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Former Big 12 quarterbacks are taking over the coaching world

Graham Harrell

Over the weekend Cincinnati announced Zac Taylor as its offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Taylor served previously as the quarterbacks coach for the Miami Dolphins. All in all it was a pretty standard coordinator hire.

Except Cincinnati's hiring of Taylor, a former Nebraska quarterback, signaled the latest in a trend that has snuck up on college football and threatens to swallow the sport whole: Big 12 quarterbacks are, ever so quietly, taking over the college football coaching world.

Consider the following:

  • Kliff Kingsbury, formerly a Texas Tech quarterback, is now Texas Tech's head coach.
  • Scott Frost, formerly a Nebraska quarterback, was recently named Central Florida's head coach.
  • Justin Fuente, an Oklahoma quarterback in the mid-90's, is now the head coach at Virginia Tech.
  • Sonny Cumbie, a former Texas Tech quarterback, is TCU's co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
  • Josh Heupel, a former Oklahoma quarterback, was recently named Missouri's offensive coordinator.
  • Major Applewhite, a former Texas quarterback, is in his second season as Houston's offensive coordinator.
  • Graham Harrell, a former Texas Tech quarterback, recently landed the North Texas offensive coordinator job.
  • Lincoln Riley, a former Texas Tech walk-on quarterback, just completed his first season as Oklahoma's offensive coordinator.
  • Taylor, formerly of Nebraska, is now Cincinnati's offensive coordinator.
  • Clint Trickett, a former West Virginia quarterback, is now the quarterbacks coach at East Mississippi Community College.
  • Collin Klein, formerly a Kansas State quarterback, is on staff at his alma mater as assistant director of recruiting/defensive quality control.
  • Seth Doege, a former Texas Tech quarterback, is now an offensive graduate assistant at Bowling Green.
  • J.W. Walsh, a fresh Oklahoma State quarterback graduate, recently joined TCU's staff as an offensive graduate assistant.

And this doesn't even count Mike Gundy, an Oklahoma State quarterback before the Big 12 was formed, and former FBS head coaches Turner Gill (formerly of a Nebraska quarterback and Buffalos and Kansas head coach, currently head coach at Liberty) and Garrick McGee (formerly an Oklahoma quarterback and UAB head coach, currently the offensive coordinator at Louisville).

At the current rate of growth, every FBS program will be led or coordinated by a former Big 12 quarterback by 2027.