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College football coaching carousel: Latest buzz, top candidates, analysis of every vacancy

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Michael Irvin loves Mario Cristobal as Miami's coach (0:55)

Miami alum Michael Irvin expresses his happiness with the school's decision to hire Mario Cristobal as its next football coach. (0:55)

Industry insiders warned us in 2020. Despite a higher-than-expected number of college football coaching changes amid the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming carousel had a chance to be historically active.

The predictions are coming true.

Beginning with USC after two games and LSU after seven, schools are making coaching changes fast and furiously. Clay Helton, fired at USC, landed a new job at Georgia Southern by early November. In the span of a week, Florida moved on from Dan Mullen and replaced him with Louisiana's Billy Napier.

And that was just the start. Hours after he quashed rumors that he would be going to LSU, Lincoln Riley was leaving Oklahoma and was headed to USC (taking defensive coordinator Alex Grinch with him). Then came the stunning news that it was Brian Kelly who would move to LSU, leaving Notre Dame with the Irish still in the hunt for a College Football Playoff spot. Notre Dame moved on by elevating defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman to head coach. And now Manny Diaz is out at Miami, with Oregon's Mario Cristobal his replacement.

The early signing period for recruiting is fueling athletic directors this year, as they hope to finalize hires in time to salvage or bolster classes. The flurry of activity could continue until mid-December. Additionally, schools will look to lock up their coaches with contract extensions, as Penn State did with a new 10-year deal for James Franklin, Michigan State did with Mel Tucker and Ole Miss did with Lane Kiffin.

We've got you covered. Here we'll provide the latest intel from Adam Rittenberg, Chris Low, Mark Schlabach and others on the biggest coaching searches, the jobs that could come open soon and the candidates to fill the vacancies. It will be updated throughout the carousel.


Latest buzz at:
Oregon | Virginia | Duke

Jump to other topics:
Other vacancies | Filled jobs


The latest chatter

Monday, 1:45 p.m.: Fresno State is closing in on a deal to bring back Jeff Tedford as its head coach, sources told ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. Although Fresno State has interviewed other candidates, Tedford always was the clear favorite to return as he has recovered from the health issues that forced him to leave a few years back. A deal with Tedford is not expected until at least Tuesday, a source said. Sources also told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg that Sacramento State coach Troy Taylor, USC interim head coach Donte Williams and Fresno State defensive coordinator William Inge have drawn interest from Fresno State, and that the school is continuing interviews Monday.

Monday, 12:30 p.m.: Nevada coach Jay Norvell will be the next coach at Colorado State, a source confirmed to ESPN's Kyle Bonagura. The deal was expected to be finalized by the end of the day Monday. Norvell was the lowest-paid coach in the Mountain West with Nevada at roughly $620,000 annually and is expected to get a sizable raise to move within the conference. Norvell compiled a 33-26 record in five seasons at Nevada, including an 8-4 mark this year.

Monday, 11:45 a.m.: After weeks of speculation, Miami has fired head coach Manny Diaz after three years on the job and replaced him with Oregon coach Mario Cristobal, sources told ESPN's Adam Rittenberg and Chris Low. Cristobal met with his Oregon players Monday to tell them he was taking the Miami job, sources said.