With Urban Meyer announcing his surprise resignation from Florida, one of the prime coaching jobs in college football becomes available. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley will join Miami athletic director Kirby Holcutt chasing after some of the top coaches in football to see who will take over their programs. Here is a list of some of the top coaches in college football who may be considered for the position:
Dan Mullen, Head Coach, Mississippi State: Mullen was Meyer’s offensive coordinator at Bowling Green, Utah, and then followed him to Florida where they had tremendous success. Unlike other assistants who fail in head coaching jobs, Dan Mullen went 5-7 in his debut at Mississippi State and then led them to an 8-4 season this year, their best in a decade. Miami is also said to be targeting Mullen who stands to get a big pay raise.
Charlie Strong, Head Coach, Louisville: Was Urban Meyer’s defensive coordinator his entire time at Florida until this past season. Strong was actually on Ron Zook’s staff and retained by Meyer, so he has slightly less ties to Urban than Mullen. Left for Louisville and improved their record from 4-8 under Steve Kragthorpe last year to 6-6 in his head coaching debut. May need more seasoning before leading a huge program like Florida.
Bob Stoops, Head Coach, Oklahoma: When Urban Meyer stepped down for a brief period last year, Stoops was one of the first names mentioned. A former defensive coordinator at Florida under Steve Spurrier, Stoops has been extraordinarily successful at Oklahoma. He’s won a national title and reached seven BCS bowl games. He would be my first call, but he’s been at Oklahoma since 1999 and is not likely to leave.
Bobby Petrino, Head Coach, Arkansas: Never met a coaching offer he didn’t like. Petrino returned to Louisville after a stint as offensive coordinator with the Jacksonville Jaguars and turned the Cardinals into an offensive juggernaut. After leaving Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons, he tucked tail and ran to Arkansas which came calling after firing Houston Nutt. Petrino has led the Hogs to a BCS bowl and has proven himself as an outstanding coach. Florida will probably want a coach whom they figure will stay at the school longer than the unpredictable Petrino would.
Other potential candidates based purely on record of recent college success: