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Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State: 5 Most Shocking CFB Coaching Hires of All Time

Randy ChambersAnalyst IJanuary 3, 2017

Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State: 5 Most Shocking CFB Coaching Hires of All Time

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    Programs switching head coaches happens all of the time. This year it seems to be happening a little more often than usual. If you don't get the job done, chances are that coach won't be around very often.

    Although there is a difference between replacing a head coach with a respected head coach and just taking a shot in the dark. Then you have the respected head coaches that could get nearly any job in the country and choose a sub-par program.

    Here are a few of the most bizarre head coaching hires.

Jennings Whitworth to Alabama

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    Whitworth played football for the Crimson Tide in the 1930s, and he's also remembered as one of the worst head coaches in their history.

    He had a losing record with the Oklahoma State Cowboys and became the head coach for Alabama for three seasons. He never managed a season with more than two victories, as he finished with a 4-24 record before he was fired.

    He was later replaced with Bear Bryant, which we all know how that went.

Gus Malzahn to Arkansas State

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    Gus Malzahn had coaching offers on the table from nearly every program that was missing a head coach, and apparently he turned them down.

    He has now accepted the job to become the new head coach of Arkansas State. A team that's in the Sun Belt conference and has only made two bowl games in the history of the school. 

    Malzahn is a highly respected offensive coach and could have had any job he wanted in a BCS conference. Instead, he decided to return to the state where he played football and try and lead the Red Wolves.

Gene Chizik to Auburn

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    While we're talking about Auburn coaches, you can't forget about Gene Chizik. Sure, it's working out right now for the Tigers, but who would have thought?

    Tommy Tuberville was 85-40 and won five bowl games at Auburn. The university ends up replacing him with a head coach who was 5-19 and no bowl victories at Iowa State.

    You just don't see a very successful SEC program fire a solid head coach and replace him with a nobody very often. So far that shot in the dark has paid off, as Auburn won the BCS National Championship last season and recruits very well.

Ron Prince to Kansas State

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    Kansas State decided to go with Ron Prince, who had no head coaching experience at all to replace Bill Snyder. He did such a bad job with the program that it convinced Snyder to come back.

    Prince went 17-20 and didn't win one bowl game at all. In 2008, he had more junior college players on his team than any other BCS team ever.

    He has yet to become a head coach anywhere else, and after those three seasons, I don't blame anyone for not wanting him.

Bill Callahan to Nebraska

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    After a shaky head coaching career with the Oakland Raiders, Nebraska decided to hire Bill Callahan who had no college head coaching experience. This is after having very successful head coaches like Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.

    Callahan wasn't able to fill those shoes, as he finished his four years with a 27-22 record and only one bowl victory. Last time I heard, he is banned from ever entering the state of Nebraska.

    Randy Chambers is a B/R Featured Columnist that covers College Football and the NFL. You can contact him @Randy_Chambers or

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