5 SEC assistants that could be prime head coaching candidates
Sports on Earth national college football writer Matt Brown put together a list of active FBS head coaches and assistants that are poised for bigger jobs in the near future, and included are five names from the Southeastern Conference.
Brown mentions four SEC defensive coordinators in his column: LSU’s Dave Aranda, Alabama’s Jeremy Pruitt, Florida’s Geoff Collins, and Tennessee’s Bob Shoop. Crimson Tide play-caller Lane Kiffin, one of three former head coaches on the list, is the only SEC offensive coordinator incorporated into the lineup.
Kiffin, who has already served as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders, Tennessee, and USC, is arguably the most interesting (potential) candidate for future openings among current SEC assistants.
“Oh yes, it’s inevitable,” wrote Brown. “The 41-year-old Kiffin has already been fired as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, left Tennessee after one season and been fired by USC. He’s also been a key assistant for USC’s glory years under Pete Carroll and has been able to rebuild his career while working as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator for a playoff team and a national champion.
“Kiffin has coached a Heisman winner, Derrick Henry, and helped Alabama incorporate tempo into its offense,” he added. “He’s learned from Saban, and if he stays on this path, Kiffin’s reclamation in Tuscaloosa will result in another chance as head coach.”
Last month, we put together our own compilation of active SEC assistants that could be primed to run a program of their own sometime down the road — and of course, Kiffin is first on the board. Like Brown, we also included, Pruitt, Collins, Aranda, and Shoop, but believe several others might have a shot too, such as:
- Mario Cristobal, offensive line, Alabama
- Robb Smith, defensive coordinator, Arkansas
- Rhett Lashlee, offensive coordinator, Auburn
- Eddie Gran, offensive coordinator, Kentucky
- Ed Orgeron, defensive line, LSU