Recapping the Pac-12's offseason coaching carousel

There are still a few vacancies to fill, but for the most part the Pac-12 coaching staffs are set for 2017. Here's a look at the comings and goings around the conference.

The school/team in parenthesis indicates where the coach spent last season or where he is now.


In: Scott Boone, linebackers (Nevada); tbd

Out: Tony Dews, receivers (West Virginia); Charlie Ragle, tight ends/special teams (California); Donte Williams, cornerbacks (Nebraska)

Donte Williams’ departure was a hot topic during the final two months of recruiting and viewed as a significant loss for the Wildcats, while Tony Dews and Charlie Ragle left shortly before spring practice opened this past Saturday. The latter two positions have yet to be filled, but Scott Boone, Nevada’s defensive coordinator the past three seasons, was hired in late December.

Arizona State

Out: Chip Lindsey, offensive coordinator (Auburn); Chris Thomsen, offensive line (TCU); DelVaughn Alexander, tight ends (Notre Dame); Jay Norvell, pass game coordinator/receivers (Nevada, head coach); Joe Seumalo, defensive line

In: Phil Bennett, defensive coordinator (Baylor); Billy Napier, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks (Alabama); Rob Sale, offensive line (Louisiana Monroe); Rob Likens, co-offensive coordinator/receivers (Kansas); Michael Slater, defensive line (Kansas)

By most accounts, both Chip Lindsey and Jay Norvell are excellent coaches and they have long track records of success to back that up. However, it still seems a little strange that after ASU averaged the fewest yards per play of any team in the Pac-12 last year (5.21), Norvell landed a head coaching job (Nevada) and Lindsey, who does have a long-standing relationship with Gus Malzahn, was named the offensive coordinator at Auburn. Lindsey’s late departure means Todd Graham will be working with two new coordinators this year, with Phil Bennett having arrived from Baylor.


Out: Sonny Dykes, head coach (TCU); Art Kaufman, defensive coordinator; Jake Spavital, offensive coordinator (West Virginia); Greg Burns, safeties; Garret Chachere, running backs; Brandon Jones, run game coordinator/offensive line (Texas Tech); John Lovett, cornerbacks; Jacob Peeler, insider receivers (Ole Miss); Fred Tate, defensive line; Mark Tommerdahl, special teams

In: Justin Wilcox, head coach (Wisconsin); Beau Baldwin, offensive coordinator (Eastern Washington); Tim DeRuyter, defensive coordinator (Fresno State); Gerald Alexander, defensive backs (Montana State); Jerry Azzinaro, defensive line (San Francisco 49ers); Nicholas Edwards, receivers (Eastern Washington); Steve Greatwood, offensive line (Oregon); Charlie Ragle, special teams/tight ends (Arizona); Marques Tuiasosopo, passing game coordinator/quarterbacks (UCLA)

Sonny Dykes’ departure from Cal wasn’t the surprise. The surprise was that it took Cal so long to make the call following the end of the regular season. Still, new coach Justin Wilcox put together an impressive staff featuring a pair of coordinators that previously served as head coaches. Beau Baldwin’s hiring was the big score. His resume at Eastern Washington, which includes an FCS national title, was strong enough to warrant consideration for FBS head coaching gigs.


Out: Jim Leavitt, defensive coordinator (Oregon); Charles Clark, cornerbacks (Oregon); Joe Tumpkin, safeties

In: D.J. Eliot, defensive coordinator (Kentucky); ShaDon Brown, secondary (Army); tbd

It hurts to lose as talented of a defensive coordinator as Jim Leavitt, but considering the $1.15 million he’s getting paid annually from Oregon (before bonuses), it’s understandable how he got away. Mike MacIntyre’s defensive background and own track record on that side of the ball should help mitigate the loss and ease transition to D.J. Eliot, who runs a similar scheme. There is still one one position that needs to be filled.


Out: Mark Helfrich, head coach; Steve Greatwood, offensive line/running game coordinator (California); Brady Hoke, defensive coordinator (Tennessee); Matt Lubick, offensive coordinator/wide receivers (Washington); Tom Osborne, special teams/tight ends; John Neal, secondary; David Yost, quarterbacks (Utah State); Ron Aiken, interior defensive line; Gary Campbell, running backs; Don Pellum, linebackers

In: Willie Taggart, head coach (South Florida); Joe Salave’a, defensive line (Washington State); Mario Cristobal, co-offensive coordinator/offensive line (Alabama); Jim Leavitt, defensive coordinator (Colorado); Charles Clark, cornerbacks (Colorado); Keith Heyward, safeties (Louisville); Donte Pimpleton, running backs (South Florida); Raymond Woodie, special teams (South Florida); Marcus Arroyo, quarterbacks/pass game coordinator (Oklahoma State); Mike Johnson, receivers (The King’s Academy)

For years, Oregon had a staff made up of familiar faces, but when Mark Helfrich was fired it opened the door for a significant culture change: Willie Taggart’s staff has no holdovers from Helfrich’s. Hiring Jim Leavitt from Colorado as the defensive coordinator was a huge get -- he worked wonders for the Buffaloes -- and Mario Cristobal is a respected offensive coach. Joe Salave’a has long been sought after by other Pac-12 programs and pulling him away from Washington State was another key addition.

Oregon State

Out: Brent Brennan, receivers (San Jose State, head coach)

In: Jason Phillips, passing game coordinator/receivers (Kansas)

Brent Brennan was one of two Pac-12 assistant coaches last season to land a head coaching gig, which speaks to his value. In 2011, Phillips was the co-offensive coordinator at Houston, which led the country in total offense and scoring offense that season. He previously served as the receivers coach at Kansas.


Out: Lance Taylor, running backs (Carolina Panthers)

In: Ron Gould (UC Davis, head coach)

After three years on the Stanford staff, Taylor returned to the NFL to become Carolina’s receivers coach. He previously served as an assistant receivers coach with the Panthers before leaving for Stanford. His replacement, Ron Gould, served most recently as the head coach at UC Davis, but is best known in Pac-12 circles for his 16 seasons at Cal during which he helped develop several future NFL backs.


Out: Kennedy Polamalu, offensive coordinator (Minnesota Vikings); Eric Yarber, receivers (Los Angeles Rams); Marques Tuiasosopo, quarterbacks (California); Adrian Klemm, offensive line

In: Jedd Fisch, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks (Michigan); DeShaun Foster, running backs (Texas Tech); Jimmie Dougherty, receivers (Michigan/Oregon); Hank Fraley, offensive line (Minnesota Vikings)

Coach Jim Mora essentially hit the reset button on offense. Fisch arrives from Michigan, where he spent the past two seasons on Jim Harbaugh’s staff as the passing game coordinator and quarterbacks/receivers coach. DeShaun Foster returns to his alma mater after one year away. Jimmie Dougherty was with Fisch at Michigan last season and had a brief stop at Oregon. Fraley, an 11-year NFL veteran, was with the Vikings as an assistant line coach last year and has two years of college coaching under his belt (San Diego in 2012 and San Jose State in 2013).


Out: Tommie Robinson, running backs (LSU)

In: Deland McCullough, running backs (Indiana)

On signing day, USC coach Clay Helton spoke about how important coaching continuity was. At that point, Robinson had not yet departed for LSU to reunite with former USC interim and assistant coach Ed Orgeron. “To look up and to have every full-time coach here with us and going into our next season I thought was really, really important," Helton said. Robinson is a well-regarded position coach and a valuable recruiter. USC is expected to name Indiana running backs coach Deland McCullough as his replacement.


Out: Dennis Erickson, running backs (retired); Aaron Roderick, co-offensive coordinator

In: Troy Taylor, offensive coordinator (Eastern Washington); Kiel McDonald, running backs (Eastern Washington)

Another year, another change at offensive coordinator for Utah, which will turn the keys over to former Cal quarterback Troy Taylor. Taylor engineered some of the most prolific high school offenses in history before taking over at Eastern Washington last year, where the Eagles put up huge numbers. Erickson’s coaching career started in 1969 and included two national championships at Miami and nine head coaching stints. Roderick had been on Kyle Whittingham’s staff at Utah since 2005.


Out: Bush Hamdan (Atlanta Falcons)

In: Matt Lubick, co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers (Oregon, Baylor)

In 2009, Hamden was a student assistant at Colorado and quarterback Matt Ryan went 9-5 as a starter for Atlanta in his second year in the NFL. Now Hamden is Ryan’s position coach. Hamden, a former quarterback for Chris Petersen at Boise State, has experienced an impressive rise through the coaching ranks. Lubick, the offensive coordinator at Oregon last season, initially went to Baylor but spent less than two months in Waco before returning the Pacific Northwest.

Washington State

Out: Joe Salave’a, defensive line (Oregon); JaMarcus Shephard, inside receivers (Purdue)

In: Jeff Phelps, defensive line (Minnesota); Derek Sage, inside receivers (Toledo)

Salave’a's departure for Oregon stings. He was crucial to the Cougars’ recruiting efforts and did an outstanding job coaching the team’s defensive linemen. Shephard, an Indiana native, leaving for Purdue will be easier for WSU fans to understand. Phelps arrives from Minnesota, where he spent the previous six seasons coaching the Gophers’ defensive line. Sage spent the past three years as Toledo’s receivers coach and coached with WSU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch (and Chip Kelly) at New Hampshire.