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INTERACTIVE: On the coaching carousel, there's little security for those assistants who helped build successful programs

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When Scott Satterfield took the head coaching job at Louisville in December after six seasons at Appalachian State, it revealed the lack of real job security for college football assistants every offseason.

Satterfield's staff finished off an 11-win season with another bowl win. But the 10 App State assistant coaches had no idea where they might be working for the 2019 season.

The departure, and the subsequent coaching changes, prompted the Journal to look deeper into the way coaching staffs are formed and how assistant coaches are impacted. We looked at 20 job changes of head coaches who made the jump from the Group-of-Five level to the Power-Five level. We refined the results, including only schools that won 10 or more games in the head coaches’ final G5 seasons. From there, the staffs were broken into three groups: assistants who followed the head coach to the P5 job, assistants who were retained at the G5 school, and assistants who had to find new jobs/never re-entered college coaching.

This research prompted a three-story series on the App State coaching transition. Read them here:

Below are the head coaching transitions the Journal considered. By clicking on the photos of head coaches, a breakdown of their G5 coaching staff appears.

Some interesting facts to know while clicking through.

  • On average, the head coach took five assistants with him to the P5 job, two were retained at the G5 school, and two had to find new jobs.
  • Only five assistants in this entire study didn’t find a job in college coaching the season after their head coach left.
  • Four assistant coaches were promoted to head coach following their G5 bosses’ departure — Jason Candle at Toledo, Rod Carey at Northern Illinois, Tony Levine at Houston and Bill Blankenship at Tulsa.
  • Only one head coach took his entire G5 coaching staff with him to the P5 job. Scott Frost hired all nine of his UCF assistants at Nebraska in 2017.
  • Jim McElwain’s transition from Colorado State to Florida after the 2014 season was not assistant friendly. He took only one Colorado State assistant with him to Gainesville. Five of his former CSU assistants had to look for new jobs, and two of those never returned to the college ranks.
  • On average, retained assistants (excluding App State and Troy assistants because they’re so recent) stayed 2.47 seasons with the G5 replacement.
Scott Satterfield

Left Appalachian State for Louisville after the 2018 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Bryan Brown - hired at Louisville
  • Nic Cardwell - hired at Louisville (off-field role)
  • Shawn Clark - retained at App State
  • Greg Gasparato - retained at App State
  • Stu Holt - hired at Louisville
  • Mark Ivey - hired at Louisville
  • Dale Jones - hired at Louisville
  • Frank Ponce - hired at Louisville
  • D.J. Smith - retained at App State
  • Justin Watts - retained at App State
Neal Brown

Left Troy for West Virginia after the 2018 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Brian Blackmon - retained at Troy
  • Sean Dawkins - joined the Charlotte coaching staff
  • Brandon Hall - retained at Troy
  • Bam Hardmon - retained at Troy
  • Vic Koenning - hired at West Virginia
  • Jordan Lesley - hired at West Virginia
  • Matt Moore - hired at West Virginia
  • Al Pogue - hired at West Virginia
  • Sean Reagan - hired at West Virginia
  • Cornelius Williams - retained at Troy
Scott Frost

Left Central Florida for Nebraska after the 2017 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Greg Austin - hired at Nebraska
  • Sean Beckton - hired at Nebraska
  • Erik Chinander - hired at Nebraska
  • Mike Dawson - hired at Nebraska
  • Jovan Dewitt - hired at Nebraska
  • Travis Fisher - hired at Nebraska
  • Ryan Held - hired at Nebraska
  • Mario Verduzco - hired at Nebraska
  • Troy Walters - hired at Nebraska
Matt Rhule

Left Temple for Baylor after the 2016 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Francis Brown - hired at Baylor
  • George DeLeone - hired at Baylor
  • Ed Foley - retained at Temple (stayed for two seasons and counting)
  • Frisman Jackson - joined the Tennessee Titans coaching staff
  • Elijah Robinson - hired at Baylor
  • Mike Siravo - hired at Baylor
  • Phil Snow - hired at Baylor
  • Glenn Thomas - hired at Baylor
  • Chris Wiesehan - retained at Temple (stayed for two seasons)
Willie Taggart

Left South Florida for Oregon after the 2016 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Alonzo Hampton - hired at Oregon (off-field role)
  • Darren Hiller - joined the Indiana coaching staff
  • John Jancek - joined Kentucky (off-field role)
  • Shaun King - retained at USF (stayed for two seasons and counting)
  • Eric Mathies - joined the Florida Atlantic coaching staff
  • Donte Pimpleton - hired at Oregon
  • David Reaves - hired at Oregon
  • T.J. Weist - joined the Baltimore Ravens staff in 2018
  • Raymond Woodie - hired at Oregon
P.J. Fleck

Left Western Michigan for Minnesota after the 2016 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Kirk Ciarrocca - hired at Minnesota
  • Ed Pinkham - joined the UMass coaching staff
  • Kenni Burns - hired at Minnesota
  • Brian Callahan - hired at Minnesota
  • David Duggan - retained at Western Michigan (two seasons)
  • Bill Kenney - retained at Western Michigan (two seasons)
  • Matt Simon - hired at Minnesota
  • Rob Wenger - hired at Minnesota
  • Jimmy Williams - joined the Bowling Green coaching staff in 2018
Jeff Brohm

Left Western Kentucky for Purdue after the 2016 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Chris Barclay - hired at Purdue
  • Brian Brohm - hired at Purdue
  • Mike Cassity - hired at Purdue (off-field role)
  • Don Dunn - hired at Purdue (off-field role)
  • Bryan Ellis - joined Southern California (off-field role)
  • Nick Holt - hired at Purdue
  • Reggie Johnson - hired at Purdue
  • Tony Levine - hired at Purdue
  • Dale Williams - hired at Purdue
Matt Campbell

Left Toledo for Iowa State after the 2015 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Jason Candle - retained at Toledo (named head coach, stayed for four seasons and counting)
  • Bryan Gasser - hired at Iowa State
  • Jon Heacock - hired at Iowa State
  • Anthony Johnson - joined the Texas coaching staff
  • Tom Manning - hired at Iowa State
  • D.K. McDonald - hired at Iowa State
  • Eli Rasheed - hired at Iowa State
  • Derek Sage - retained at Toledo (stayed for one season)
  • Tyson Veidt - hired at Iowa State
Dino Babers

Left Bowling Green for Syracuse after the 2015 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Tom Freeman - joined the Jacksonville coaching staff
  • Tom Kaufman - hired at Syracuse
  • Sean Lewis - hired at Syracuse
  • Mike Lynch - hired at Syracuse
  • Kim McCloud - hired at Syracuse
  • Mike Mickens - retained at Bowling Green (stayed for two seasons)
  • Nick Monroe - hired at Syracuse
  • Andrew Sowder - joined Texas (off-field role)
  • Brian Ward - hired at Syracuse
Jim McElwain

Left Colorado State for Florida after the 2014 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Dave Baldwin - joined the Oregon State coaching staff
  • Marty English - retained at Colorado State (stayed for three seasons)
  • Derek Frazier - joined the Central Michigan coaching staff
  • Jeff Hammerschmidt - retained at Colorado State (stayed for one season)
  • Greg Lupfer - out of college football
  • Tim Skipper - hired at Florida
  • Al Simmons - joined the New Mexico coaching staff
  • Art Valero - out of college football
  • Alvis Whitted - retained at Colorado State (stayed for four seasons)
Dave Clawson

Left Bowling Green for Wake Forest after the 2013 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Mark Carney - joined the Baldwin Wallace coaching staff
  • Bill Durkin - joined the Coastal Carolina coaching staff
  • Mike Elko - hired at Wake Forest
  • John Hunter - hired at Wake Forest
  • Larry McDaniel - joined the Indiana coaching staff
  • Nick Monroe - retained at Bowling Green (stayed for two seasons)
  • Rob Neviaser - out of college football
  • Warren Ruggiero - hired at Wake Forest
  • Adam Scheier - hired at Wake Forest
Gus Malzahn

Left Arkansas State for Auburn after the 2012 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Eli Drinkwitz - retained at Arkansas State (stayed for one season)
  • J.B. Grimes - hired at Auburn
  • David Gunn - hired at Auburn (off-field role)
  • Brandon Hall - hired at Auburn
  • Kenny Ingram - hired at Auburn (off-field role)
  • Dean Jackson - out of college football
  • Rhett Lashlee - hired at Auburn
  • John Thompson - retained at Arkansas State (stayed for one season)
  • Casey Woods - hired at Auburn (off-field role)
Dave Doeren

Left Northern Illinois for N.C. State after the 2012 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Rod Carey - retained at Northern Illinois (named head coach, stayed for six seasons)
  • Bob Cole - retained at Northern Illinois (stayed for four seasons)
  • Mike Dunbar - out of college football (died in 2013 of cancer)
  • Frisman Jackson - hired at N.C. State
  • Kevin Kane - retained at Northern Illinois (stayed for two seasons)
  • Richard McNutt - hired at N.C. State
  • Jay Niemann - retained at Northern Illinois (stayed for three seasons)
  • Ryan Nielsen - hired at N.C. State
  • Mike Uremovich - hired at N.C. State
Darrell Hazell

Left Kent State for Purdue after the 2012 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Chris Bache - joined the Ferrum College coaching staff
  • Jeff Burrow - retained at Kent State (stayed for five seasons)
  • Marcus Freeman - hired at Purdue
  • Brian George - retained at Kent State (stayed for three seasons)
  • Jon Heacock - hired at Purdue
  • Thad Jemison - out of college football
  • Dave McMichael - retained at Kent State (stayed for five seasons)
  • Brian Rock - retained at Kent State (stayed for two seasons)
  • Jafar Williams - hired at Purdue
Butch Jones

Left Cincinnati for Tennessee after the 2012 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Mike Bajakian - hired at Tennessee
  • Mark Elder - hired at Tennessee
  • John Jancek - hired at Tennessee
  • Dave Johnson - joined the UMass coaching staff
  • Don Mahoney - hired at Tennessee
  • Roy Manning - joined the Michigan coaching staff
  • Shannon Morrison - joined the Ball State coaching staff
  • Steve Stripling - hired at Tennessee
  • T.J. Weist - joined the Connecticut coaching staff
Hugh Freeze

Left Arkansas State for Ole Miss after the 2011 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Tom Allen - hired at Ole Miss
  • Corey Batoon - hired at Ole Miss
  • David Gunn - retained at Arkansas State (stayed for one season)
  • Maurice Harris - hired at Ole Miss
  • Grant Heard - hired at Ole Miss
  • Darren Hiller - joined the Nevada coaching staff
  • Chris Kiffin - hired at Ole Miss
  • Tyler Siskey - hired at Ole Miss (off-field role)
  • Dave Wommack - hired at Ole Miss
Kevin Sumlin

Left Houston for Texas A&M after the 2011 season

Assistant Coaches
  • B.J. Anderson - hired at Texas A&M
  • Jamie Bryant - retained at Houston (stayed for one season)
  • Carlton Hall - retained at Houston (stayed for one season)
  • Kliff Kingsbury - hired at Texas A&M
  • Tony Levine - retained at Houston (named head coach, stayed for three seasons)
  • Clarence McKinney - hired at Texas A&M
  • Jason Phillips - joined the Southern Methodist coaching staff
  • Zac Spavital - retained at Houston (stayed for three seasons)
  • Brian Stewart - joined the Maryland coaching staff
Larry Fedora

Left Southern Miss for UNC after the 2011 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Blake Anderson - hired at UNC
  • Deke Adams - hired at UNC
  • Walt Bell - hired at UNC
  • Grady Brown - joined the South Carolina coaching staff
  • Dan Disch - hired at UNC
  • David Duggan - hired at UNC
  • Chris Kapilovic - hired at UNC
  • Robert Matthews - joined the South Alabama coaching staff
  • Pat Washington - joined the Kentucky coaching staff
Todd Graham

Left Tulsa for Pittsburgh after the 2010 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Bill Blankenship - retained at Tulsa (hired as head coach, stayed for four seasons)
  • Spencer Leftwich - hired at Pittsburgh
  • Jess Loepp - retained at Tulsa (stayed for four seasons)
  • Van Malone - retained at Tulsa (stayed for one season)
  • Archie McDaniel - retained at Tulsa (stayed for one season)
  • Chad Morris - joined the Clemson coaching staff
  • Mike Norvell - hired at Pittsburgh
  • Keith Patterson - hired at Pittsburgh
  • Paul Randolph - hired at Pittsburgh
Brian Kelly

Left Cincinnati for Notre Dame after the 2009 season

Assistant Coaches
  • Kerry Coombs - retained at Cincinnati (stayed for two seasons)
  • Bob Diaco - hired at Notre Dame
  • Mike Elston - hired at Notre Dame
  • Greg Forest - joined the Buffalo coaching staff
  • Lorenzo Guess - hired at Notre Dame (off-field role)
  • Tim Hinton - hired at Notre Dame
  • William Inge - joined the Buffalo coaching staff
  • Charley Molnar - hired at Notre Dame
  • Jeff Quinn - joined the Buffalo coaching staff (hired as head coach)

All photos are by the Associated Press except photo of Dave Clawson (Journal photo by Andrew Dye) and and Neal Brown (Charleston [W.Va.] Gazette-Mail)

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