Five SEC coordinators and assistants in line for promotions
With eight Power 5 teams already looking for head coaches, coordinators and assistants all over the country will be promoted.
Here are five coordinators and assistants from the SEC who might rise up the ladder this offseason:
1. Alabama assistant head coach and offensive line coach Mario Cristobal: At this point, Cristobal is one of the favorites to become Miami’s new coach. He was born in Miami, played collegiate football at Miami, and coached at Miami in two different stints. Most important: He understands how to recruit in Miami. To be great, you have to recruit great. And that’s something Cristobal does well — 247Sports ranked him as the top recruiter in America for the 2015 cycle.
2. Missouri defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski: A Gary Pinkel assistant for 24 years at Toledo and Missouri, he has coached Aldon Smith, Michael Sam, Sheldon Richardson, Kony Ealy and Shane Ray at Missouri. Kuligowski is a top candidate for defensive coordinator positions.
3. Missouri defensive coordinator Barry Odom: Odom would be a solid choice to replace Pinkel. He has already proven himself to be an excellent defensive coordinator. Missouri’s defense ranks second in the SEC in yards allowed per play. And even though Missouri lost a lot of key contributors from its defensive front last season, the Tigers still have the fourth-most tackles for loss of any team in college football. Hiring Odom would also provide Missouri with some continuity — somrthing the Tigers could use after a tumultuous and trying season.
4. Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart: Smart has been on Nick Saban’s staff since Saban was hired as Alabama’s coach in 2007. During that time, Alabama has never finished outside of the top 12 nationally in total defense. Smart is one of the best coordinators in the country, and with so many coaching vacancies available, he may get a shot.
5. Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin: Unsuccessful stints at Tennessee and Southern Cal tarnished Kiffin’s reputation. However, he is still one of the best offensive play callers in college football and an excellent recruiter. He’s likely to get another chance.