It all got started before mid-September and lasted until the beginning of February. This past season’s edition of the coaching carousel went on a tad longer than perhaps anyone could have imagined, but with Central Michigan officially introducing John Bonamego as its new head coach today, we now have closed the book on head coaching changes among major college football programs.
Hopefully, at least.
In all we saw 15 head coaching changes at the FBS level, including seven from power conferences. Three of those power conference coaching changes came in the Big Ten, with Michigan and Nebraska each turning a page with their respective programs and Wisconsin having to react to losing a coach to the Pac-12.
Ready for a quick trip down memory lane? Here is a walk-through of the timeline of events regarding this now completed coaching carousel.
Coaching Carousel Timeline
- September 8, 2014 – SMU head coach June Jones announces his resignation from the head coaching position. SMU names defensive coordinator Tom Mason interim head coach for the remainder of 2014 season.
- September 28, 2014 – Kansas head coach Charlie Weis relieved of his duties. Kansas names defensive coordinator Clint Bowen interim head coach.
- October 5, 2014 – Troy head coach Larry Blakeney announces he will resign at end of 2014 season.
- October 13, 2014 – Buffalo relieves Jeff Quinn of his duties. Buffalo names Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks Coach Alex Wood interim head coach.
- November 16, 2014 – Florida announces Will Muschamp will be dismissed at the end of the regular season.
- November 28, 2014 – UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck resigns from position.
- November 30, 2014 – Nebraska fires Bo Pelini, effective immediately. Running game coordinator Barney Cotton named interim coach for bowl game.
- November 30, 2014 – Troy announces Kentucky offensive coordinator Neal Brown will be new head coach.
- November 30, 2014 – SMU announces it will hire Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris to be new head coach.
- November 30, 2014 – Buffalo hires Wisconsin-Whitewater head coach Lance Leipold to be new head coach.
- December 1, 2014 – Tulsa fires head coach Bill Blankenship.
- December 2, 2014 – Michigan fires head coach Brady Hoke.
- December 4, 2014 – Florida hires Colorado State head coach Jim McElwain to be new head coach.
- December 4, 2014 – Nebraska hires Oregon State head coach Mike Riley to be new head coach.
- December 5, 2014 – Kansas hires Texas A&M wide receivers coach David Beaty to be new head coach.
- December 8, 2014 – Houston relieves head coach Tony Levine of duties.
- December 8, 2014 – UNLV reportedly set to hire Bishop Gorman High School (NV) head coach Tony Sanchez as new head coach.
- December 10, 2014 – Oregon State hires Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen to be new head coach.
- December 11, 2014 – Tulsa hires Baylor offensive coordinator Philip Montgomery to be new head coach.
- December 12, 2014 – Wisconsin hires Pittsburgh head coach Paul Chryst to be new head coach.
- December 15, 2014 – Houston hires Ohio State offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Tom Herman to be new head coach.
- December 22, 2014 – Colorado State hires Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo to be new head coach.
- December 26, 2014 – Pittsburgh hires Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi to be new head coach.
- December 29, 2014 – Michigan hires former San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh to be new head coach.
- January 22, 2015 – Central Michigan head coach Dan Enos leaves job to accept position as Arkansas offensive coordinator.
- February 8, 2015 – Central Michigan hires Detroit Lions special teams coordinator John Bonamego as new head coach.
There is now a third opening for a head football coach at a Football Bowl Subdivision school.
UNLV released a statement Friday that stated head coach Bobby Hauck resigned from his current position.
“Bobby Hauck submitted his resignation, effective Monday, and I have accepted it,” UNLV director of athletics Tina Kunzer-Murphy said in the statement. “No one has worked harder in trying to achieve consistent success with our football program than Coach Hauck and we thank him for his dedication and leadership. He and his staff have worked tirelessly in trying to achieve the results we all want to see but it unfortunately has not happened. We wish Bobby and his family the very best in their future endeavors.”
The decision comes 11 months after Hauck agreed to a controversial extension that raised his pay and added a year to his previous contract.
The extension was a reward for a 7-6 record during the 2013 campaign. Those seven wins more than tripled Hauck’s win total through his first three seasons with the program. It was also the school’s first non-losing season since 2003 when the Rebels finished 6-6 under the direction of John Robinson.
After another 2-10 season (with one game left to play), Hauck decided to step aside and let another coach attempt to resurrect the program.
“We were given an opportunity to get it done here at UNLV and we simply did not win enough games,” Hauck said. “It’s my responsibility to push the program forward and I wish we would have produced better results.
“I would like to thank our University leadership for their support of our program; in particular, President Don Snyder, Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy and Board of Regents Chair Kevin Page. In addition, I would like to thank our student body, alumni and community leaders for their support of Rebel Football.”
UNLV landed the top coach at the FCS level in Hauck during the previous coaching search. UNLV’s brass now has another major decision in front it to hire the right person for the job. It’s never been easy to win in Sin City. Harvey Hyde was the last head coach to own a winning record from 1982-85.
The tale of Rudy at Notre Dame was made for Hollywood. Perhaps the sequel is better suited for a Vegas show on the strip. UNLV senior Jonathon James is serving as a reminder to all Rebels players this spring just what hard work can lead to.
You will not find James listed on the depth chart but you will find him on the team’s spring roster, without a number. Although his chances may be limited t contribute on the field, his role on the team is a special one. He made the team as a walk-on as a freshman, receiving the last roster spot on the 105-man roster allowed by the NCAA. He wears a t-shirt with the number 105 on it every day in practice, and he does so proudly. Instead of preparing for a role on game days, James goes through the rigors of practice just like every player and takes it upon himself to help get younger players in the right mindset and understand the program.
“It’s all about work ethic and looking past the naysayers,” James said in a profile story published by The Las Vegas Sun. “I had a coach in high school who told me I’m too short to play receiver. How many years later, I’m playing at the Division I level. Whether I had just one catch for 1 yard, I still made it.”
James’s one catch for one yard came in a 2011 game against Hawaii. It is possible that will be his only contributions on the stat line for his collegiate career, although if he continues to stay in good shape it would be nice to see him get a chance to get some playing time this season. Few players have earned that opportunity as much as James has.
“Jonathon is a great guy, great kid,” UNLV coach Bobby Hauck said, “the kind of guy you want on your team.”
College football needs more positive stories like this. Be sure to read James’s story via The Las Vegas Sun.
Photo credit: UNLV Athletics
UNLV played in their first postseason game since 2000 at the end of the 2013 season, but low academic scores may jeopardize the Rebels’ postseason plans before the upcoming season even kicks off. It is an unfortunate reality head coach Bobby Hauck is waiting to see play out.
“We’re going to wait until the results come out in June and, obviously, [UNLV Athletics Director Tina Kunzer-Murphy]’s made a statement on that,” Hauck said following a recent practice, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “We’ll follow our department’s lead on that deal.”
As previously reported, UNLV addressed the possibility the football team may not meet the minimum APR standard established by the NCAA to be eligible to participate in the postseason. UNLV’s football team needs to have a cumulative APR score over 930 over a four-year period to remain eligible for the postseason this fall. Low scores can also result in loss of scholarships, which UNLV has dealt with before. UNLV’s most recent score is 932, putting the program on the brink of postseason ineligibility.
“Like anything else, you handle what comes at you,” Hauck said. “There are all kinds of things that we try to do well, and going to school’s one of them. We’ll see how that goes.”
Hauck has been the head coach of UNLV since 2010 and in that time he has helped turn around the academic performance of the program. A low 981 APR score in the 2011-12 academic year is holding UNLV down, but overall it appears as though Hauck has guided the program in the right direction when it comes to academics. There is still time to bring or keep the grades up of course, but time is running out.