Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The FCS head coaching carousel has
ground to a halt ... at least for the short term.
The spinning ride is harsher than a polar vortex. An alarming 26 FCS schools -
just over one-fifth nationally - have changed head coaches since the end of the
2013 regular season in November.
The hiring of K.C. Keeler at Sam Houston State on Thursday completed the list
of moves, though the ride is sure to start up again whenever a coach gets a
whiff of another opportunity or some college administration says its football
program's rebuilding plan is taking too long.
It was just over a year ago that Keeler was ousted from a successful, 11-year
run at his alma mater, Delaware, which he had taken to the FCS national
championship game as recently as the 2010 season.
Now Keeler has been handed the keys to the Sam Houston program that followed
Delaware as the national runner-up in 2011 and '12.
The changes have occurred in 11 of the 13 FCS conferences, with the Big South
and the Ivy League the only ones not to have movement (and they had a combined
seven head coaching changes in 2011 and '12).
There's been everything imaginable amid the changes, including the player
revolt at Grambling State that followed Doug Williams' firing during the season
and led to Broderick Fobbs becoming the new head coach on Dec. 4 - as the
fourth person to lead the program in less than three months.
An impressive five coaches jumped from their FCS jobs to head coaching
positions on the FBS level: Chris Creighton from Drake to Eastern Michigan,
Craig Bohl from his FCS championship program at North Dakota State to Wyoming,
Dino Babers from Eastern Illinois to Bowling Green, Fritz from Sam Houston to
Georgia Southern and Bill Clark from Jacksonville State to UAB earlier this
One of the more unique changes was Clint Conque leaving Central Arkansas after
14 seasons to move across the Southland Conference to Stephen F. Austin, whose
program has been worse the past three years.
Rick Comegy moved about 100 miles in the SWAC, getting fired at Jackson State
(following two straight conference championship game appearances) and landing
at Mississippi Valley State.
Even the Eddie Robinson Award national coaches of the year from five of the
past six seasons won't be patrolling the same sideline next season. Bohl won
the award the last two seasons and left on his own accord, but two-time
winner Mickey Matthews of James Madison, Henry Frazier III of North Carolina
Central (who didn't make it through preseason training camp) and Tony Samuel of
Southeast Missouri State were fired.
The SWAC has had the most head coaching changes with four. Unless you want to
give four to CAA Football because of Elon's switch to Rich Skrosky. Of course,
that scenario touches on conference realignment, and that too often is stranger
than the coaching moves.
Big bucks rule the day in college football. Those five-year rebuilding plans?
Better make it two years. The paydays versus FBS opponents? Better get another
zero added to the number.
Clearly, patience, and loyalty, are not prerequisites for any FCS athletic
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