--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
With the firing of Bobby Petrino on Sunday; the Louisville Cardinals are in the midst of a coaching search. While one name is far ahead of the rest; there are still a few names that should be on the list.
5- Les Miles, former LSU head coach
The former coach of LSU; Miles led the Tigers to five separate BCS bowl games; and two national championship bouts. The Tigers won the 2007 National Championship game, beating the Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24. His second trip to the promise land in 2011 didn’t go as well- Nick Saban and Alabama defeated LSU 21-0.
LSU hadn’t had nearly as much success his last three seasons. The Tigers won 8 in 2014, 9 in 2015, and just 2 in 2016; before his departure.
It won’t be easy to get Miles. The coach is already on the shortlist at Kansas. And he won’t come cheap. Getting Miles could end in a bidding war; with the victor needing to back up the brinks truck to pay Miles.
4- Ryan Day, offensive coordinator, Ohio State
Day leads the high-power Buckeye offense. He had his first taste of leading an entire team this season- taking over for Urban Meyer during Meyer’s three-game suspension.
In those games, OSU defeated Oregon State 77-31, Rutgers 52-3, and TCU 40-28. While all three don’t have a winning record, the games weren’t close. At all.
Louisville would be taking a risk if Tyra were to offer Day a head coaching position- while Day has been an assistant for many years, he hasn’t proved himself for an entire season.
Day also may leave after two or three years if he has success with the Cardinals. He is a hot name on a few various coaching lists, and will pop up in conversations as bigger programs change leadership.
3- Matt Campbell, head coach, Iowa State
Campbell was the head coach at two schools: Toledo and Iowa State. He proved that he can handle a high-level of play. He led the Toledo Rockets to two MAC West division titles, and four bowl games. In Iowa State, Campbell turned a bad Cyclone team into a winning program.
In his first year, the Cyclones were 3-9. In his second year, he finished 8-5. And this year, the Cyclones are currently 6-3; and are currently ranked 16th.
Campbell has proven he can turn a program around. The problem, however; is that Campbell has a buyout of $7 million if he leaves before Feb. 1st, 2019.
Athletic director Vince Tyra has made it seem like money isn’t an issue. If the no. 1 guy doesn’t work out, Campbell will work well.
2- Mike Leach, head coach, Washington State
Much like Campbell, Mike Leach turned around an abysmal team. After going 84-43 in ten seasons at Texas Tech, Leach took a bad Washington State team back to relevance. During his first three seasons, the Cougars finished under .500. After that, they have won at least eight games.
And so far this season, the Cougars are 9-1; and ranked 8th overall. The Cougars score 37.6 points per game, and give up 22.1.
Another reason Leach is the go-to if No. 1 doesn’t work out is his buyout- Leach is owed about $2 million. That is significantly more economical than Campbell.
1- Jeff Brohm, head coach, Purdue
No one saw this coming.
All season long, fans and media have been speculating about the next coach if Bobby Petrino goes south. And the name that keeps appearing is Jeff Brohm; a member of Louisville’s first family of football.
The connections are everywhere- Brohm played for the Cardinals under Howard Schnellenberger. He has a connection with Tyra through Trinity. Brohm was an assistant under Petrino from 2003-2007, and under Steve Kragthorpe in 2008.
And he has a thing for winning. Brohm won two Conference USA titles with Western Kentucky, and turned around a 3-9 Purdue Boilermaker team.
Much like the Chris Mack hire, Brohm seems to be the only name on everyone’s list. He’s the favorite; by far. He may also stay at Louisville for a long period of time.
It’s Jeff Brohm, then everyone else.