So now that the #HTownTakeover has left and gone west to Austin, the Cougars now need to find a new head coach. The Houston position has great intrigue with all of the facility advancements that were made under Tom Herman and the talent that he was able to recruit. We will look at five potential candidates for the coaching position.
Todd Orlando, Interim Head Coach
The defensive coordinator who came in under Herman two years ago was named interim head coach. I personally think it’s always risky to promote from within which is made on an emotional decision from a bowl win. Orlando though might be the best for the job; he knows the incoming recruiting class and the players that Herman brought in. He should get an interview and if he blows them away good chance he could be the next coach.
Ruffin McNeill, Assistant Coach Virginia
Shockingly got fired from East Carolina last year after going 9-3, he took a job as an assistant coach under Bronco Mendenhall. McNeill has ties to Texas, as he was on Texas Tech’s coaching staff from 2000-2009 so he has connections within the high school coaches, which is important. He was 43-34, but his last two season were 8-5 and 9-3 so when he got his players in, he was able to succeed.
Lincoln Riley, Offensive Coordinator Oklahoma
Riley has been the architect behind the Sooners prolific offense the past two years. He won the Broyles award for nation’s top assistant coach and was considered for some head coaching positions last year. He has connections in recruiting with his time being an assistant coach at Tech for three years. Riley is only 33 years old which would make him the youngest coach in college football, which could cause some hesitation.
Frank Wilson, Head Coach UTSA
Wilson in his first year at the helm of the Roadrunners lead them to their first bowl-eligible season in the program’s short history. During his time at LSU he was named National Recruiter of the Year three times, and has pulled some top recruits at UTSA. Hard to see Wilson leaving after such a successful year, but this is college so you never know what would happen.
Major Applewhite, Offensive Coordinator Houston
He helped Herman orchestrate the prolific offense and has been a head-coaching candidate for some group of five schools last year. This is another situation of promoting from within, as is the case with his colleague Orlando. He should get an interview, but I think it hard to see him getting the job.
Some other coaches names that have been floated around, but I think would be a long shot to take the job.
Dan Mullen, head coach Mississippi State
Dana Holgorson, head coach West Virginia
Art Briles,former Baylor head coach.
Finally, PJ Fleck’s name hasn’t been mentioned and I think he could be a good candidate for the job, take away the “row the boat” and all that stuff, he can coach, Two years after going 11-1 in Kalamazoo he has the Broncos 12-0 and on the verge of a MAC title and a New Years Six bowl.