College football coaching carousel spins in Power 5 conferences

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Chip Kelly

The college football carousel is heating up, and there are already a few twists and turns.

UCLA named Chip Kelly its new head coach. He will reportedly will make $23.5 million over the next five seasons, with a $9 million buyout.

It was a nice birthday present for Kelly who made 54 years old Saturday. The Bruins have not won the Pac 12 title since 1998. Former Bruin and Dallas Cowboy NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman was one a handful of alums to make the pitch for Kelly during the process.

Kelly was not successful during his stints with Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers in the NFL but he went 46-7 during his four seasons at Oregon where he led a high tempo offense to 49.6 points and nearly 83 plays per contest. But the Ducks landed on probation following Kelly’s departure due to recruiting irregularities.

Highly touted 2018 quarterback recruit Dorian Thompson-Robinson reconfirmed his commitment to the Bruins for ’18 following the announcement of Kelly.

Another coach shown the door was Nebraska head coach Mike Riley who was dismissed after a 19-19 record over three seasons. Linebackers coach Trent Bray was named the interim coach and represents the only coach on the current staff retained.

Riley will be paid $170,000 per month until Feb. 28, 2021. Bo Pelini, his predecessor in Lincoln, got $6.54 million after he was given the boot following the 2014 campaign.

As for the favorite for the Cornhuskers, it looks to be a lock for current UCF head coach and former Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost. But remember, first choices don’t always come to fruition. Other schools with openings are in hot pursuit.

Frost played for Tom Osborne at Nebraska, leading the ‘Huskers to a national title in 1997. He also played a pair of seasons at Stanford for Bill Walsh before transferring to Nebraska. Frost spent six seasons as a NFL safety, playing for legendary coaches Bill Parcells, Jon Gruden and Bill Belichick.

Earning $2 million at UCF this season, Frost has lead the Knights to a perfect 11-0 mark. He is known as a very fundamental X and O coach.

Bret Bielema, recently fired at Arkansas , has been mentioned as an option for some of openings and expected openings in college football. He had success at Wisconsin before failing to succeed in Fayetteville.

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, paid $2.1 million per year, has the program headed in right direction. He was passed over for the Tennessee job in the past few days. The 38 year old has led Iowa State to a 45-28 record.

Utah’s Kyle Whittingham’s name has also come up yet again this silly season. He has spent 23 seasons coaching the Utes to a 109-59 record. Well payed for his efforts, Whittingham makes $3.69 million per year. You may recall that he played linebacker in the USFL for the Denver Gold and New Orleans Breakers

Pat Narduzzi is a name that has jumped out to forefront since upsetting his Pitt Panthers stunned No. 2 Miami this week. But the truth is, Narduzzi has been on the radar for quite a few schools for some time. He is 21-17 with the Panthers and earns $1.83 million.

While at Michigan state, Narduzzi earned a reputation as an outstanding defensive mind in the role of coordinator.

Craig Bohl may get an interview at Nebraska. The current Wyoming head coach who earns $1.41 million has led the Cowboys to 125-60 mark. He was the Mountain West Coach of the Year in 2016.

The 59-year old Bohl played at Nebraska 1977-79 and and served as an assistant in 1981-83 as a GA, then 1995’99 as linebackers coach. He was Nebraska’s defensive coordinator from 2000-’02.

One coach to keep tabs on for a few openings, perhaps even Ole Miss, is Penn State defensive coordinator Joe Moorhead. The 44 year old served as head coach at Fordham, leading the Rams to three consecutive playoffs spots after taking over a program that was 1-10. He finished his four seasons at Fordham with a 38-13 record.

An outstanding recruiter Moorhead have some some thinking that coaching at Fordham and then taking over a major FBS program is a quantum leap. First of all, he is now working at Penn State. Every successful coach in the NFL and college got their break with a leap of faith from an executive or athletic director.

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Rene Nadeau


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Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to play football at LSU, developing a passion for the game in even greater fashion while in…

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