Big Ten football media days have come and gone, and that means fall practice and the season will be here soon. One of the highlights of media days is watching how new head coaches make their first big public appearance before the Big Ten media firing lines.
This season, the only two new head coaches were Darrell Hazell at Purdue and Gary Andersen at Wisconsin. Both coaches passed the test with flying colors, although the focus was more on other coaches like Urban Meyer and his off-the-field concerns from July.
Hazell comes back to the Big Ten only two years after his long stint as assistant head coach under Jim Tressel at Ohio State. Although Hazell only had a few real bright spots in the receivers he mentored, he has proven right away that Tressel prepared him well to lead an entire team after turning Kent State into an 11-game winner in just 2 years.
Indeed, the Tressel coaching tree has generated three other head coaches for Big Ten schools: Hazell, Mark Dantonio at Michigan State and Luke Fickell (in 2011) for Ohio State. That is just the latest in a number of coaching trees that has spread throughout the conference, others including Hayden Fry and Bo Schembechler.
So who are the rising stars who will be the next to make the leap to head coach? Who knows, some of these gentlemen may be taking the podium for another Big Ten team in just a few years (as most assistants take jobs with lesser conference schools before getting the call to the big show).
Let's take a look at the five Big Ten assistant coaches most likely to be the next head coaches in college football.