College football coaching carousel: UNLV lands Bobby Petrino

The college football coaching carousel continues to spin, and with the first transfer portal window officially open and the early signing period quickly approaching, athletic directors across the country are looking to put their respective programs in the best position possible for the off season.

Colorado made a big splash last weekend with the hiring of former Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders, while Wisconsin, Nebraska and Auburn also made big hires.

Check out the latest coaching news from around the college football landscape.

Bobby Petrino will be the offensive coordinator a UNLV

Previous role: Missouri State offensive coordinator, 2020-22

Petrino, known for his high-powered offenses as well as a great deal of controversy, will be UNLV’s new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, the school announced Thursday.

Petrino, who spent the past three seasons at FCS Missouri State, will be part of new UNLV coach Barry Odom’s staff. Odom was hired Dec. 6 to replace Marcus Arroyo, who was fired after the Rebels went 5-7 this season.

Petrino has been the head coach in Louisville, Arkansas and with the Atlanta Falcons. Arkansas fired him in 2012 after he lied about a motorcycle accident involving a female employee. She also did not disclose when she was hired that the two were in an extramarital affair.

Ryan Walters a Purdue

Previous role: Illinois defensive coordinator, 2021-22

About a week after losing Jeff Brohm to his alma mater, Louisville, Purdue announced Tuesday that it hired Walters to be its new head coach. This is Walters’ first head coaching position. After a four-year defensive career at Colorado, Walters was an assistant on the Buffaloes’ staff, followed by coaching stints at Arizona, Oklahoma, North Texas, Memphis, Missouri and Illinois, where he spent the last two seasons .

Illinois was 8-4 (5-4 in Big Ten play) in the 2022 regular season. Its defense, led by Walters, was first in the Big Ten in opponents’ points (12.3) and yards (263 ,8) per match.

Ken Niumatalolo out and marine

A day after a 20-17 overtime loss to rival Army, Navy announced that Niumatalolo he would not return as the team’s head coach next season. He went 109-83 in 16 seasons at Navy, but was just 4-8 this season.

Troy Taylor a Stanford

Previous role: Sacramento State head coach, 2019-22

Stanford announced the hiring of former Sacramento State head coach Troy Taylor on Saturday following his team’s loss to Incarnate Word in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs on Friday night. Taylor, 54, spent three seasons at Sacramento State from 2019-22, going 30-8 and earning Big Sky Coach of the Year honors twice (2019, 2021). The program was not played in the 2020 season due to COVID-19. Taylor also won the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award in 2019 and was a finalist again this season.

Jason Garrett doesn’t chase Stanford work

Previous role: New York Giants offensive coordinator, 2020-21

ESPN reported Thursday that Garrett, who was the head coach of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for parts of 10 seasons (85-67), was a finalist for the head coaching job with the Cardinal. Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor was also in the mix to replace David Shaw, who resigned Nov. 27 after 12 seasons as Stanford’s head coach.

Garrett is currently a television analyst covering the NFL, Notre Dame and the USFL. The former quarterback appeared in 25 NFL games over eight seasons, seven with the Cowboys, including nine starts. Garrett later posted a message saying he would continue in his role as broadcaster.

Jeff Brohm in Louisville

Previous role: Purdue head coach, 2017-22

Brohm, who played quarterback at Louisville from 1989-93, returns home to coach the Cardinals after Scott Satterfield abruptly left to take the Cincinnati head coaching job. This marks Brohm’s third head coaching job, with previous stops at Western Kentucky and Purdue. He has a lifetime record of 66-44, including a 36-24 mark at Purdue, which included multiple bowl games and a Big Ten West title last season.

Kevin Wilson a Tulsa

Previous role: Ohio State offensive coordinator, 2017-22

Wilson will get a second chance at a college head coach after leading Indiana from 2011-16, where he posted a 26-47 record, including a 12-37 mark in Big Ten play. He’s a well-respected offensive mind who helped guide an Ohio State offense that ranked in the top 10 nationally in yards per game every year he was there.

Scott Satterfield a Cincinnati

Previous role: Louisville head coach, 2019-22

Satterfield had plenty of ups and downs during his four seasons at Louisville, with his best year coming in 2019 when the Cardinals finished 8-5, including a win over Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl. He was highly successful during his time at Appalachian State, going 51-24 in six seasons, including three first-place finishes in the Sun Belt Conference and a perfect 3-0 record in bowl games.

Deion Sanders a Colorado

Previous role: Jackson State head coach, 2020-22

The biggest twist on this year’s college football coaching carousel came when the University of Colorado announced Deion Sanders as its next head coach. While he doesn’t have a ton of head coaching experience, Sanders’ ability to recruit and market the football program will be a huge win for Colorado. He led Jackson State to a 27-5 mark in three seasons, including a perfect 12-0 mark in 2022.

Hugh Freeze a Auburn

Previous role: freedom head coach, 2019-22

Freeze comes to Auburn with plenty of head coaching experience, with his most notable stop at Ole Miss from 2012-16. The former Rebels head coach resigned from Ole Miss amid personal and NCAA scandals. He is officially 76-47 in 13 seasons as a head coach at Lambuth, Arkansas State, Ole Miss and Liberty, but that does not include 27 wins at Ole Miss that were vacated due to multiple NCAA violations.

Luke Fickell a Wisconsin

Previous role: Cincinnati head coach, 2017-22

Fickell takes over a Wisconsin program after being the head coach at Cincinnati for six seasons, where he posted a 57-18 record and helped lead the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff last season. In addition to a CFP berth, Fickell’s head coaching resume includes three 11+ win seasons, two AAC titles and a 2-2 record in bowl games. He served as an assistant at Ohio State from 2002-2016.

Luke Fickell at Wisconsin, Matt Rhule at Nebraska

Luke Fickell at Wisconsin, Matt Rhule at Nebraska

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Kenny Dillingham a State of Arizona

Previous role: Oregon offensive coordinator, 2022

Dillingham is an Arizona native and Arizona State alum who was Oregon’s offensive coordinator last season. The 32-year-old served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Memphis, Auburn and Florida State before coming to Oregon in 2022. He helped guide an offense that averaged more than 500 yards per game on the season past, which was tied for last season. the third highest total in the country.

Matt Rhule a Nebraska

Previous role: Carolina Panthers head coach, 2020-22

After six consecutive losing seasons, Nebraska hired Rhule to help rebuild its program and return it to national relevance. Rhule, 47, served as head coach at Temple from 2013-16 before leaving for Baylor in 2017, where he spent three seasons and guided the Bears to an 11-win season and a No. 1 in the Sugar Bowl in his third. season with the program.

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