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Colorado Football: 10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Mike MacIntyre

Mike MacIntyre, Colorado Buffaloes Football

Mike MacIntyre, Colorado Buffaloes Football

Colorado fired coach Mike MacIntyre on Sunday, ending a six-year run at the school. The Buffaloes went 30-44 and claimed the 2016 Pac-12 South title under MacInytre’s direction. However, Colorado had only one bowl trip under MacIntyre and entered Week 13 with a six-game losing streak after a 5-0 start. MacIntyre won’t coach the season finale against California. Athletic director Rick George will appoint an interim coach for the matchup in Week 13.

Who could replace MacIntyre at Colorado? Here are 10 names to watch:

Colorado Football: 10 Coaching Candidates to Replace Mike MacIntyre

Neal Brown, Head Coach, Troy

Brown can be patient in finding a job at the Power 5 level, but his name is likely to come up in the rumor mill at any openings this offseason. Brown is 34-15 since taking over at Troy in 2015. The Trojans posted back-to-back double-digit win totals in 2016-17 and are in the mix to win the Sun Belt title in ‘18. With a win over Appalachian State in Week 13, Troy will clinch an appearance in the Sun Belt Championship Game. Brown also has previous experience from stints as an assistant at Kentucky and Texas Tech.

Bryan Harsin, Head Coach, Boise State

Could Harsin follow former Boise State coach Chris Petersen in the Pac-12? Since replacing Petersen in 2014, Harsin is 51-14 and has won at least nine games in every year. Boise State ranked as the top Group of 5 team in 2014 and beat Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl. Harsin also went 7-5 as Arkansas State’s head coach in 2013.

Jimmy Lake, Co-Defensive Coordinator, Washington

Lake was promoted to play-caller for Washington’s defense prior to the 2018 season and is considered one of the rising stars in the Pac-12. After working as an assistant with the Buccaneers and Lions, Lake joined Boise State’s staff prior to 2013. He remained with the Broncos through 2013 and followed Chris Petersen to Washington in ’14. Lake has coached defensive backs with the Huskies and is also regarded as an excellent recruiter. He has no previous head coaching experience.

Jim Leavitt, Defensive Coordinator, Oregon

Leavitt worked as Colorado’s defensive coordinator from 2015-16. Could he be interested in a return to Boulder? Leavitt has worked as Oregon’s defensive coordinator over the last two years and has guided this group to marked improvement in that span. He also worked as USF’s head coach from 1997-09, recording a 95-57 record and five bowl trips.

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Seth Littrell, Head Coach, North Texas

Littrell should have plenty of suitors from the Power 5 ranks in the coming seasons, so he doesn’t have to jump at the first opportunity. He’s 22-16 through three years at North Texas, winning Conference USA’s West Division title last fall. Littrell also has experience as an assistant from stints at North Carolina, Indiana, Texas Tech and Arizona.

Chip Long, Offensive Coordinator, Notre Dame

Long doesn’t have any head coaching experience, but he’s an assistant on the rise due to his last two years at Notre Dame. Under Long’s direction, the Fighting Irish averaged 34.6 points a game and have increased that total to 34.5 in ’18. He also has stops on his resume as an assistant from Memphis (2016), Arizona State (2012-15) and Illinois (2010-11).

Mike Norvell, Head Coach, Memphis

Similar to Neal Brown and Seth Littrell, Norvell has a good job at the Group of 5 level and doesn’t have to jump at the first Power 5 opportunity. After working as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator from 2012-15, Norvell was hired to replace Justin Fuente at Memphis prior to the ’16 season. He’s 25-12 over the last three years and won 10 games in 2017.

Todd Monken, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offensive Coordinator

Monken has worked with the Buccaneers as the team’s offensive coordinator for the last three seasons but has a wealth of collegiate experience. He’s worked as an assistant at a handful of stops, including Eastern Michigan, Louisiana Tech, LSU and Oklahoma State. Monken also went 13-25 as Southern Miss’ head coach from 2013-15. The Golden Eagles improved from 1-11 in 2013 to 9-5 in ’15.

Jeff Tedford, Head Coach, Fresno State

Tedford is no stranger to life in the Pac-12. He worked at California from 2002-12, recording an 82-57 mark in that span. The Golden Bears went to eight bowl games over Tedford’s 11 seasons and finished No. 14 nationally in 2006. After he was dismissed at California following the 2012 campaign, Tedford had a short stint in the NFL with the Buccaneers, worked in the CFL for a year and served as an off-field assistant at Washington in 2016. Tedford returned to the collegiate ranks in 2017 at Fresno State and is 19-6 with back-to-back appearances in the Mountain West title game.

Matt Wells, Head Coach, Utah State

Wells was promoted to head coach after Gary Andersen departed Logan for Wisconsin in 2013. The Aggies went 19-9 in Wells’ first two years but finished 15-23 over the next three seasons (2015-17). However, Utah State rebounded in a big way in 2018, as the Aggies are 10-1 through 11 contests and in the mix to win the Mountain West title. Wells is regarded for his work on offense, and his 2018 unit ranks second nationally by averaging 49.3 points a game.