Last week we started a series looking at assistant coaches ready to move up in their careers either by taking bigger jobs elsewhere or taking on more responsibility on their current staffs. We hit the ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12, and now we round out the Power 5 with the Pac-12.
Before we get going, a disclaimer: This list is in no particular order, and is by no means a complete and total list.
Lance Anderson, Stanford defensive coordinator/outside linebackers coach: Anderson was an original member of Jim Harbaugh’s staff on The Farm and helped produce some of the best defenses in college football over that span.
Marcus Arroyo, Oregon co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and tight ends coach: Arroyo has garnered head coaching interviews previously, and a successful run in Eugene would garner even more.
Beau Baldwin, Cal assistant head coach/offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach: Baldwin’s 85-32 record as the head coach at Eastern Washington would’ve garnered him mention in the open Oregon State job, and that was before he gained Pac-12 experience in Berkeley.
Mike Bloomgren, Stanford associate head coach/offensive coordinator/offensive line coach: In 2015, Bloomgren’s offense produced the Outland Trophy winner and the FBS record-breaker for all-purpose yardage. This year’s offense has the nation’s leading rusher in Bryce Love — who happens to lead the nation throwing up 9.64 yards a carry. Anyone looking to copy the Stanford blueprint should make Bloomgren their first call.
Mario Cristobal, Oregon co-offensive coordinator/run game coordinator/offensive line coach: Willie Taggart’s strategy for success at Oregon is built around recruiting talent from the Southeast to Eugene. He’ll also have to use that same salesmanship to keep programs from the Southeast away from Cristobal.
Jedd Fisch, UCLA offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach: Fisch is one of the most well-traveled assistants in college football today. He’s worked for the Seattle Seahawks, Miami, the Jacksonville Jaguars, Michigan and now UCLA just since the beginning of this decade. Along the way, a number of programs have spoken with Fisch about serving as their head coach, and expect more to in the future.
Alex Grinch, Washington State defensive coordinator/defensive backs coach: Another Mount Union product, Grinch has done the unthinkable at Pullman — he’s turned Wazzu into a defensive force. A unit that ranked 99th upon his January 2015 arrival has risen to 84th, then to 62nd, and now to 10th. Simply put, this is one of the top young coaches in the country.
Jim Harding, Utah assistant head coach/offensive line coach: Harding broke into major college football as the offensive line coach at Wyoming under Dave Christensen — himself one of the most accomplished offensive line coaches in the game — and has now put together a track record as the bedrock for a balanced, consistent offense in Salt Lake City.
Tyson Helton, USC passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach: If the Brothers Brohm are your thing, the Helton brothers should also garner attention. Helton’s peers selected him as the FootballScoop Quarterbacks Coach of the Year last year.
Guy Holliday, Utah wide receivers coach: Holliday rose the ranks as an offensive coordinator at the FCS level and has spent the past 15 years coaching wide receivers at a diverse array of programs in Division I.
Pete Kwiatkowski, Washington defensive coordinator: How many coaches have put together the nation’s No. 1 yards per play defense at two different programs? Kwiatkowski won that title at Boise State in 2010, and he’s on track to do the same at Washington this fall. Washington’s current 3.71 number is the best in college football since Alabama in 2011.
Jim Leavitt, Oregon defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach: Leavitt performed a miracle at Colorado, and now he’s in the midst of doing the same thing at Oregon, where in his first season he’s jumped the Ducks from 115th to 41st nationally in yards per play allowed. If he’s not hired as a head coach, he should at least be in line for a Pepsi endorsement.
Matt Lubick, Washington co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach: Lubick’s talents are highly valued in the coaching community. How can you be sure? After Oregon’s staff was let go after the end of last season, Lubick accepted jobs at Ole Miss and Baylor before joining Washington’s staff in February. His peers selected him the FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year in 2012. If David Cutcliffe and Chris Petersen think you can coach, you can coach.
Jim Mastro, Washington State running backs coach: Mastro has put together one of the most versatile running back tandems in the nation. The Cougars have two featured backs who have both caught 44 passes or more to date this season. Mastro was also a veteran of Chris Ault’s Pistol offense at Nevada, which means there may be no coach in college football today with a more intricate knowledge of how to run the ball out of the spread offense.
Tee Martin, USC offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach: How valuable is Martin to the USC staff? He’s worked for the Trojans since 2012 — which means three head coaches have put him on their staff, and he’s added responsibility with each change. Tennessee figures to have an opening this month, and the Vols would be crazy to not speak with their national championship-winning former quarterback.
Billy Napier, Arizona State offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach: Napier was Dabo Swinney’s first offensive coordinator at Clemson, then deposited six seasons on Nick Saban’s staff before taking over the Arizona State offense this season. That’s the path to an SEC coordinator job and/or a Group of 5 head coaching job down the line.
Charlie Ragle, Cal special teams coordinator/tight ends coach: Ragle broke into coaching in the Phoenix high school ranks, ripping off three straight state titles at powerhouse Chaparral before joining Rich Rodriguez’s staff in Tucson. His success there earned him a spot on Justin Wilcox’s staff at Cal. He could make sense for the head coaching opening at Northern Arizona or other programs looking to hire a fiery coach players respond to.
Morgan Scalley, Utah defensive coordinator/safeties coach: Want to know what Kyle Whittingham thinks of Morgan Scalley’s work ethic? At every turn, Whittingham has kept him around and handed him more responsibility, starting as an administrative assistant in 2006, then as a GA, then as safeties coach with coordinator responsibilities progressing from recruiting, to special teams, and now to overseeing the defense.
Jonathan Smith, Washington offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach: Smith coached quarterbacks for Chris Petersen at Boise State and now does the same in Seattle, where he’s helped Jake Browning throw up a 4-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He’s been a rumored candidate at Oregon State, and the rumors should be true.
Rod Smith and Calvin Magee, Arizona co-offensive coordinators/quarterbacks and running backs coaches: Both have been with Rich Rodriguez since the West Virginia days, and both have produced more 1,000-yard rushers than you can count on one hand. Both have had opportunities to move up in the past, and both will have more in the future.
Marques Tuiasosopo, Cal passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach/recruiting coordinator: A former All-Pac-10 quarterback, Tuiasosopo has worked up and down the Left Coast at Washington, UCLA, USC and, now, Cal, he figures to be a natural candidate to succeed Baldwin as Cal’s offensive coordinator should he move on this winter.