When the NCAAF betting regular season came to an end this year, there were head coaching vacancies in the double digits. The merry-go-round started even before the season began as Illinois fired Tim Beckman eight days ahead of opening day. The demise of Steve Sarkisian was a complete surprise, as alcohol appears to have sent him down in flames. Georgia firing Mark Richt after winning 144 games in 15 seasons was another surprise. Frank Beamer retired at Virginia Tech; South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier suddenly walked away in the middle of the season. Gary Pinkel left Missouri due to health issues; Jerry Kill had already left Minnesota during the middle of the season because of his epilepsy. Now that these coaches are done, though, let’s take a look at some of the most interesting hires that have already been made.
Let’s Review the New NCAA Football Betting Coaching Hires
— VT Football (@VT_Football) December 10, 2015
Virginia Tech: Justin Fuente replaces Frank Beamer
Fuente had turned Memphis into a national phenomenon with their upset victory over Ole Miss and their run in the American Athletic Conference this year. Frank Beamer leaves huge shoes to fill, with 22 straight winning seasons and 22 straight bowl berths. Because Beamer’s defensive coordinator, Bud Foster, is staying on staff, Fuente’s transition will be somewhat easier. He has a terrific recruiting region, and his athletic director, Whit Babcock, has shown that he will do what it takes to win.
University of Virginia: Bronco Mendenhall replaces Mike London
When Mike London left Virginia, few people had any idea that Bronco Mendenhall was thinking about leaving BYU after eleven seasons. The Cavaliers had only one winning season during London’s six campaigns at the helm. Mendenhall proved himself to be a winner at a school that has a hard time recruiting players, with his worst season a 6-6 campaign in his first year.
Miami (FL): Mark Richt replaces Al Golden
Miami had to fire Al Golden; he had had five years to try and get the program going in the right direction, but when Clemson routed the Hurricanes 58-0 this year, it was clear that Golden wasn’t making progress. Miami hired Mark Richt three days after Georgia fired him. He had won 144 games in the last 15 seasons and was known for building consistency. He has a quarterback to work with in Brad Kaaya, and Richt will enjoy the fertile recruiting ground.
Georgia: Kirby Smart replaces Mark Richt
Georgia is rolling the dice by firing a guy who wins 10 games every year and bringing in a coach who has never been a head coach at any level. Smart, though, is a Georgia alum and coached the running backs here back in 2005. He has followed Nick Saban from LSU to the Miami Dolphins and the Alabama Crimson Tide, and his defense is widely credited with being one of the Crimson Tide’s strengths. Smart needs to bring in a strong offensive coordinator to complement his own strengths.