By Ryan Mayer, CBS Local Sports

College football’s regular season is now past, which means that the coaching carousel has kicked into high gear. During the course of the season we learned of 15 jobs that would be available for the taking this off season. Some of the big programs have already found their man while others continue the search. Let’s run down the list, starting with the jobs that have already been filled.

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Filled Positions

Virginia Tech Hokies – (Out) Frank Beamer, (In) Justin Fuente (Memphis)

Beamer announced his retirement at the tail end of the regular season and steps away following 29 seasons at the helm. The Hokies wasted no time in finding his replacement, tabbing Memphis head coach Justin Fuente as Beamer’s successor. Fuente became a hot coaching name over the past two seasons as he compiled a 19-6 record at the once moribund Memphis program. Beamer’s long-time defensive coordinator Bud Foster will be staying on staff as the defensive coordinator. Combining Foster’s defense with Fuente’s offensive mind could lead Tech to a turnaround in a hurry.

Georgia Bulldogs – (Out) Mark Richt, (In) Kirby Smart (Alabama)

The Bulldogs decided it was time to part ways with Richt following a “disappointing” 9-3 season. The fact is, expectations in Georgia are high, and last winning the conference title in 2005 just isn’t going to get it done. Reports last night indicated that Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart will become the new head coach. Smart has been the architect of the Tide defense for seven seasons. Dawgs fans hope he can be the answer to the question: Who can beat Nick Saban?

Illinois Fighting Illini – (Out) Tim Beckman, (In) Bill Cubit (Illinois OC)

This was an odd season for the Illini with their head coach being fired shortly before the season started. His replacement as an interim head coach was offensive coordinator Bill Cubit who proceeded to lead the Illini to a 5-7 record (2-6 Big 10). With an interim athletic director and chancellor, the university decided to make Cubit the head coach permanently…at least for two seasons.

Minnesota Golden Gophers – (Out) Jerry Kill, (In) Tracy Claeys (Minnesota DC)

Head coach Jerry Kill was forced to retire due to health reasons and the school decided to promote from within, making Tracy Claeys the new head man. Claeys spent 21 years on Kills staff, so don’t expect much to change in the way of identity for the Gophers.


USC Trojans – (Out) Steve Sarkisian, (In) Clay Helton (USC OC)

In a surprising move, the Trojans made Helton’s head coaching position permanent earlier this week. To be fair, Helton did lead the team to a 5-2 record following the ousting of Sarkisian, but many expected the Trojans to go after a bigger name. Regardless, the Trojans players were very happy about the news.

Iowa State Cyclones – (Out) Paul Rhoads, (In) Matt Campbell (Toledo HC)

The Cyclones picked up one of the best Group of 5 coaching candidates by hiring Campbell away from Toledo. He won 9 games three out of his four years with the Rockets and brings a high octane offense with him to the conference that loves offense: the Big 12.

UCF Knights – (Out) George O’Leary, (In) Scott Frost (Oregon OC)

The Knights went winless this year forcing the legendary O’Leary to step down from his positions as both interim AD and head coach. In steps Frost, the play caller for the Oregon offensive machine for the past three seasons, which means UCF is going to look a lot different on offense.

Hawaii Warriors – (Out) Norm Chow, (In) Nick Rolovich (Nevada OC)

Hawaii’s program is struggling to stay afloat, so they went out and brought in an alum in Rolovich to take control.

Unfilled Positions

South Carolina Gamecocks – (Out) Steve Spurrier

The Head Ball Coach stepped away mid season and there has been plenty of speculation since. Early rumors had Bama’s Kirby Smart as a possibility, but he’s headed to UGA. Justin Fuente and Tom Herman have been mentioned, but Fuente’s headed to Va Tech and Herman is likely staying in Houston. The newest reports have former Florida head coach and current Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp being looked at for the job.


Missouri Tigers – (Out) Gary Pinkel

Pinkel announced his retirement due to a lymphoma diagnosis a couple of weeks ago. Since, Fuente, Herman and Temple’s Matt Rhule have all been floated as potential replacements. However, all three have pulled their names from consideration. Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports reported yesterday that the school has talked to Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Utah State’s Matt Wells, Colorado State’s Mike Bobo and will interview Cal’s Sonny Dykes.

Maryland Terrapins – (Out) Randy Edsall

The Terps are looking to make a splash hire that could help turn the program into Oregon East. They have reportedly reached out to many big names including the Texans’ Bill O’Brien. The most recent rumors have seen Michigan DC DJ Durkin emerge as a candidate, and the school has also reached out to deposed Georgia coach Mark Richt.

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Miami Hurricanes – (Out) Al Golden

The Hurricanes have already had a few high profile interviews with former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano, former Miami coach Butch Davis, as well as Mark Richt according to Dave Hyde of the Sun-Sentinel.


Syracuse Orange – (Out) Scott Shafer

There hasn’t been too much buzz surrounding the Syracuse job as of yet. Though Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports did say that Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash is “in the running.”

Rutgers Scarlet Knights – (Out) Kyle Flood

Rutgers parted ways with embattled head coach Kyle Flood as well as AD Julie Hermann, which could make the search for a new coach a little harder. The Bruce Feldman report above mainly focused on Chris Ash being the top candidate for this Rutgers job.

Virginia Cavaliers – (Out) Mike London

The Cavaliers had a big name recently insert himself into the coaching search when former Texas coach and current ESPN analyst Mack Brown reportedly expressed interest.

Memphis Tigers – (Out) Justin Fuente

After losing Fuente to Virginia Tech, the Tigers have reportedly reached out to Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom to fill the job. Odom was previously the Tigers d-coordinator. If a deal can’t be done with him, then the school will elevate current interim coach Darrell Dickey to the full-time position, according to Football Scoop.

Toledo Rockets – (Out) Matt Campbell

The Rockets have a tendency to promote from within, and their players reportedly want offensive coordinator Jason Candle to take the head coach spot.


Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman confirmed that today, with a press conference set for 430. 


North Texas Mean Green – (Out) Dan McCarney

The Mean Green are looking for coaches who play that pass happy “Air Raid” spread style of offense in hopes of luring more recruits from their home state. The front runners? TCU offensive coordinator Doug Meacham and UNC assistant Seth Littrell, according to the Star Telegram

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks – (Out) Todd Berry

The latest update on the Warhawks search came last week from Bruce Feldman who says Southern Miss’ offensive coordinator is a candidate.


Tulane Green Wave – (Out) Curtis Johnson

Former Ole Miss and Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt has reportedly expressed interest, though he seems to do that with a different school every year.


Tulane just christened an on-campus stadium and will be looking for a coach who can spark some excitement and breathe life into the program.

The silly season is just getting started, folks. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

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Ryan Mayer is an Associate Producer for CBS Local Sports. Ryan lives in NY but comes from Philly and life as a Philly sports fan has made him cynical. Anywhere sports are being discussed, that’s where you’ll find him.