4-7 Texas A&M still has one game to play, but for most Aggies, their focus has already shifted toward what can be done to right the ship for 2023. And while nothing official has been announced, a new offensive coordinator tops the list needed changes for this program. Based on what we hear from those who cover the A&M program, that change is more likely than not, despite Jimbo Fisher’s stubbornness.
So if A&M does decide to hand the offensive reins to a new coordinator, who should be on the list of candidates. I took a shot at some of the names we might see. This is not in any way based on any kind of inside information, just the list of names for whom it seems like there could be mutual interest.
Dan Mullen (ESPN)
Mullen’s stint as the head coach at Florida may not have gone as planned, but he is the most recognizable name on this list, and has enough skins on the wall to be trusted as a coordinator, having run offenses both as a head coach at UF and Mississippi State and previously as an OC at Florida under Urban Meyer. He’s also on the record saying that he believes Jimbo can turn things around at A&M. After a season as an ESPN studio analyst, he may be itching to coach again. The downside to Mullen is that he may only see this job as a springboard to getting back into the head coaching ranks.
Phil Longo (UNC)
Longo may be my personal favorite OC candidate. He’s got more than 30 years of coaching experience (which I think Jimbo will love), he’s coached in Texas before (three years as OC at Sam Houston) and he’s coached in the SEC (Ole Miss OC in 2017-18). He runs an air raid offense, but still utilizes the run game well. In his four years at UNC, they’ve been ranked in the top 30 nationally each year, averaging 36.9 points per game. If nothing else, A&M hiring a guy who looks like he could have a side gig as an Ol’ Sarge impersonator makes a ton of sense.
Garrett Riley (TCU)
If A&M wants to go the up-and-coming route, there is no hotter name than Garrett Riley. The brother of Lincoln Riley was Sonny Dykes’ OC at SMU, and followed him across town to TCU this offseason. The Horned Frogs currently sit at 11-0 and have the No. 8 scoring offense in the country, so that kinda tells you all you need to know about his resume. He has the Texas ties, coaching in DFW and also playing his college ball at Texas Tech and Stephen F. Austin. My only concern here is whether he has proven himself enough for Jimbo to be willing to hand him the keys to A&M’s offensive kingdom.
Bobby Petrino (Missouri St.)
I’d low key hate this hire since it would give the Ags two coordinators with scandalous pasts, but I feel like he may actually be on A&M’s radar. As mentioned with other candidates, he has the experience to give Jimbo some level of comfort in giving him authority (HC at Arkansas and Louisville, OC at Auburn and in the NFL), and his “power spread” offense a history of good production. But this just feels stale, and stale is the last thing this A&M program needs.
Chad Morris (USF)
Laugh if you want, but I could see Morris being a serious contender for this job. While his head coaching tenure at Arkansas was laughably bad, he was the OC for the elite offenses at Clemson a decade ago. Morris is also an A&M graduate, and his time spent as a Texas high school head coach at Stephenville, Lake Travis and Allen (among others) give him connections on the recruiting trail that no other candidate on this list has.
Tom Herman (his couch)
This would be hilarious on so many levels but on paper it also makes a lot of sense. Herman is appealing thanks to what his offenses did at Iowa State and Ohio State (and heck, his offenses at Texas too). And after being unemployed in 2022, he has to be itching to re-establish his value as a college football coach.
Other potential names to monitor:
- SMU OC Casey Woods: Played at Tennessee, with coaching stops at Tennessee, Auburn and Mizzou. Currently leading a Mustang offense ranked in the top 10 nationally.
- UTSA OC Will Stein: Plenty of Lone Star experience, coaching at Texas, Lake Travis HS and now UTSA, where they have the No. 12 scoring offense in the country in 2022.
- Tennessee OC Alex Golesh: The Vols have been electric on offense, but most of that is likely due to HC Josh Heupel and not Golesh.
- USC Grad Assistant Conner McQueen: Not seriously. But maybe? But almost certainly not.
- Minnesota Vikings Assistant QB Coach Jerrod Johnson: OK so he is not seriously in the running, but it sure would be fun, no?
Who would be your pick for a new A&M offensive coordinator?
This poll is closed
Someone else (comment below)