If your school is in the market for a head coach, and they’re going to go the assistant coach route, there’s a fairly decent chance that the new sideline boss appears somewhere on this recently-released list.
Wednesday afternoon, the Rotary Club of Little Rock announced the 34 nominees for the 2015 Broyles Award, given annually to the nation’s most outstanding assistant coach. Two former winners made the cut this year — Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart (2009) and North Carolina defensive coordinator Gene Chizik (2004, while at Auburn).
Of the 34 finalists, 19 come from Power Five conferences. The AAC, ACC and SEC lead all leagues with five nominees each, while the Big Ten has four. The MAC, Pac-12 and Sun Belt claimed three nominees apiece, with the Big 12’s two is tied with the Mountain West for fewest among all conferences.
There are 16 defensive coordinators on the list and 13 offensive coordinators, along with one special teams coordinator (Utah State’s Dave Ungerer). Only four non-coordinators made the cut: Georgia Southern running backs coach Dell McGee, Mississippi State quarterbacks coach Brian Johnson, North Carolina State defensive line coach Ryan Nielsen, USC wide receivers coach Tee Martin.
Last year’s winner was Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, now the head coach at Houston. Five finalists for this year’s award will be announced Nov. 30, with the winner being revealed Dec. 8.
• Alabama – Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator/Inside Linebackers
• Arkansas – Dan Enos, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Arkansas State – Joe Cauthen, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Baylor – Kendal Briles, Offensive Coordinator
• Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Bowling Green State – Sean Lewis, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Central Michigan – Greg Colby, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
• Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator, Linebackers
• Colorado State – Will Friend, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Florida – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
• Florida State – Charles Kelly, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Georgia Southern – Dell McGee, Running Backs
• Georgia State – Jesse Minter, Defensive Coordinator
• Houston – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
• Indiana – Greg Frey, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Iowa – Greg Davis, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach
• Louisiana Tech – Tony Petersen, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Marshall – Chuck Heater, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backs
• Memphis – Brad Cornelsen, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Michigan – Tim Drevno, Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line
• Mississippi State – Brian Johnson, Quarterbacks
• Navy – Dale Pehrson, Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line
• NC State – Ryan Nielsen, Defensive Line
• North Carolina – Gene Chizik, Defensive Coordinator
• Ole Miss – Dan Werner, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks
• South Florida – Danny Hope, Co–Offensive Coordinator/Run Game
• Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
• Toledo – Jon Heacock, Defensive Coordinator
• UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
• USC – Tee Martin, WR/Pass Game Coordinator
• Utah State – Dave Ungerer, Special Teams Coordinator/Running Backs
• Washington State University – Alex Grinch, Defensive Coordinator/Secondary
• Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator