Urban Meyer is stepping down for a second time as head football coach at the University of Florida.
Athletic director Jeremy Foley had a no-brainer decision six years ago to bring in Meyer when he was the hottest coach in the country while at Utah.
He’ll be under pressure to bring in a name coach. Perhaps not a “big” name coach—after all, was Meyer himself a “big” name or just a hot commodity? But Foley will definitely have to replace Meyer with somebody who will be a caretaker of the program.
Ron Zook wasn’t when he followed Steve Spurrier; Meyer certainly was.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five potential replacement candidates.
Mullen obviously has Florida ties, having been Meyer’s offensive coordinator at UF for four seasons before taking over the head coaching job at Mississippi State.
Mullen has done a terrific job at MSU while competing in a tough SEC West Division. He went 8-4 this year, and that included a victory over Florida en route to an 8-4 record and a berth in the Gator Bowl against Michigan.
Strong served as Meyer’s defensive coordinator in Gainesville before leaving to become head coach at Louisville.
There’s no question he would sever ties with the Cardinals to return to UF, but will he be able to get out of his contract after one year?
Hey, ask Lane Kiffin, right?
Longshot? Maybe. Maybe not.
Stoops is always rumored to be available whenever high-profile positions become available. He’s certainly accomplished great things at Oklahoma, but his time there may have run its course and he just might be ready for a new challenge.
Stoops is a former UF assistant whose name was bandied about last year when Meyer briefly stepped down.
McCarney has the credentials, that’s for sure.
He’s currently the defensive line coach at UF, and he has head coaching experience from his time at Iowa State.
McCarney is also known as a great recruiter.
Hey, why not?
If Rich Rodriguez has a great bowl win against Mississippi State and somehow manages to hang on to his job at Michigan, Harbaugh has to be in the conversation.
He has Stanford at 11-1 and in a BCS Bowl, and the only loss was to unbeaten Oregon.
Like Meyer six years ago, Harbaugh is the ‘hot’ name right now.