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Georgia's Glenn Schumann leads 2024 college football coordinators poised to emerge as head coaching candidates

Georgia's Glenn Schumann leads 2024 college football coordinators poised to emerge as head coaching candidates


Of the 14 power conference schools that named new coaches during the election college football coaching carousel, three hired coordinators from other power conference schools. Most notable among them was Michigan, which promoted offensive coordinator Sherrone Moore after Jim Harbaugh left for the Los Angeles Chargers.

Elsewhere, Duke brought in Penn State defensive coordinator and former Miami head coach Manny Diaz, while Mississippi State hired Oklahoma offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby. While seven of those fourteen power conference schools opted for incumbent head coaches within the FBS ranks, there is some merit in going the coordinator route.

Other recent coordinator hires by big schools like Marcus Freeman (Notre Dame) and Brent Venables (Oklahoma) have also shown some promise. This year's number 1 coach CBS Sports Power Four Coach RankingsKirby Smart, from Georgia, was hired from a coordinator position at Alabama.

Hiring a good coordinator is of course not foolproof. There are plenty of examples of coveted coordinators struggling to make the transition to head coach. But the coordinator ranks are poised to remain a major source of head coaching in power conferences for years to come.

So as the 2024 season approaches, who are the coordinators to keep an eye on as potential head coaching options from power conferences emerge in November and December? Let's look at seven possible candidates.

College football coordinators to watch in 2024

Glenn Schumann, Georgia defensive coordinator: Given the success that former Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning is having as Oregon's head coach, it's only a matter of time before the Bulldogs' DC performance serves as a launching pad for another head coach. While UGA hasn't historically been as dominant over the past two seasons as it will be under Lanning in 2021, Schumann is still orchestrating an elite unit. The 34-year-old started working for Kirby Smart as a student assistant at Alabama in 2008 and has been with him every step of the way as the Bulldogs have grown into the class of college football.

Blake Baker, LSU defensive coordinator: Baker worked wonders on Missouri's defense the past two seasons. He turned around a unit that was ranked 105th before ranking 33rd last season, as the Tigers finished 11-2 with a win in the Cotton Bowl. If he can do the same at LSU in 2024, look for the 41-year-old former Tulane linebacker to get some head coaching looks. He worked as a graduate assistant under Mack Brown at Texas from 2010 to 2012 and has coordinator experience at Miami and now with two SEC programs.

Garrett Riley, Clemson offensive coordinator: After helping orchestrate TCU's high-flying offense in 2022, Riley should unleash Clemson's offense in 2023. But the Tigers ranked 50th in total offense during his first year as offensive coordinator. It will take a big season for the 34-year-old to regain the rocket trajectory he enjoyed a few seasons ago. But if the Tigers make a significant offensive leap, Riley has the resume to rack up head coaching looks. He played for Mike Leach, his brother is USC coach Lincoln Riley and his last three bosses are Dabo Swinney, Sonny Dykes and Eli Drinkwitz. That's a strong pedigree.

Andy Kotelnicki, Penn State offensive coordinator: How long before the Lance Leipold coaching tree starts sprouting some major branches? Kotelnicki spent the past 11 seasons as Leipold's offensive coordinator at Wisconsin-Whitewater, Buffalo and Kansas. Now he's leaving his mentor to spread his wings as Penn State's offensive coordinator. If this move produces the results the Nittany Lions are hoping for, Kotelnicki's stock will skyrocket.

Kane Wommack left his position as head coach at South Alabama to become DC for Alabama.


Kane Wommack, Alabama defensive coordinator: Wait, hasn't he already been a head coach? Yes, Wommack left the top job at South Alabama to join Kalen DeBoer's first staff at Alabama as defensive coordinator. But that doesn't mean he has given up all ambitions as a head coach. At just 37 years old, Wommack was able to parlay a strong stint with the Crimson Tide into a power conference opportunity. He posted a respectable 22-16 record (13-11 Sun Belt) in three seasons with a Jaguars program that had never finished above .500 before his arrival. He previously worked with DeBoer in Indiana, which further explains why he has made the transition to coordinator for the time being.

Georgia co-defensive coordinator Travaris Robinson: Robinson, an SEC coaching veteran who is considered an excellent recruiter, joins the Georgia staff as co-defensive coordinator after spending the past two seasons as Alabama's cornerbacks coach. At just 42 years old and with stops at Auburn, Texas Tech, Florida, South Carolina and Miami also on his resume, Robinson appears ripe for further ascension. Maybe not this year, but don't be surprised if he finds himself in the mix for head coaching gigs soon. After all, a purely position coach from Georgia (Fran Brown) got the head coaching job at Syracuse last cycle.

Kirby Moore, Missouri offensive coordinator: Kirby Moore's older brother, Kellen, may be better known to some football fans since he is now in his third year N.F.L offensive coordinator gig at just 35. But the little brother is doing just fine. Since graduating from Boise State in 2013, he has worked for Chris Petersen at Washington, Jeff Tedford and Kalen DeBoer at Fresno State and now Eli Drinkwitz at Missouri. When Drinkwitz stepped back from his play-calling duties last season, Moore directed the offense for an 11-2 team that defeated Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl. He probably needs more power conference seasoning before he's a realistic candidate for a head coaching job in the P4. But its shares are rising.




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