Skip to main content
Publish date:

Re-ranking the length of FBS coaching tenures from 1-to-130: 2020 edition

Ever since I shamelessly ripped off this idea from its originator Patrick Stevens way back in 2014, this piece has traditionallyrun in late January to early February. Last year's edition ran on Jan. 22.

It is now March 4.

While for a time it seemed the December signing period put a soft cap on the head coaching market -- last year, 20 of the 27 new hires were in place by Dec. 14 -- the 2019-20 cycle stretched on foreeeeevverrrrrrr. Rutgers fired Chris Ash on Sept. 29. Colorado hired Karl Dorrell on Feb. 23.

The cycle initially closed on Dec. 18, when Florida Atlantic formally announced Willie Taggart's hiring. Then it opened again when Mississippi State fired Joe Moorhead. In the meantime, Rocky Long retired from San Diego State and was immediately replaced by his predecessor, Brady Hoke, and Matt Rhule left Baylor for the Carolina Panthers. Washington State hired Nick Rolovich away from Hawai'i, Dave Aranda took the Baylor job and, on Jan. 22, Hawai'i closed the cycle a second time when it pulled Todd Graham off the sidelines.

And then, on Feb. 4, Mark Dantonio re-opened the market again by retiring on Signing Day Eve. The job stayed open for a week until the Spartans Godfather-ed Mel Tucker away from Colorado, and the Buffs finally closed the 2019-20 cycle for good (?) in hiring Karl Dorrell away from the Miami Dolphins on Feb. 23.

All told, the 2019-20 FBS coaching carousel remained open for a span of 148 days; nearly five full months, and five days longer than the actual 2019 season itself. Twenty-four jobs came open, and seven were filled after the calendar flipped to 2020.

That leads to the notes portion of this column:

-- For as long as Kirk Ferentz can hang around at Iowa, there will be FBS head coaches whose tenures were born in four different decades.

-- In the time Ferentz has been Iowa's head coach, Mike Leach has spent a year at Oklahoma, spent 10 years as Texas Tech's head coach, took two years off, coached eight years at Washington State and then took the Mississippi State job.

-- Thirteen coaches were hired in the 2000s and now in their third decade on the job. (Two, Brian Kelly and Doc Holliday, did not coach a game in the decade.) The best bet to still be on the job come Jan. 1, 2030, has to be 48-year-old Pat Fitzgerald. But don't rule out 64-year-old Ferentz still hanging around into his fifth decade. (Then again, all these guys make way too much money to keep coaching that long.)

-- The median hire date? Nov. 25, 2017, when UCLA beat Florida for Chip Kelly's services.

-- This project began with Mark Stoops at the "top" of his hiring class. He's now No. 16, on the job longer than nearly 90 percent of his peers.

-- Les Miles is No. 82 on the list, on the job longer than 37 percent of his peers. He's coached all of 12 games at Kansas.

-- If Brady Hoke had remained at San Diego State and never left for Michigan, he'd be No. 13. Instead, he's No. 124.

Without further ado, the full list:

1998
1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa - Dec. 2

2000
2. Gary Patterson, TCU - Dec. 8

2004
3. Kyle Whittingham, Utah - Dec. 9
4. Frank Solich, Ohio - Dec. 17

2005
5. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State - Jan. 3
6. Rick Stockstill, Middle Tennessee - Dec. 12

2006
7. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern - July 7
8. Troy Calhoun, Air Force - Dec. 22

2007
9. Nick Saban, Alabama - Jan. 3
10. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy - Dec. 8
11. David Cutcliffe, Duke - Dec. 15

2008
12. Dabo Swinney, Clemson - Oct. 13

2009
13. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame - Dec. 11
14. Doc Holliday, Marshall - Dec. 17

2011
15. David Shaw, Stanford - Jan. 13

2012
16. Mark Stoops, Kentucky - Nov. 27
17. Dave Doeren, NC State - Dec. 1
18. Gus Malzahn, Auburn - Dec. 4
19. Skip Holtz, Louisiana Tech - Dec. 14

2013
20. Doug Martin, New Mexico State - Feb. 1
21. Chuck Martin, Miami (Ohio) - Dec. 3
22. Craig Bohl, Wyoming - Dec. 8
23. Dave Clawson, Wake Forest - Dec. 10
24(t). Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan - Dec. 11
24(t). Bryan Harsin, Boise State - Dec. 11
26. Blake Anderson, Arkansas State - Dec. 19
27. Jeff Monken, Army - Dec. 24

2014
28. James Franklin, Penn State - Jan. 11
29. Derek Mason, Vanderbilt - Jan. 17
30. Bill Clark, UAB - Jan. 21
31. Lance Leipold, Buffalo - Dec. 1
32. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa - Dec. 11
33. Paul Chryst, Wisconsin - Dec. 17
34. Pat Narduzzi, Pittsburgh - Dec. 26
35. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan - Dec. 30

2015
36. Matt Campbell, Iowa State - Nov. 29
37. Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech - Nov. 29
38. Clay Helton, USC - Nov. 30
39. Jason Candle, Toledo - Dec. 2
40. Bronco Mendenhall, Virginia - Dec. 4
41(t). Dino Babers, Syracuse - Dec. 5
41(t). Seth Littrell, North Texas - Dec. 5
43(t). Kirby Smart, Georgia - Dec. 6
43(t). Will Muschamp, South Carolina - Dec. 6
45. Willie Fritz, Tulane - Dec. 12
46. Matt Viator, Louisiana-Monroe - Dec. 14
47. Kalani Sitake, BYU - Dec. 19

2016
48. Mike Neu, Ball State - Jan. 7
49. Jay Hopson, Southern Miss - Jan. 30
50. Lovie Smith, Illinois - March 7
51. Butch Davis, Florida International - Nov. 15
52(t). Ed Orgeron, LSU - Nov. 26
52(t). Tom Herman, Texas - Nov. 26
54. Tom Allen, Indiana - Dec. 1
55. Jeff Brohm, Purdue - Dec. 5
56. Brent Brennan, San Jose State - Dec. 7
57. Shawn Elliott, Georgia State - Dec. 8
58. Jay Norvell, Nevada - Dec. 9
59. Luke Fickell, Cincinnati - Dec. 10
60. Randy Edsall, Connecticut - Dec. 28

2017
61. P.J. Fleck, Minnesota - Jan. 6
62. Tim Lester, Western Michigan - Jan. 13
63. Justin Wilcox, California - Jan. 14
64. Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma - June 7
65. Chip Kelly, UCLA - Nov. 25
66. Dan Mullen, Florida - Nov. 26
67. Chad Lunsford, Georgia Southern - Nov. 27
68. Jonathan Smith, Oregon State - Nov. 29
69. Scott Frost, Nebraska - Dec. 2
70. Herm Edwards, Arizona State - Dec. 3
71. Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M - Dec. 4
72. Josh Heupel, UCF - Dec. 5
73(t). Mike Bloomgren, Rice - Dec. 6
73(t). Dana Dimel, UTEP - Dec. 6
75(t). Steve Campbell, South Alabama - Dec. 7
75(t). Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee - Dec. 7
77. Mario Cristobal, Oregon - Dec. 8
78. Sonny Dykes, SMU - Dec. 11
79. Billy Napier, Louisiana-Lafayette - Dec. 15
80. Sean Lewis, Kent State - Dec. 21

2018
81. Kevin Sumlin, Arizona - Jan. 14
82. Les Miles, Kansas - Nov. 18
83. Mack Brown, North Carolina - Nov. 26
84. Tyson Helton, Western Kentucky - Nov. 27
85(t). Scot Loeffler, Bowling Green - Nov. 28
85(t). Jake Spavital, Texas State - Nov. 28
87. Matt Wells, Texas Tech - Nov. 29
88. Jim McElwain, Central Michigan - Dec. 2
89(t). Walt Bell, Massachusetts - Dec. 3
89(t). Mike Houston, East Carolina - Dec. 3
91(t). Ryan Day, Ohio State - Dec. 4
91(t). Mike Locksley, Maryland - Dec. 4
91(t). Scott Satterfield, Louisville - Dec. 4
94. Will Healy, Charlotte - Dec. 5
95(t). Geoff Collins, Georgia Tech - Dec. 7
95(t). Hugh Freeze, Liberty - Dec. 7
97(t). Gary Andersen, Utah State - Dec. 10
97(t). Chris Klieman, Kansas State - Dec. 10
99. Tom Arth, Akron - Dec. 14
100. Manny Diaz, Miami - Dec. 30

2019
101. Dana Holgorsen, Houston - Jan. 2
102. Neal Brown, West Virginia - Jan. 5
103. Chip Lindsey, Troy - Jan. 10
104. Rod Carey, Temple - Jan. 11
105(t). Jamey Chadwell, Coastal Carolina - Jan. 18
105(t). Thomas Hammock, Northern Illinois - Jan. 18
107. Jimmy Lake, Washington - Dec. 2
108. Greg Schiano, Rutgers - Dec. 3
109. Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss - Dec. 7
110(t). Mike Norvell, Florida State - Dec. 8
110(t). Sam Pittman, Arkansas - Dec. 8
112(t). Ricky Rahne, Old Dominion - Dec. 9
112(t). Jeff Scott, South Florida - Dec. 9
112(t). Jeff Traylor, UTSA - Dec. 9
115. Eliah Drinkwitz, Missouri - Dec. 10
116. Steve Addazio, Colorado State - Dec. 11
117(t). Marcus Arroyo, UNLV - Dec. 13
117(t). Shawn Clark, Appalachian State - Dec. 13
117(t). Ryan Silverfield, Memphis - Dec. 13
120. Jeff Hafley, Boston College - Dec. 14
121. Kalen DeBoer, Fresno State - Dec. 17
122. Danny Gonzales, New Mexico - Dec. 17
123. Willie Taggart, Florida Atlantic - Dec. 18

2020
124. Brady Hoke, San Diego State - Jan. 8
125. Mike Leach, Mississippi State - Jan. 9
126. Nick Rolovich, Washington State - Jan. 14
127. Dave Aranda, Baylor - Jan. 16
128. Todd Graham, Hawai'i - Jan. 22
129. Mel Tucker, Michigan State - Feb. 12
130. Karl Dorrell, Colorado - Feb. 23

Tags
terms: