Skip to main content

College Football: Where Every Fired Head Coach Is Working In 2018

This year, we've had college football coaching changes at huge programs like Florida State, Nebraska, Oregon, Texas A&M and UCLA. Some of those jobs opened from coaches heading elsewhere. However, many big-name coaches were fired after disappointing seasons.

Some fired head coaches jump right back into the mix, and take lesser jobs or assistant coaching positions. Others take a year off and wait to see what else opens.

With the nature of college football contracts and buyouts, some coaches are getting paid huge bucks to hang out for a year or two. Of course, these are competitive people, so most get back into coaching before long.

Here is every coach that was fired in the last few months, and where they are coaching next year, if they are at all.

Arizona State: Todd Graham

New position: N/A In one of the more surprising firings of the year, Graham was let go despite a two-game improvement from 2016, and a bowl bid. He was 46-32 in six years at Arizona State. Graham was known as a bit of a careerist early on, jumping from Rice to Tulsa after just one year, and then Pitt to Arizona State after one year as well. However, it seemed like he had roots down in Tempe. With a 95-61 overall head coaching record, Graham will likely get another head coaching opportunity. He was replaced by former NFL head coach Herm Edwards, in one of the strangest hires of the carousel.

Arkansas: Bret Bielema

New position: N/A

Bielema struggled to get over the hump in the brutal SEC West, and was fired after Arkansas fell backwards to 4-8 this season. Bielema has not taken another job yet, though with his overall record, he'll likely get one when he wants. He has discussed the possibility of leaving college football coaching and making the jump to the NFL ranks. The Bielemas recently had a daughter, so there's also a chance that he takes a year or two off. He has a huge buyout from Arkansas that could reportedly reach $12 million. The outspoken former Arkansas and Wisconsin head coach would also be a pretty fun fit in the media. Arkansas hired SMU head coach Chad Morris to replace him.

Florida: Jim McElwain

New position: Expected to take job at Michigan Jim McElwain was able to win the weak SEC East in each of his first two seasons at Florida, but was never competitive with the best teams in the West. Georgia emerged as a power this season, and Florida was 3-4 when it fired McElwain. He did have some early success in Gainesville, was solid at Colorado State and has a Nick Saban pedigree. It has been reported that he will join Michigan's staff in an unknown role on the offensive side, but it is not official yet. McElwain was replaced by Mississippi State head coach and former Gators offensive coordinator Dan Mullen.

Georgia Southern: Tyson Summers

New position: Georgia defensive quality control coach

Summers took over for Willie Fritz at former FCS power Georgia Southern, and after a disappointing 5-7 start in 2016, he went winless through the first half of the 2017 season before being fired. The former Colorado State defensive coordinator was never a great fit with Southern's famous triple option-based program culture. He returns to Georgia in a quality control role, after serving as a graduate assistant with the Bulldogs in 2005. Georgia Southern removed the interim tag from Chad Lunsford, the team's former receivers, tight ends, and special teams coach after he managed two wins down the stretch last year.

Kent State: Paul Haynes

New position: Michigan State defensive backs coach

Haynes was fired after a 14-45 record over five seasons at his alma mater Kent State. His high water mark was the 4-8 2013 campaign, his first with the Golden Flashes. He returns to Michigan State, where he served as defensive backs coach from 2003-04. Syracuse offensive coordinator Sean Lewis was hired to replace him as Kent State head coach.

Louisiana-Lafayette: Mark Hudspeth

New position: Mississippi State associate head coach/tight ends coach Mark Hudspeth spent seven years at Louisiana, before being fired following a 5-7 2017 campaign. He officially had a 28-38 record, but 22 wins were vacated due to NCAA violations. He took the Ragin' Cajuns to five bowl games in seven seasons. He previously served as wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator at Mississippi State from 2009-10. He was replaced by Arizona State offensive coordinator Billy Napier.

Nebraska: Mike Riley

New position: Oregon State associate head coach and tight ends coach

Mike Riley heads back to the school at which he has spent so much of his coaching career. Riley was the Beavers head coach from 1997-98, and again from 2003-14. He had a 93-80 total record during those stints. It's a natural fit for him after he was fired by the Huskers, and he will be coaching under former Beavers quarterback Jonathan Smith. He was replaced by UCF head coach Scott Frost at Nebraska.

Oregon State: Gary Andersen

New position: Utah associate head coach and defensive assistant Andersen wasn't actually fired by Oregon State. He abruptly resigned midway through the year, tossing the Beavers into a strange situation. Andersen took over a total rebuild, and while he had slow results in the win-loss record, it did seem like the team was making progress before his decision to step away six games into 2017. He resurfaced in early January, when Utah added him to its staff. He previously served as the Utes' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator from 2005-08 after coming on as a defensive line coach the year before. Oregon State hired Washington offensive coordinator Jonathan Smith as its head coach after the season.

Tennessee: Butch Jones

New position: N/A

Butch Jones had an up-and-down five-year tenure at Tennessee and was run out of town after a 4-6 start in 2017. Jones was 34-27 overall at Tennessee, after successful stints at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. He was replaced by Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, and has yet to land another position.

Texas A&M: Kevin Sumlin

New position: Arizona head coach Sumlin was one of the fired head coaches that landed right on his feet in a similar job. After failing to break through to elite status at Texas A&M and being fired after four-straight five-loss seasons, Sumlin takes over the late-opening Arizona head coaching job. He was 51-26 in six years at A&M. The Aggies replaced him by poaching Florida State's Jimbo Fisher.

UCLA: Jim Mora

New position: N/A

Mora was fired after six years at UCLA, with dwindling results. After 10 year seasons in 2013 and 2014, the team could not capitalize with three seasons of star quarterback Josh Rosen under center, though his injuries didn't help. Mora was 4-8 in 2016 and 5-6 before being fired in 2017. He has not been hired to a new job, but recently appeared on FOX Sports 1's Speak For Yourself, so media may be an aim of his in the meantime. Mora also has NFL head coaching experience, so he may not necessarily stick around in the college football ranks. UCLA hired former Oregon, Eagles, and 49ers head coach Chip Kelly to replace him.

UTEP: Sean Kugler

New position: Denver Broncos offensive line coach - guards/centers

Kugler was just 18-36 at his alma mater, and let go following an 0-5 start to the 2017 season. Kugler's Miners were just 11-22 in Conference USA play during his five seasons. He departs college football and heads back to the NFL, where he will be an assistant with the Broncos. Kansas State offensive coordinator Dana Dimel replaces him.