Industry insiders warned us in 2020. Despite a higher-than-expected number of college football coaching changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming carousel had a chance to be historically active.
The predictions are coming true.
Beginning with USC after two games and LSU after seven, schools are making coaching changes fast and furiously. Clay Helton, fired at USC, landed a new job at Georgia Southern by early November. In the span of a week, Florida moved on from Dan Mullen and replaced him with Louisiana's Billy Napier.
And that was just the start. Hours after he quashed rumors that he would be going to LSU, Lincoln Riley was leaving Oklahoma and was headed to USC (taking defensive coordinator Alex Grinch with him). Then came the stunning news that it was Brian Kelly who would move to LSU, leaving Notre Dame with the Irish still in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot. Notre Dame moved on by elevating defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach. And now Manny Diaz is out at Miami, with Oregon's Mario Cristobal his replacement.
The early signing period for recruiting is fueling athletic directors this year, as they hope to finalize hires in time to salvage or bolster classes. The flurry of activity could continue until mid-December. Additionally, schools will look to lock up their coaches with contract extensions, as Penn State did with a new 10-year deal for James Franklin, Michigan State did with Mel Tucker and Ole Miss did with Lane Kiffin. BYU also gave coach Kalani Sitake an "unprecedented" new deal through 2027.
We've got you covered. Here we'll provide the latest intel from Adam Rittenberg, Chris Low, Mark Schlabach and others on the biggest coaching searches, the jobs that could come open soon and the candidates to fill the vacancies. It will be updated throughout the carousel.
The latest chatter
All times Eastern.
• Wednesday, 8 p.m.: Temple has hired Texas running backs coach Stan Drayton as its next head coach. Drayton, 50, spent the past five seasons at Texas under coaches Tom Herman and Steve Sarkisian. While there, he worked alongside Temple athletic director Arthur Johnson, a Texas administrator from 2011 until being hired at Temple on Oct. 6.
• Saturday, 6 p.m.: Oregon is hiring Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning as its head coach. Lanning, 35, had been the defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach at Georgia since 2019. Lanning will be replacing Mario Cristobal, who left Oregon for the open head-coaching position at Miami earlier this week.