Coaches get hired to be fired. Hopefully, they win a few games in between ... but usually, they aren't winning enough. That's why every winter is filled with coaches losing jobs, moving on to other opportunities and trying on new polo shirts and hats. It's a dizzying process and one that can be hard for the average fan to follow. We don't all have time to keep track of every move that's being made.
Lucky for you, we here at CBS Sports did have the time. We are tracking every hiring and firing in the 2019 coaching carousel and not only breaking each down but providing a grade for how every school performed in its decision making.
Since the carousel has now started again, the tracker is reopening. Take a look below at this one-stop shop for all of your coaching hire needs. (Well, except those polos.)
FBS hirings and firings
|Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers)
|The LSU defensive coordinator was connected to the UNLV job earlier in this cycle and now gets an opportunity at a Power Five school. Not only that, but Rhule leaves Aranda a program that was just starting to see the fruits of the rebuilding efforts pay off. This is a great opportunity for Aranda, who Baylor believes can keep in the mix for Big 12 championships. Grade: B
|Mike Leach (Mississippi State)
|While Rolovich isn't tied specifically to the wide open offense the Warriors ran in 2019, seeing Cole McDonald's production does give a glimpse into what this Air Raid roster might be able to accomplish under its new head coach. Rolovich will also bring the entertainment value to those in Pullman accustomed to good quotes from their head coach. Grade: B
|Joe Moorhead (fired)
|As far as name and brand recognition, there's no denying that Mississippi State upgraded here. Leach is a name well-known throughout the college football world, and this might be the best possible hire at this stage of the year. Still, I have some concerns. Joe Moorhead was a bad fit, and I'm not convinced Leach is significantly better. I'm also concerned about Leach's recruiting, as he's never been the most dogged on the recruiting trail. That worked out fine at Texas Tech and Wazzu, but will a more laid-back approach talent accumulation work in the SEC? <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Rocky Long (retired)
|Well, this was certainly unexpected. Rocky Long has stepped down and plans to pursue defensive coordinator jobs elsewhere. Brady Hoke, meanwhile, returns to the helm of a program he led for two seasons, going 13-12. A 9-4 season led to Hoke going to Michigan, but it hasn't been great since. In fact, I'd argue that the Aztecs have downgraded. Still, given the situation, I'm not going to fail them for being put in a bad spot. <strong>Grade: D</strong>
|Bob Davie (resigned)
|It's a little more difficult to properly gauge a hire when the coach comes from the defensive side of the ball these days. It's often the choice the coach makes in an offensive coordinator that determines their program's ceiling. As for Gonzales, he orchestrated some great defenses at San Diego State before working under Herm Edwards at Arizona State. The 43-year-old played at New Mexico and spent the first nine years of his coaching career there. So he's familiar with the school and knows what it will take to be successful. <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Jeff Tedford (resigned)
|A choice so sensible you have to wonder what took so long to make it happen. DeBoer spent two seasons as Tedford's offensive coordinator in 2017-18, overseeing an offense that helped the Bulldogs go 22-6. Before that he won three NAIA titles at Sioux Falls. This year, as Indiana's offensive coordinator, the Hoosiers scored six more points per game than last year and finished second in offensive yards per game in the Big Ten. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
|Steve Addazio (fired)
|Considering athletic director Martin Jarmond's ties to Ohio State, it always felt like BC would hire somebody with a Buckeye connection, and that's what they've done with Hafley. Only 40, Hafley has coached since 2001 at both the college and. NFL levels. This season -- his lone as Ohio State's DC -- he helped turn around the Buckeyes defense. Now he'll be charged with taking Boston College to the next level in the ACC. <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Eli Drinkwitz (Missouri)
|When conducting your second coaching search in as many seasons, it's natural to gravitate toward consistency. Appalachian State has done that by promoting Shawn Clark to head coach. Clark, 44, has not only been App State's offensive line coach the last four seasons under both Scott Satterfield and Drinkwitz, but he played in Boone. There are very few candidates out there more familiar with the program or the players. It's a logical hire for a program looking to maintain its run of success in the Sun Belt. <strong>Grade: B+</strong>
|Mike Norvell (Florida State)
|Continuity is a good thing. Memphis is one of the more attractive Group of Five jobs in the country thanks to the work that Justin Fuente and Norvell did there, so there were likely plenty of interested suitors, but Silverfield has been with the program since 2016. He was named interim coach after Norvell left, and he's popular with the players in the locker room. While a lack of coordinator or head coach experience can be seen as a concern, there are plenty of recent examples of that not being an impediment to a successful tenure at the top. <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Mike Bobo (resigned)
|Addazio is 57-55 in nine seasons as a coach and was 44-44 at Boston College. This grade isn't about that, though, it's about my preference to see schools like Colorado State go after coaches with higher ceilings. Yes, if a coach comes in and wins a lot, they'll probably leave. But if Addazio wins a lot, he'll do the same. To this point, however, Addazio hasn't shown a track record of great success, and he's never coached west of Indiana, let alone in the Colorado region. <strong>Grade: D</strong>
|Lane Kiffin (Ole Miss)
|It's a hire that makes a lot of sense for FAU given Taggart's history and ties in the state. It's also a change of pace for Taggart, who has always taken over programs in need of a rebuild. FAU is move-in ready, and should allow Taggart more time than he was given at FSU. Plus, if success at FAU can land Lane Kiffin another SEC gig, it can be a path for Taggart back to the Power Five as well. Solid hire for the Owls. <strong>Grade: B+</strong>
|Tony Sanchez (fired)
|This was a job that was more attractive to candidates than many might have realized. At one point LSU DC Dave Aranda was a candidate, and he's making $2.5 million in Baton Rouge. Instead, the Rebels land Arroyo from Oregon, where he spent the last three seasons running the offense and grooming Justin Herbert. He was also a terrific recruiter for the Ducks, which is something UNLV hopes will continue in Las Vegas. <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Charlie Strong (fired)
|It was only a matter of time before one of Clemson's co-offensive coordinators moved on to a head coaching gig, and Scott is the first to go. Given his experience and successes at Clemson, as well as his ability as a recruiter, this seems like a hire with a high ceiling for South Florida. There are no guarantees in coaching hires, but I'd much rather see USF go this direction than a retread. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
|Frank Wilson (fired)
|UTSA fired Wilson, who had never been a coordinator or head coach at any level thanks in large part to his work as a recruiter and his ties to area high schools. After firing Wilson, UTSA has hired Traylor, who has no head coach or coordinator experience at the college level. What he does have, however, is plenty of tie-ins at the high school level in Texas after spending 15 seasons as the head coach at Gilmer. If at first you don't succeed ... <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Bobby Wilder (resigned)
|Rahne took over the playcalling duties at Penn State after Joe Moorhead left for Mississippi State. After averaging 41.1 points per game in 2017 under Moorhead, the PSU offense dropped to 33.8 ppg under Rahne in 2018 without Saquon Barkley. In 2019, after losing QB Trace McSorley, that number improved to 34.3. Old Dominion is hiring him because it believes he'll be able to put points on the board. Thus far, reviews are mixed. <strong>Grade: C+</strong>
|Barry Odom (fired)
|Drinkwitz has been considered a rising star in the coaching world ever since he came up from the high school ranks with Gus Malzahn. He just led Appalachian State to a Sun Belt title, but it's hard to know how much credit Drinkwitz deserves for it. He inherited a program that Satterfield built, and was only in Boone for a season, so we have no idea how Drink will perform when a program is truly his. <strong>Grade: B</strong>
|Chad Morris (fired)
|It's hard to think that Arkansas' plan when it fired Chad Morris during his second year to hire Pittman, but here we are. Pittman was the associate head coach and offensive line coach at Georgia, but spent three seasons at Arkansas. He's never been a coordinator, let alone a head coach at the FBS level, but is considered an excellent recruiter. It could work, but it's hard to be excited by the move. <strong>Grade: C</strong>
|Willie Taggart (fired)
|He isn't Bob Stoops, and he might not be a household name, but Norvell has had a lot of success at Memphis. In four seasons, he went 37-15 and 24-8 in the AAC, leading Memphis to conference title and Cotton Bowl berth this season. He's done all this despite continually having his staff raided by bigger schools. Yet, year after year, Norvell's program has kept humming along. This is a home run hire, even if Noles fans don't realize it. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
|Matt Luke (fired)
|How you feel about this hire likely depends on how you feel about Kiffin, who is a polarizing figure. If Ole Miss is hiring the guy who was in charge at Tennessee and USC, this probably isn't going to work. If Ole Miss is getting the Nick Saban School for Wayward Coaches graduate, the coach who took over a dormant FAU program and won two conference titles in three years, this could work. Frankly, I don't know how it will go. It could be great, it could be a complete disaster. Ole Miss is not an easy job, and I don't know what better coach is out there the Rebels could have reasonably been hoping to land. So, because of that, it's hard to give this hire anything other than an A. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
|Chris Petersen (resigned)
|Well, this will likely go down as the most unexpected and quickest change on the carousel this winter. Considering Lake's familiarity with the program, and that he was the hand-chosen successor to Petersen, it's hard to give this anything other than an "A." Of course, Lake has never been a head coach before, so anything is possible, but he's had one of the best mentors a coach could hope for, and he's already beloved by his players. This transition should be smooth, and that helps. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
|Chris Ash (fired)
|I wrote a couple of days after Rutgers fired Ash that Schiano was the logical choice to replace him, and while it took a while, Rutgers settled on the correct answer. Schiano has had more success at Rutgers than anybody else, but it's important to remember that it came while Rutgers was in the Big East. Odds are he won't have the same results in the Big Ten East, but this is about getting the program back to a level of respectability. If Schiano can remove the doormat status from this program, the hire will be a success. <strong>Grade: A</strong>
Notable retentions and extensions
|Freeze led the Flames to a 7-5 record and the first bowl berth in program history in his first year at the helm. Details were not disclosed due to Liberty being a private institution, but it is a "long-term deal" according to the school.
|It's not the news a lot of USC fans wanted to hear, as they spent all season convincing themselves that Urban Meyer would restore the glory to the program, but Clay Helton will be back one more season. After going 21-6 in his first two full seasons at USC, Helton's Trojans teams have gone 13-11 the last two years.
|Franklin had his contract extended through 2025. The news couldn't come as a major surprise. His name popped as a candidate for high-profile jobs that were available (Florida State) as well as ones that weren't (USC). Franklin has won a Big Ten title at Penn State and has the Nittany Lions currently in the top 10 of the College Football Playoff Rankings.
|Well, duh. Minnesota won 10 games in a season for the first time since 2003, and only the second time since 1905. The Gophers' two losses came to top 15 teams in Iowa and Minnesota. They knocked off a top 10 team in Penn State. If you're Minnesota, you're doing everything in your power to keep Fleck's boat tied to your dock.
|Considering what Campbell has been able to accomplish at Iowa State, it's no surprise that his name began to come up as a candidate at other Power Five schools for the second winter in a row. And when that happens, it's extension time. Iowa State is thrilled with Campbell, but you wonder how much longer it will be before the expectations rise.
|Leach's name has been a popular one in coaching searches the last few years, and there were reports he was close to taking the Tennessee job when it was open. So it makes plenty of sense for Wazzu to lock him up as long as possible. While 2019 was a step back, Leach is still responsible for the best string of success in Pullman since the Mike Price era.
|It's hard to feel great about Sumlin's first two seasons at Arizona, but keeping him for a third year makes sense. Still, Sumlin has gone 9-15 at Arizona, 6-12 in conference play. If the 2020 season is anything like the first two, Sumlin's name will likely be appearing in the table above this one in our 2020 coaching tracker.
|Muschamp will be giving USC's Clay Helton a run for his money in The Hot Seat Department entering the 2020 season. The Gamecocks missed out on a bowl this season, finishing at 4-8. It's the second straight season the Gamecocks have won fewer games than the year before. In 2017 Carolina went 9-4 before going 7-6 last season and now 4-8. It leaves Muschamp with an overall record of 26-25 with the Gamecocks, and 15-17 in the SEC.
|This feels like a delaying of the inevitable. Mason finished his sixth season at Vanderbilt with a 3-9 record, which was the team's worst mark since his first season in Nashville. He's now 27-47 at Vanderbilt and has yet to finish a season with a winning record, though he has gone to two bowl games and lost both. Not everybody can do what James Franklin was able to do at Vanderbilt, but it's hard to believe the school will settle for being the doormat much longer. Particularly now that Mason's win streak against Tennessee has come to an end. <br>
|After a 4-8 season and the third straight without a bowl, there had been speculation on Montgomery's future. Tulsa's 4-8 record was a bit misleading, however, as the Hurricane were competitive in every AAC game save for Navy. Montgomery deserves one more year, but another 4-8 season won't be enough for a second.