There is a new phenomenon in college football this season.
For a variety of reasons, we are already starting to see coaches get fired who typically would not have gotten a pink slip until the end of the regular season in late November.
So far, nine jobs have opened up around the country, a number previously unheard of for early November. Except for Washington State’s firing of Nick Rolovich, which occurred because he did not comply with the state’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, the others have happened as programs want to hit the reset button as soon as possible.
One big reason is recruiting, whether athletic directors want to admit it or not. Until 2017, athletic directors could fire coaches at the end of November, and then the new coach would have about six weeks until national signing day at the beginning of February to piece together a recruiting class.
Not much time, but somewhat doable.
In 2017, however, the NCAA instituted an early signing period, three days in mid-December during which prospects could ink national letters of intent. Suddenly, it became much more difficult for new coaching staffs to put together a recruiting class in just about two weeks.
As such, we’re seeing coaching changes now so programs can theoretically give new hires as much time as possible before the early signing period (Dec. 15-17 this year — most will happen on the first day).
TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati reportedly acknowledged as much on Nov. 2 in discussing the departure of Gary Patterson, a legend who had been the coach since 2000 and already has a statue on campus.
That said, there are a number of factors that are contributing to the increase in midseason firings this year, according to a story last week by Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger.
Here’s a running list of all the coaching changes so far. Their replacements will be added to the list as they become official.
|School||Fired/departing coach||New coach|
|LSU||Ed Orgeron||Brian Kelly|
|USC||Clay Helton||Lincoln Riley|
|TCU||Gary Patterson||Sonny Dykes|
|Texas Tech||Matt Wells||Joey McGuire|
|Washington State||Nick Rolovich||Jake Dickert|
|UConn||Randy Edsall||Jim Mora|
|Akron||Tom Arth||Joe Moorhead|
|Georgia Southern||Chad Lunsford||Clay Helton|
|UMass||Walt Bell||Don Brown|
|Washington||Jimmy Lake||Kalen DeBoer|
|Florida International||Butch Davis||Mike MacIntyre|
|Virginia Tech||Justin Fuente||Brent Pry|
|Florida||Dan Mullen||Billy Napier|
|Troy||Chip Lindsey||Jon Sumrall|
|Louisiana Tech||Skip Holtz||Sonny Cumbie|
|SMU||Sonny Dykes||Rhett Lashlee|
|New Mexico State||Doug Martin||Jerry Kill|
|Louisiana||Billy Napier||Michael Desormeaux|
|Oklahoma||Lincoln Riley||Brent Venables|
|Duke||David Cutcliffe||Mike Elko|
|Temple||Rod Carey||Stan Drayton|
|Fresno State||Kalen DeBoer||Jeff Tedford|
|Notre Dame||Brian Kelly||Marcus Freeman|
|Colorado State||Steve Addazio||Jay Norvell|
|Virginia||Bronco Mendenhall||Tony Elliott|
|Nevada||Jay Norvell||Ken Wilson|
|Miami||Manny Diaz||Mario Cristobal|
|Oregon||Mario Cristobal||Dan Lanning|