2015/2016 NCAA FBS head football coach changes

Most notable change of 2015: Spurrier, the ‘Head Ball Coach’ hangs ‘em up

Dual image of Steve Spurrier holding Heisman Trophy and resigning as head coach of South Carolina Gamecocks
At left, a young Steve Spurrier holds aloft the 1966 Heisman Trophy he won as a QB for the Florida Gators. On the right, the Head Ball Coach resigns as head football coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks in mid-October of 2015.


Steve Spurrier—arguably the most accomplished athlete/coach in football history—hangs ‘em up, on October 13, 2015, in the middle of a disappointing season (2-4) for the South Carolina Gamecocks.

The seventy-year-old ‘Head Ball Coach’ insisted that his resignation was entirely the result of a Gamecock program headed in the wrong direction, “south,” under his tenure this season—to the point he believed a major change was needed for the good of the program.

Spurrier accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Florida where he won the Heisman Trophy in 1966 as a QB and punter. He was a 1st round (3rd overall) pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 1967 NFL Draft where he played until 1975, before ending his professional career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976.

Spurrrier was an assistant college QB coach and offensive coordinator for several years before landing his first head coaching gig with the Tampa Bay Bandits (’83 - ’85) of the newly formed United States Football League (USFL). His first college head coaching job came at Duke (’87 - ’89) which helped propel him to his most noteworthy stop at the University of Florida (’90 - ’01) where he lead the Gators to their first undisputed national championship in ’96.

In 2002, Spurrier took another stab at the pros, signing on as head coach for the Washington Redskins (’02-’03).  Until this past season at South Carolina (’05 – ‘15), his tenure as the Redskins head coach, where his struggle to turn the franchise around became somewhat of a public spectacle, is the only other blemish on an otherwise exemplary football career.

In his 25 years as a head coach at major college programs, Spurrier compiled a .718 winning percentage and won 11 major bowl games and a national championship. He turned around the South Carolina football program, becoming its first coach to win 11 games in a season—doing it three times in a row from 2011 through 2013.

In addition to his prowess as an athlete,  Spurrier’s football legacy will inevitability entail his invaluable contribution to the evolution of the passing attack through his use of innovative schemes and coaching techniques. He also remains the only Heisman Trophy winner to win a NCAA national championship as a head coach and to coach another Heisman trophy winner, Danny Wuerffel, Florida (1996).

Last Updated: January 20, 2016.

2015/2016 NCAA FBS College Football Head Coach Changes




Old Coach
(fired, retired,
or moved on)

Reason for change

New Coach
(former position)

1. Ball State MAC Pete Lembo Resigned  Mike Neu (Saints QB Coach)
2.  Bowling Green  MAC  Dino Babers  Left for Syracuse  Mike Jinks ( AHC Texas Tech)
3. BYU Independent Bronco Mendenall Left for Virginia Kalani Sitake (Oregon State DC)
4. East Carolina Anerican Gene Chizik Fired Scottie Montgomery
5. Georgia SEC Mark Richt Fired Kirby Smart
6. Georgia Southern  Sun Belt   Willie Fritz Left for Tulane  Tyson Summers (CSU DC)
7. Hawaii Mountain West Norm Chow Fired Nick Rolovich (Nevada OC)
8. Illinois Big Ten Tim Beckman Fired Bill Cubit
9. Iowa State Big 12 Paul Rhoads Fired Matt Campbell (Toledo HC)
10. Louisiana-Monroe  Sun Belt Todd Berry Fired Matt Viator
11. Maryland Big Ten Randy Edsall Fired D.J. Durkin
12. Memphis American Justin Fuente Left for Virginia Tech Mike Norvell
13. Miami ACC Al Golden  Fired Mark Richt
14. Minnesota Big Ten Jerry Kill Resigned Tracy Claeys
15. Missouri  Big 12 Gary Pinkel Retired Barry Odom
16. North Texas  USA Bill McCarney Fired Seth Littrell
17. Rutgers Big Ten Kyle Flood Fired Chris Ash (Oho State DC)
18. South Carolina SEC Steve Spurrier Resigned Will Muuschamp (Auburn DC)
19. Syracuse American Scott Shaffer Fired Dino Babers (Bowling Green HC)
20. Toledo MAC Matt Campbell Left for Iowa State Jason Candle
21. Tulane American Curtis Johnson Fired Willie Fritz
22. U. Central Florida  American George O'Leary Resigned Scott Frost (Oregon OC)
23. USC PAC 12 Steve Sarkisian Fired Clay Helton
24. U. Texas San Antonio  USA Larry Coker Fired Frank Wilson (LSU assistant)
25. Virginia ACC Mike London Resigned Bronco Mendenhall (BYU HC)
26. Virginia Tech ACC Frank Beamer Retired Justin Fuent (Memphis HC)

2 thoughts on “2015/2016 NCAA FBS head football coach changes

  1. Great article Spurrier was at the next few games as a fan. It was a very controversial decision and at the end of the day he did what made both the program and himself move on. One of the most liked coaches in the game and understood his players in a way no one else could. Still believe that he should have stayed and announced that he was leaving at the end of the season, but he had his reasons. It gave Shawn Elliott a chance to show his talents (maybe unfair spotlight) and ultimately Will Muschamp an opportunity to reign as top gun for the gamecocks. Spurrier had to know what was coming of the season seeing as they only finished with one win after his departure! It allowed the team to go into a much needed rebuilding phase before before the end of the season. The Gamecocks have been a championship contending team and it didn't make sense for him to stay and not compete for a title when his previous seasons were sour as well. Having a coach that has the ability to go out and recruit top talent is key in the NCAA and it seemed over the years Spurrier was losing his spark and it's time to see what Muschamp can drum up with the current roster and the expanding incoming class of recruits.

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