ACC Football: Coaching News and Notes

Things are moving in a hurry as programs have begun announcing new hires at the same time as new firings continue to come to light. All the moving pieces are connected wether it affects the head coaches involved, or the potential members of a new staff at a new school. Here’s the rundown of the latest information as it pertains to ACC schools.


Miami Zeroes In

Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen and now former Georgia coach Mark Richt have visited Miami this week according to multiple reports. They were reportedly among the recent candidates to interview for the open gig in Coral Gables with athletic director Blake James. Greg Schiano and Butch Davis have been interviewed as well, making Miami’s search appear to value experience.

Many think the job belongs to Richt if he wants it. He’s a Miami alumnus who would bring a great deal of class and stability to the position. He also has a clean track record which has to be a priority as Miami is only now clearing sanctions from several coaches ago. It looks like Miami may well come out of this search with a very qualified candidate.


Syracuse Searches On has reported that Syracuse is eyeing Ohio State defensive coordinator Chris Ash for their open coaching post. That would be interesting as some thought the school might look for a contrast in styles from former head coach Scott Shafer’s background on defense. Ash has a nice resume though with stops at Arkansas and Wisconsin in addition to his time under Urban Meyer.

Many schools will be looking to capture the same magic Houston reeled in with the hiring of Meyer’s offensive coordinator Tom Herman last season. It will take a lot less than Herman has done in his first season as a head coach to please the folks from upstate New York. Syrcause allegedly offered their job to Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, but he has since accepted an offer to become the head man at Central Florida.


Better Late Than Never

The grumbling over Mike London’s job didn’t start recently in Charlottesville. He’s long been considered an excellent man who runs his program the right way, but not a very good coach. There’s lots of talent however for someone to step into at Virginia. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach has reported that Mark Richt will interview for this job as well as the Miami gig, and the fact that Richt has his pick of jobs is no surprise. He would be a terrific fit in Charlottesville, but this is more of a rebuilding job than Miami.

Richt is also expected to meet with Maryland officials this week as he listens to all offers being sent his way. His family may want him to sit out a year, but it will be interesting to see if he wants to jump right back into coaching. Notre Dame offensive coordinator Mike Sanford has been mentioned as a possible fit here as well, though I’d be a little surprised if the Cavaliers tap an unproven assistant for this task.


Hokies Officially Introduce Justin Fuente

Virginia Tech has its new football coach just in time for the live recruiting period at the beginning of December. He’ll bring with him at least two assistant coaches in tight ends coach/special teams coordinator James Shibest and wide receivers coach Holman Wiggins. That’s in addition to Bud Foster who will be staying on as defensive coordinator after Frank Beamer retires. Fuente’s compensation packaged will pay him $3.2 million in his first season and will max out at $3.65 million by the end of the deal with a $15 million buyout that decreases each year if Virginia Tech wishes to make a change.

There’s a chance that several offensive assistants, and perhaps some other defensive coaches currently on staff at Tech will get a look to remain in their positions as Fuente looks to meet the current coaches and flesh out his staff while hitting the road with his top recruiters from Memphis.

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