OUT: J.D. Brookhart. Fired Nov. 28 after going 30-42 in six seasons.
IN: Rob Ianello, Notre Dame assistant head coach (offense). Hired Dec. 10.
THE BUZZ: Brookhart led Akron to its only bowl appearance in school history, a 38-31 loss to Memphis in the 2005 Motor City Bowl. But that also was the only winning season of Brookhart's tenure. Some assistants could see Akron as a stepping-stone job, but the Zips traditionally have not had much success, so taking the job has some risks. But there is a new stadium that opened this season, and the recruiting base is a good one. Ianello will be expected to tap into that recruiting base. As Notre Dame's recruiting coordinator, he was named one of Rivals.com's top 25 recruiters of the year on several occasions. The Irish landed top-10 classes from 2006-08. As receivers coach, Ianello worked with Golden Tate, Michael Floyd and Jeff Samardzija. Ianello is a first-time head coach.
OUT: Turner Gill. Hired at Kansas after going 20-30 in four seasons at Buffalo.
IN: Jeff Quinn, Cincinnati offensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 20.
THE BUZZ: Gill proved Buffalo could be competitive in the MAC despite its short history as an FBS program. Before Gill's arrival, Buffalo was 10-69 in its first seven seasons as a MAC program. Gill gave the program hope, but this remains one of the toughest jobs in the conference. The Bulls share recruiting territory with three Big East teams Syracuse, Rutgers and Connecticut. The head coaching job still has the potential of being a stepping stone for a first-time head coach such as Quinn. He is a longtime Brian Kelly assistant who worked with him at Cincinnati, Central Michigan and Grand Valley State. Though he has not been Cincinnati's play-caller or quarterbacks coach, Quinn has a good resume of developing offensive linemen, including Cincinnati's Jeff Linkenbach, Central Michigan's Joe Staley, who became a first-round pick, and Curt Anes, who won the Harlon Hill Trophy for the top player in Division II.
OUT: Butch Jones, hired at Cincinnati after going 26-13 in three seasons.
IN: Dan Enos, Michigan State running backs coach. Hired Jan. 16
THE BUZZ: Central Michigan had nine losing seasons from 1995-2004, but Biran Kelly and Jones helped to turn things around with three MAC championships and four bowl games in the past four seasons. As good as Kelly and Jones were, a good bit of that success was because of four-year starting quarterback Dan LeFevour, who will play his final game in the GMAC Bowl against Troy. While Central Michigan became the most consistent program in the MAC, it has yet to show it consistently compete with Big Ten programs in the state or otherwise. The Chippewas win over Michigan State in 2009 was only the third in school history against either the Spartans or Michigan and only the second win against a Big Ten team in the Kelly/Jones eras.
OUT: Brian Kelly, hired at Notre Dame on Dec. 10.
IN: Butch Jones, Central Michigan coach. Hired Dec. 15 THE BUZZ: Cincinnati once was an afterthought as an independent and in Conference USA, but Kelly and predecessor Mark Dantonio turned around the program as a Big East member. The Bearcats earned six bowl bids under those two coaches after earning only seven postseason spots before Dantonio's arrival in 2004. Cincinnati is a legitimate Big East contender now, but it still takes second billing to Ohio State in the state. The Bearcats made progress in upgrading facilities under Kelly, with practice fields scheduled to open next season. Still, Nippert Stadium remains the smallest venue in the Big East and one of the smallest for a major conference program. Jones will follow Kelly once again after taking over for him at Central Michigan. Jones built on Kelly's success at CMU, winning two MAC titles in three seasons. He does have some familiarity with the Big East after serving as an assistant at West Virginia from 2005-06.
OUT: Skip Holtz, hired as USF coach after going 38-27 in five seasons.
IN: Ruffin McNeill, Texas Tech defensive coordinator
THE BUZZ: Holtz turned around a program that went 3-20 in the two seasons before his arrival. In the final years of his tenure, Holtz led East Carolina to two Conference USA championships and some win over ACC and Big East powers. The task for the next coach is to continue that success. To do so, the new coach will have to recruit second-tier talent in SEC and ACC country. Holtz's successor also would be wise to continue the defense-first mindset of this staff. Although teams like Houston and Tulsa garnered more fanfare in September and October the last two seasons, the Pirates ended up as conference champions both seasons on the strength of their defense.
OUT: Bobby Bowden. Retired Dec. 1 after going 315-97-4 win 34 seasons
IN: Jimbo Fisher, Florida State offensive coordinator. Promoted Dec. 1.
THE BUZZ: Bowden retired after a 6-6 season, one of the least successful in a Hall of Fame career. Bowden has won 388 games, second only in the FBS to Penn State's Joe Paterno. Bowden's run of 14 consecutive seasons with a top-five finish and 10 wins included the 1993 and '99 national championships. Florida State hired Fisher in 2007 and named him the coach-in-waiting after his first season in Tallahassee. The offense finally lived up to Florida State standards in 2009, but the defense is lagging behind. Fisher's first major task as head coach was to replace retired defensive coordinator Mickey Andrews with Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops.
OUT: Mark Mangino. Resigned Dec. 3 after going 50-48 in nine seasons.
IN: Turner Gill, Buffalo head coach. Hired Dec. 12
THE BUZZ: Mangino resigned in the wake of an investigation into his treatment of his players, stepping down just two years after leading the Jayhawks to the greatest season in their checkered football history. The job is far more appealing now than when Mangino took over in 2002. During his tenure, Kansas went to four bowl games, including the 2008 Orange Bowl to cap a 12-1 season. A former quarterback for rival Nebraska, Gill resurrected Buffalo's program by leading the Bulls to their first bowl appearance in 2008. At Nebraska, Gill was the quarterbacks coach for two Heisman trophy winners and three national championship teams.
OUT: Rich Brooks. Retired Jan. 4 after going 39-47 in seven seasons.
IN: Joker Phillips. Promoted from offensive coordinator Jan. 4
THE BUZZ: The Brooks era began with Kentucky facing NCAA sanctions from the previous regime. Naturally, the Wildcats struggled in his first three seasons. Kentucky stuck with Brooks, however, and he built the Wildcats into a perennial bowl contender and a respectable team in the SEC. In his career, Brooks took over a struggling Oregon program before taking the Ducks to the Rose Bowl in 1994. At Kentucky, he took the Wildcats to four consecutive bowl appearances. The tide has also turned in state. Kentucky has won the last three games against rival Louisville after the Cardinals won seven of eight meetings. Brooks' fingerprints will remain on the program with Phillips. A Kentucky alum, Phillips was named coach-in-waiting two years ago.
OUT: Charlie Weatherbie. Fired Nov. 30 after going 31-51 in seven seasons.
IN: Todd Berry, UNLV offensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 19
THE BUZZ: Louisiana-Monroe was bowl eligible at 6-6, but the Warhawks have not had a winning season since joining the FBS. Still, Weatherbie guided them to six wins twice in the past three seasons. This is a program that has to play two or three "money" games per season, which cuts down on seasons with at least eight wins. In addition, there are four FBS programs in the state of Louisiana, and ULM is one of the three that lags far, far behind LSU. Weatherbie was the lowest-paid coach, in terms of base salary, in the FBS ranks. All of this is a nice way of saying this is not a plum job. Berry knows the terrain, as he was ULM's offensive coordinator from 2004-05. He is also a former head coach at Army and an offensive coordinator at Miami.
OUT: Derek Dooley, hired at Tennessee after going 17-20 in three seasons.
IN: Sonny Dykes, Arizona offensive coordinator
THE BUZZ: Louisiana Tech is a geographic mismatch in the WAC and probably would make more sense playing in the Sun Belt or Conference USA. Their closest conference opponent is New Mexico State, more than 900 miles away. While Louisiana is rich recruiting ground, the long road trips can be a deterrent for prospects from the Southeast. Though the state is rich in recruiting prospects, LSU competes with SEC and Big 12 powers - not Louisiana Tech, Louisiana-Monroe or Louisiana-Lafayette - for the state's top recruits. Dooley took Louisiana Tech to a bowl game in 2008 (the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.). It was the Bulldogs second postseason appearance since 1990. Dykes is a first-time head coach, but he has a strong resume as an offensive assistant. He tutored Willie Tuitama and Nick Foles to two bowl appearances at Arizona. Before that, he coached wide receivers and later served as co-offensive coordinator under Mike Leach at Texas Tech. Dykes is the son of former Red Raiders coach Spike Dykes.
OUT: Steve Kragthorpe. Fired Nov. 29 after going 15-21 in three seasons.
IN: Charlie Strong, Florida defensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 9
THE BUZZ: A hot commodity after his tenure at Tulsa, Kragthorpe inherited a Louisville team coming off a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory. But in his three seasons, the Cardinals never played in a bowl game and went 5-16 in the conference. The job obviously has potential and there are good facilities. While Louisville went south fast, it also enjoyed a relatively quick climb to the top of the Big East after it joined the league. With only seven other league members, it's not hard to become bowl-eligible on a yearly basis if you schedule your non-conference games judiciously. Because of that, some big-name coaches might be more interested than you'd think. Strong may be long overdue for a head coaching position. He has been an assistant at Florida since 2003, including stints as co-defensive coordinator for the 2006 national champions and sole defensive coordinator for the '08 national champions. Hiring Strong is something of a departure from the Cardinals. The last three coaches - John L. Smith, Bobby Petrino and Kragthorpe - have all come from offensive backgrounds.
OUT: Mark Snyder. Resigned Nov. 29 after going 21-37 in five seasons, hired as USF defensive coordinator.
IN: Doc Holliday, West Virginia fullbacks/tight ends coach. Hired Dec. 17.
THE BUZZ: A Marshall graduate, Snyder succeeded successful coach Bob Pruett in 2005. At 6-6 this season, the Thundering Herd is bowl eligible for the first time under Snyder and the Herd has not played in a bowl game since 2004. But attendance has plummeted and Marshall is a middle-of-the-pack - at best - program in Conference USA. The fan base is passionate and expects annual success. Holliday has spent the last two seasons at West Virginia, but he has a strong resume as a recruiter at Florida and N.C. State.
OUT: Tommy West. Fired Nov. 9 after going 49-61 in nine seasons
IN: Larry Porter, LSU running backs coach. Hired Nov. 29
THE BUZZ: A Memphis alum, Porter, 37, hasn't been a head coach or a coordinator, but he is one of the nation's top recruiters. Porter was the Rivals.com National Recruiter of the Year for the 2007 and '09 classes. Recruiting to Memphis, though, will be a lot different than recruiting to LSU. Porter and his staff will have to identify diamonds-in-the-rough and second-tier guys he would've bypassed at LSU. But quick turnarounds are possible in Conference USA. Because the 12-team league has six bowl tie-ins, getting to the postseason isn't as hard as you'd expect in a middle-tier league.
OUT: Charlie Weis. Fired Nov. 30 after going 35-27 in five seasons, hired as Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator.
IN: Brian Kelly, Cincinnati coach. Hired Dec. 10
THE BUZZ: Notre Dame went to BCS games in each of Weis' first two seasons, but the Irish were just 16-21 the past three seasons. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, rumored to be a candidate to replace Weis, announced Monday he intends to return to the Sooners next season. Urban Meyer, a former Irish assistant who once described Notre Dame as his "dream job," said last week he wasn't interested in leaving Florida. The new coach will take over a program with the best "brand name" in college football, but the Irish are a long way from where they want to be. There will not be a return to the school's glory days, but there's no reason the Irish can't be a perennial top-15 team that occasionally legitimately challenges for the national title. While there are some limitations - academic restrictions on recruits, for one - the positives vastly outweigh the negatives. Kelly has proven himself a winner at all levels, winning two Division II championships at Grand Valley State, a MAC championship at Central Michigan and two Big East titles at Cincinnati. Kelly led the Bearcats to at least 10 wins in three consecutive years.
SAN JOSE STATE
OUT: Dick Tomey. Retired Nov. 16 after going 25-34 in five seasons
IN: Mike MacIntyre, Duke defensive coordinator. Hired Dec. 17
THE BUZZ: Tomey, 71, retired after a career that had head-coaching stops at Hawaii, Arizona and San Jose State. He took the Spartans to the 2006 New Mexico Bowl, but they are coming off the worst season of his tenure (2-9). Getting to a bowl game at San Jose State is a big deal. The facilities are nothing special, even by WAC standards, and the fan support isn't the greatest. Also, this is a school that has fallen on mostly hard times of late. But the recruiting base is solid, and outside of Boise State and Fresno State, the other WAC programs definitely have their ebbs and flows - and mostly ebbs. MacIntyre spent the last two seasons at Duke but has an experience as an assistant in the NFL and at Ole Miss.
OUT: Jim Leavitt. Fired Jan. 9 after going 95-57 in 13 seasons.
IN: Skip Holtz, East Carolina coach. Hired Jan. 14
THE BUZZ: Leavitt was the third coach this offseason to be fired for mistreatment of players, joining Kansas' Mark Mangino and Texas Tech's Mike Leach. USF fired Leavitt after an investigation into allegations the coach grabbed walk-on Joel Miller by the throat and struck him twice in the face during halftime of the Louisville game. Leavitt denied the allegations. The firing means USF must replace the only coach in school history. Leavitt built the program from scratch, joining Division I-A (now FBS) in 2001, Conference USA in 2003 and the Big East in 2005. This is an attractive job. While USF lags behind in-state foes Florida, Florida State and Miami in prestige, the Bulls won at FSU this season and don't have to defeat any of those programs to gain access to the BCS. The recruiting base is a strong one -- Leavitt and his staff focused heavily on recruits within a 90-mile radius -- the Bulls play in an NFL stadium and the student population is nearing 50,000. Given the advantages, there's no reason USF can't annually contend for the Big East title. But there are some financial issues in the athletic department, which means the school likely won't be able to pay top dollar for a new coach. After being demoted by his father at South Carolina, Holtz built a name for himself as a head coach at East Carolina. The Pirates won two C-USA titles with defense, but they also unearthed their top player - the Tennessee Titans' Chris Johnson - out of the Orlando area.
OUT: Lane Kiffin. Hired at USC on Jan. 12 after going 7-6 in one season.
IN: Derek Dooley, Louisiana Tech coach. Hired Jan. 15.
THE BUZZ: After making one coaching change from 1977-2008, Tennessee must hire its second coach in two years. In Kiffin's single season, the Volunteers returned to the postseason (a loss to Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl) and nearly upset national champion Alabama in Tuscaloosa. His lasting contribution, however, might be his only signing class. The 2009 class, which included No. 1 overall prospect Bryce Brown, was ranked 10th in the country. The class Kiffin and his staff had assembled this recruiting cycle ranked sixth in the country. Now, Tennessee must regroup from losing any momentum Kiffin created. While Vols officials might not have expected Kiffin to stay as long as Phillip Fulmer, they likely didn't expect to see him leave after one season. A year after hiring the son of a famous coach with limited head coaching experience, Tennessee hired Dooley, the son of former Georgia coach Vince Dooley. Though the younger Dooley is short on head coaching experience, he brings strong references besides his father. He spent six seasons coaching with Nick Saban at LSU and with the Miami Dolphins. He also has expertise outside of coaching. He was a practicing attorney before he began his coaching career and was Louisiana Tech's athletic director during his tenure in Ruston.
OUT: Mike Leach. Fired Dec. 30 after going 84-43 in 10 seasons.
IN: Tommy Tuberville, Former Auburn coach. Hired January 9.
THE BUZZ: The end of the Leach era was bizarre, to say the least. His high-powered offenses have turned Tech into a consistent bowl team and an occasional contender in the Big 12 South. His successor will inherit what looks to be a good situation. But there's no question Leach's dealings with A.D. Gerald Myers were strained over the past 18 months, and Myers' personality and handling of Leach may cause a potential candidate or two to shy away from the job. West Texas is not a recruiting hotbed, which means it can be difficult to recruit to Tech. Leach, for the most part, was able to overcome that by signing a few blue-chippers and filling out his roster with perceived second-tier Texas talent.
OUT: Mike Sanford. Fired Nov. 16 after going 16-43 in five seasons, hired as Louisville offensive coordinator.
IN: Bobby Hauck, Montana coach. Hired Dec. 23
THE BUZZ: Hauck went 80-17 in seven seasons with the Grizzles and led the team to three Football Championship Subdivision national title games, including this season's 23-21 loss to Villanova. While the Mountain West is enjoying the best days in conference history, UNLV has been an afterthought. The Rebels have not been to a bowl game since 2000 when John Robinson led UNLV to a Las Vegas Bowl win over Arkansas. UNLV has not had a winning season since then. Hauck was one of the most successful coaches in the FCS, going 80-17 in three seasons. He reached the FCS championship game three times, including 2009.
OUT: Pete Carroll. Hired by the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 11 after going 97-14 in nine seasons.
IN: Lane Kiffin, Tennessee coach. Hired Jan. 12.
THE BUZZ: USC ended the decade in much better shape than it began thanks to Carroll, who returned the Trojans to national prominence. No coach recruited as well as Carroll did during his tenure at USC. It paid off with seven consecutive Pac-10 championships and top-four finishes as well as the 2003 AP national championship and the 2004 BCS title. While his easygoing personality served him well in the college ranks, Carroll elected to return to the NFL. His replacement will have more challenges than simply taking over for one of the best coaches in the game. At 9-4, USC is coming off its worst season since 2001. The Trojans also could face NCAA sanctions in the wake of the Reggie Bush scandal. Kiffin was an assistant for Carroll from 2001-05. He was USC's offensive coordinator his final year with the Trojans before a short-lived stint in the NFL.
JAN. 16 UPDATE: USC hired Lane Kiffin, who went 7-6 in his only season at Tennessee. Volunteers defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Ed Orgeron, who recruited Carroll's early teams at USC, will join Kiffin with the Trojans.
OUT: Bobby Johnson. Retired July 14 after going 29-66 in eight seasons.
IN: Robbie Caldwell, associate head coach and offensive line coach. Named interim coach July 14.
THE BUZZ: Johnson, 59, retired unexpectedly in mid-July, leaving Vanderbilt little choice but to stick with Caldwell and the current staff for the 2010 season. Although Johnson's record wasn't particularly impressive, the coach at least restored a little respectability for the traditional SEC bottom-feeder. His eight-year tenure was the longest for a Vanderbilt coach 1962. Of the 66 losses, 26 came by a touchdown or less. Johnson's best season came in 2008 when Vanderbilt defeated Boston College in the Music City Bowl, the Commodores' first postseason appearance since 1982. The interim coach Caldwell has been a member of Johnson's staff at Vanderbilt since his first season in 2002.
OUT: Al Groh. Fired Nov. 29 after going 59-53 in nine seasons, hired as Georgia Tech defensive coordinator.
IN: Mike London, Richmond coach. Hired Dec. 7
THE BUZZ: Groh's team won 25 games from 2002-04, but the Cavaliers have had losing records in three of the past four seasons. Virginia has been to only one bowl game since 2005. The school has good facilities, but the perception remains that it is a basketball school. Virginia has become an extremely fertile recruiting area, and Groh and his staff did a great job signing numerous talented players early in his tenure. But recruiting has dropped off of late and must be revved up. In addition, it's hard to see Virginia becoming an annual contender in the ACC. Still, bowl appearances and occasional contending seasons should be expected. London had two stints on Groh's staff, leaving be an assistant in the NFL for a season. He was the Cavs' defensive coordinator before taking over at Richmond. The Spiders won the FCS title in London's first season and reached the quarterfinals of the playoffs in his second season.
OUT: David Elson. Fired after going 39-43 in seven seasons.
IN: Willie Taggart, Stanford running backs coach. Hired Nov. 23
THE BUZZ: Western Kentucky is 0-11 in its first season as a full-fledged FBS member. Western was a solid program in FCS/Division I-AA, and the transition has proved difficult. Taggart was a Division I-AA All-America quarterback and later an assistant under Jack Harbaugh at Western Kentucky. He joined Jim Harbaugh - Jack's son - at Stanford in 2007 as an assistant. He is Toby Gerhart's position coach. Taggart will be one of the youngest head coaches in FBS. He is a Florida native - he succeeded Tommie Frazier at quarterback at Bradenton's Manatee High - and can be expected to recruit that state hard.