Brent Key

Report: George O’Leary resigns as UCF’s head coach

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First UCF head coach George O’Leary removed himself from the interim athletics director position. Now O’Leary is reportedly stepping down as head coach of the Knights.

According to Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com, via Twitter, O’Leary has resigned as UCF’s head football coach. O’Leary resigns with a record of 81-68 at UCF, but the struggles on the field this season have taken a toll. At 0-8 after being blown out at home by Houston, O’Leary leaves the program with just four games to go in the regular season.

Just last week O’Leary was disputing rumors regarding a coach-in-waiting situation and refusing to share details of his contract. Offensive coordinator Brent Key had been suspected of being the possible successor for O’Leary when the time comes.

O’Leary was hired by UCF in 2004 after three years away from the college coaching game. Following a stint as Georgia Tech’s head coach from 1995 through 2001, O’Leary left the Yellow Jackets to take on the job at Notre Dame. Just days after being hired by the Irish, O’Leary offered his immediate resignation after it was learned he had fabricated some information on his biography. O’Leary stayed involved with coaching by joining the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons as a defensive assistant and defensive coordinator before the opportunity to take over the UCF program came along in 2004.

UCF went 0-11 in O’Leary’s first season in Orlando, but the Knights would go on to end four seasons with double-digit wins, including a Fiesta Bowl victory against Baylor at the end of the 2013 season.

No coach-in-waiting at UCF, says George O’Leary

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Say what you wish, but George O’Leary wants you to know there is no coach-in-waiting on the staff ready to step in upon O’Leary’s eventual departure from the head coaching role in Orlando.

According to The Orlando Sentinel, O’Leary said Monday there are no clauses in his contract designed to address the future of the position of head coach and turned aside rumors that offensive coordinator Brent Key has the coach-in-waiting tag.

O’Leary was pressed about details in his coaching contract by a reporter Monday. UCF has declined to release O’Leary’s contract to the public despite multiple requests for it from various media outlets. Asked if he has anything in his contract he would prefer not be made public, O’Leary laughed it off.

“No there isn’t,” O’Leary replied when asked about clauses in his contract regarding the coaching staff. “That’s why it’s my contract. I worry about me. But no, there’s nothing in there . ..what are you talking about a coach in-house or something like that?”

O’Leary recently stepped down as UCF’s interim athletics director. He did so confirming he will continue to serve as head coach. Over the past year and a half O’Leary has had to counter various rumors regarding his coaching future as well. With UCF struggling this season, changes should be expected to be made within the program soon.

Broyles Award nominees include Kiffin, Venables, 38 others

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With the next round fo the coaching carousel about to get underway at full speed, some programs may want to pay attention to the list of names nominated for the Broyles Award. The Broyles Award is presented annually to the top assistant coach in college football, and the list of 40 nominees for this year’s award includes some names with previous head coaching experience and others about to be in line for a head coaching gig somewhere around the country.

Current head coaches who previously won the Broyles Award include Auburn’s Gus Malzahn, UConn’s Bob Diaco and Duke’s David Cutcliffe. Last year’s Broyles Award winner was Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who many feel could be ready for a head coaching offer in the next round of the coaching carousel.  This year Narduzzi is not a finalist for the award, but Spartans co-offensive coordinator Dave Warner is.

“This will be one of the most challenging years ever for our selection committee to choose the top 5 finalists and winner, so many assistant coaches did outstanding work this year,” David Bazzel, Broyles Award executive director.

This year’s Broyles Award winner will be announced on Tuesday, December 9 by The Rotary Club of Little Rock and sponsor Delta Dental. The award is named after former Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles, who had a solid track record of pumping out quality assistant coaches. Some of the assistants who coaches under Broyles include Barry Switzer, Jimmy Johnson, Hayden Fry, Joe Gibbs, and Jackie Sherrill.

Broyles Award Nominees

Alabama – Lane Kiffin, Offensive Coordinator
Appalachian State – Dwayne Ledford, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Arizona – Jeff Casteel, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas – Robb Smith, Defensive Coordinator
Arkansas State University – Walt Bell, Offensive Coordinator
Boise State University – Mike Sanford, Offensive Coordinator
Boston College – Don Brown, Defensive Coordinator
Brigham Young University – Nick Howell, Defensive coordinator
Clemson – Brent Venables, Defensive Coordinator
Colorado State – Dave Baldwin, Offensive Coordinator
Duke University – John Latina, Run Game Coordinator/OL
East Carolina University – Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator
FIU – Josh Conklin, Defensive Coordinator
Georgia Southern University – Doug Ruse, Offensive Coordinator
Louisiana – Marquase Lovings, Running Backs
Louisiana Tech – Manny Diaz, Defensive Coordinator
Louisville – Todd Grantham, Defensive Coordinator
Memphis – James Shibest, Special Teams Coordinator/Tight Ends
Miami – Mark D’Onofrio, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan – Greg Mattison, Defensive Coordinator
Michigan State University – Dave Warner, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Minnesota – Tracy Claeys, Defensive Coordinator
Mississippi State – Geoff Collins, Defensive Coordinator
Missouri – Dave Steckel, Defensive Coordinator
NC State – Desmond Kitchings, Running Backs/Recruiting Coordinator
Ohio State University – Tom Herman, Offensive Coordinator
Ole Miss – Dave Wommack, Defensive Coordinator
Oregon – Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator
Penn State University – Bob Shoop, Defensive Coordinator
Stanford – Lance Anderson, Defensive Coordinator
TCU – Doug Meacham, Co-Offensive Coordinator
Temple – Phil Snow, Defensive Coordinator
UCF – Brent Key, Offensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator
UCLA – Noel Mazzone, Offensive Coordinator
Utah – Kalani Sitake, Defensive Coordinator
Utah State University – Todd Orlando, Defensive Coordinator
UTSA – Neal Neathery, Defensive Coordinator
West Virginia University – Tony Gibson, Defensive Coordinator
Western Michigan University – Kirk Ciarrocca, Offensive Coordinator
Wisconsin – Dave Aranda, Defensive Coordinator