad finished No. 1 in the ACC in total defense (308.4 yards per game), and scoring (15.0 points per game), while also ranking top three in all other categories.  

Clemson has finished either No. 1 or No. 2 defensively in the ACC since Venables's arrival. He has turned down multiple head-coaching opportunities in recent years to stay with the program.    

Should Venables' be the hire, it is reported that Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby is expected to be his first choice as the team's new OC.  


Out: Dan Mullen 

In: Billy Napier 

The Latest: According to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger, the Gators have zeroed in on Napier as the next head coach. An announcement could be made in the coming hours by the school, who had made the Ragin Cajun coach the top target following the firing of Mullen last week. 

In four years with Louisiana, Napier has posted a 39-12 record. The Ragin Cajuns will be playing in the Sun Belt Championship on Saturday against Appalachian State on Saturday, a game in which Napier is expected to coach.     


Out: Mario Cristobal 

In: Dan Lanning 

The Latest: The Ducks have swung big by heading down south to land their next head coach. According to Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Georgia's defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is expected to be named Oregon's next head coach. 

The news initially claimed as false, but later confirmed to be true by both Yahoo Sports’ Pete Thamel and The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman.

The announcement is expected to be made on Monday. It is unclear if the Bulldogs DC will remain with the team through the College Football Playoff, but Towers is reporting that the two sides are working on a deal to keep him with the program. Georgia will face Michigan in the Orange Bowl on Dec. 31. 

Should the Bulldogs win, they would face winner of Alabama-Cincinnati from the Cotton Bowl for the national title on Jan. 10 in Indianapolis. 

Lanning's defense was one of college football's best in 2021. The Bulldogs led the FBS in scoring defense, holding opponents to 9.5 points per game through the regular season. Georgia also finished second in total defense (253.9 yards per game), third in pass defense (172.2 yards per game) and third in run defense (81.7 yards per game). 

Georgia's defense this season was led by two award-winning players. Linebacker Nakobe Dean took home the Butkus Award while defensive tackle Jordan Davis took home both the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award for best defensive player. 

Lanning, 35, has coached at Pittsburgh, Arizona State, Sam Houston State, Alabama and Memphis prior to joining Kirby Smart's staff in 2018. He was named defensive coordinator following the departure of current Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker. 

Lanning replaces Mario Cristobal, who left last week to return home to Miami. Cristobal held a 35-13 record in four seasons with the program.

Miami (FL)

Out: Manny Diaz

In: Mario Cristobal

The Latest: The Hurricanes official announce the hiring of Cristobal. The former Ducks coach is set to become Miami's 28th head coach and has agreed to terms on a 10-year deal worth $8 million a season. 

A Miami native, Cristobal, 51, is best known for his energetic, hard work ethic and brass play-calling that has turned Oregon into one of the more consistent teams in college football each season. The Ducks finished 10-3 this past fall, falling short of representing the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl after losing to No. 11 Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game Friday evening.

At Oregon, Cristobal posted a 35-13, including winning the Pac-12 twice. Prior to heading the Eugene, the Ducks' coach served on staff under Nick Saban at Alabama from 2013-17. Graduating from Miami in 1992, Cristobal became the first Cuban-American head coach as a major college football program when hired by Florida International in 2007. 

Diaz was informed of his dismissal during a Monday morning meeting with Miami's president, according to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel. Diaz, the son of a former Miami mayor, mended the helm for three seasons with the Hurricanes. The school currently does not have an athletic director, but is expected to Dan Radakovich from Clemson. 

Diaz went 21-15 and 16-9 in conference play. 


Out: Bronco Mendenhall

In: Tony Elliott 

The Latest: Clemson's Tony Elliott is expected to be named Virginia's head coach in the coming hours. The news was first reported by Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel and later confirmed by Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde. 

Elliott, 42, has served as Clemson's offensive coordinator since 2016, helping the Tigers win national championships in 2016 and 2018. Since being promoted, Elliott has served as Clemson's primary play-caller on offense. 

The Tigers' OC has multiple offers to become a head coach this cycle. Viewed as the primary target at Duke, Elliott met with the Blue Devils earlier this week before meeting Cavaliers' athletic director Carla Williams. 

The Cavaliers are looking for a replacement for Bronco Mendenhall, who plans to step down as head coach after the Cavaliers' bowl game. Mendenall, who coached the Hoos for the past six seasons, held a 36-38 record, but has posted a 34-28 record since the 2017 season. 

Virginia Tech

Out: Justin Fuente 

In: Brent Pry 

The Latest: According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Hokies are expected to hire Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry as their next head coach. Pry has been on James' Franklin staff since his hiring in 2014. 

Pry, 51, has served as a multitude of roles in Happy Valley, being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2016. The Nittany Lions' defense in 2021 finished second in scoring (16.6 points per game) and sixth in total (344 yards per game). 

Pry has also served as the school's top recruiter over the past five seasons. Since 2016, Penn State has finished inside the top 20 all five seasons in recruiting, finishing top 15 on three occasions. No announcement has been made the school as of this time.


Out: Gary Patterson

In: Sonny Dykes

The Latest: The worst-kept secret in the coaching carousel was finally let out of the bag by various reports on Friday, and it appears Dykes will bring a host of SMU coaches over to TCU in the process. 

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Out: Jimmy Lake

In: Kalen DeBoer 

The Latest: The Huskies officially announce the hiring of the Fresno State coach. DeBoer, who last coached as the offensive coordinator for Indiana, led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record in 2020. 

Washington is looking to open its passing attack after a down season from both Dylan Morris and Sam Huard. This season with the Bulldogs' DeBoer's offense thrived in the vertical passing, led by Jake Haener. The senior QB finished top 10 in passing yards (3,810), passing TDs (38) and finished top 20 in passer rating (158.3). 

A former head coach at Sioux Falls, DeBoer led the Cougars to to three NAIA championships from 2005-2009 before moving to the FBS level as a coordinator. All-time he holds a 79-9 record as a head coach. 

Washington State

Out: Nick Rolovich

In: Jack Dickert

The Latest: The interim coach will become the permanent coach, SI's Ross Dellenger and Richard Johnson broke on the final day of college football's regular season. Big wins over Arizona and rival Washington State likely sealed the deal here. 

Texas Tech

Out: Matt Wells

In: Joey McGuire

The Latest: Baylor associate head coach and former Texas high school coach Joey McGuire is the pick for Texas Tech, in a move that makes a lot of sense given how unique it is to recruit to Lubbock. He hit the ground running, too


Out: David Cutcliffe

In: Mike Elko 

The Latest: According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, Duke and Elko have agreed to terms to make him the next Blue Devils head coach. Elko previously coached in the ACC as the defensive coordinator at Wake Forest. 

During his four seasons in College Station, Elko put together one of the best defenses in the country each season. The Aggies finished the 2021 season ranked No. 3 in scoring, allowing just 15.6 points per game. 

Elko has also been revered for his recruiting perks over the past four years. Currently, the Aggies have a chance to finish No. 1 in recruiting for the 2022 class in large part to his help. A&M landed names such as Walter Nolen, Evan Stewart and Conner Weigman, all of whom are top 50 players on SI99's list. 

Elko also has served as defensive coordinator for Bowling Green and Notre Dame.  


Out: Sonny Dykes

In: Rhett Lashlee

The latest: Pretty cut and dry as Dykes to TCU was as much a no-brainer as former OC Lashlee to leave his post as Miami's play-caller to lead the Mustang charge. 

Fresno State 

Out: Kalen DeBoer 

In: Jeff Tedford 

The Latest: Jeff Tedford is coming back for another round. According to reports, the former Fresno State head coach is expected to be re-hired following Kalen DeBoer's exit to Washington. 

Tedford, 60, served as the Bulldogs' head coach from 2017-19, electing to retire following a 4-8 season. In his first two years, Fresno State went 22-6 under his direction, winning the Mountain West in 2018. 

Tedford has coached at Oregon, Washington and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an assistant. He also served as Cal's head coach from 2002-12 and coaching the Canadian Football League for the B.C. Lions in 2015. 

All-time, Tedford holds a 108-71 record.  


Out: Chip Lindsey

In: Jon Sumrall

The Latest: Troy is expected to sign Kentucky's defensive coordinator to become the next head coach of the Trojans. Sumrall served as a assistant coach at Troy and a key cog during the successful tenure of coach Neal Brown. During that span, he worked as the assistant head coach, special teams coordinator and linebackers coach during his last tenure at Troy from 2015-18.

This season, Kentucky's defense was one of the SEC's best in terms of points allowed (22.2 points per game) and pass defense (117.8 yards per game). Sumrall has also been regarded as a top-notch recruiter, helping the Wildcats finished top 35 in recruiting over the past two seasons. 

Louisiana Lafayette 

Out: Billy Napier 

In: Michael Desormeaux

The Latest: With Napier headed to the SEC, Desormeaux is expected to be promoted to head coach. The news was first reported by Sport Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. 

Desormeaux has served as the Ragin Cajuns' offensive coordinator during the 2021 season, helping the program win its first Sun Belt Conference Championship since 2013. Desormeaux has been a member of the staff since 2016, and was retained by Napier following the firing of Mark Hudspeth in 2017. 


Out: Rod Carey


The Latest: One of the better G5 jobs came open Monday morning, per Football Scoop. Carey was just 4-15 over the last two seasons. Initial names are all over the place but Ole Miss assistant Chris Partridge, a New Jersey native who rose up the coaching ranks after a run at Paramus Catholic High School, has already been speculated on. He could also be in the mix for defensive coordinator openings to come. 

Colorado State

Out: Steve Addazio


The Latest: According to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, the Rams have targeted Nevada's Jay Norvell as their next head coach. Norvell, 58, has been mentioned for multiple jobs this offseason, including Washington, Washington State, USC and Oklahoma. 

Norvell took over the Wolfpack in 2017 after serving as Arizona State's wide receivers coach. Since 2018, Nevada has finished with a winning season and currently has gone 2-1 in bowl games during that span. 

In four years, Norvell holds a 33-26 record. He is 23-17 against Mountain West opponents. 


Out: Tom Arth

In: Joe Moorhead 

The Latest: Moorhead is expected to be named the Zips' head coaching following the Pac-12 Championship game on Saturday against No. 18 Utah. The Oregon offensive coordinator has been one of the leaders for the position since the firing of Arth last month. 

Moorhead, who last coached at Mississippi State, helped the Ducks become one of the more dynamic offenses in the FBS. Currently, Oregon ranks third nationally in third-down offense (52.9%), 18th in rushing (214 yards per game) and 33rd in scoring (33.2 points per game).

Moorhead coached the wide receiver at Akron from 2004-08. 

Louisiana Tech 

Out: Skip Holtz

In: Sonny Cumbie

The Latest: According to multiple reports, and later confirmed by Sports Illustrated, Cumbie will be the next head coach for the Bulldogs. The Red Raiders offensive coordinator was expected to remain on staff with the hiring of Joey McGuire. 

A former Tech QB, Cumbie worked his way up from being a position coach to coordinator. Prior to his return to Lubbock, the 40-year-old served at TCU's offensive coordinator from 


Out: Randy Edsall

In: Jim Mora

The Latest: UConn somehow found a way to upgrade with the hire of the former NFL and UCLA head coach, who has ties to regions throughout the country. Some time off likely did him well, though eh stayed close to the game as an analyst for various media outlets. 


Out: Walt Bell

In: Don Brown

The Latest: Late over the weekend, reports surfaced of Arizona defensive coordinator Don Brown taking the UMass head coaching job, with an announcement Monday morning. 

Florida International

Out: Butch Davis

In: Mike MacIntyre 

The Latest: According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, the Panthers are expected to hire Memphis defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre as its fifth head coach. MacIntyre served as Colorado's head coach from 2013-18.

A defensive-minded coach, MacIntyre served as San Jose State's head coach from 2010-12 before moving to the Pac-12. During his time with the Buffaloes, he posted a 30-44 record, helping the team win the Pac-12 South title in 2016. 

MacIntyre all-time holds a 46-65 record as a head coach. He replaces Butch Davis, who elected to step down following the 2021 season. Davis finished his time with the Panthers sporting a 24-32 record.  

Georgia Southern

Out: Chad Lunsford 

In: Clay Helton 

The Latest: The first coach to get canned was the first to officially be named to his new gig. GSU announced Helton as the next head coach on November 3, less than two months after that dreadful USC performance against Stanford that got him bounced. The fit in his native 

New Mexico State

Out: Doug Martin

In: Jerry Kill

The Latest: Kill is back in the head coaching ranks, generally good news for college football. The bad news? The Aggies are one of the worst programs in the FBS, having just wrapped up a 2-10 season under Martin. Kill is 154-101 as a college head coach while Martin was 25-74 at NMSU. 

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