Twenty-seven FBS schools will have a new head coach roaming the sidelines in the fall. Here are 10 familiar faces who have embraced a change of scenery for the upcoming season:
TERRY BOWDEN, Akron
Bowden has been around the block. After serving as a graduate assistant at Florida State in 1982, he was the head coach at Salem from 1983-85; an assistant at Akron in 1986; and head coach at Samford (1987-92), Auburn (1993-98) and North Alabama (2009-11). He now returns to Akron, replacing Rob Ianello. Bowden’s career record is 139-63-2.
NORM CHOW, Hawaii
Chow, who has coached three Hesiman Trophy winners – Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart — is taking over at Hawaii. A lifelong assistant at BYU (1973-99), NC State (2000), Southern Cal (2001-04), UCLA (2008-10) and Utah (2011), Chow also spent three years in the NFL as offensive coordinator for the Tennessee Titans (2005-07).
BOB DAVIE, New Mexico
Davie returns to the sidelines more than 10 years after he compiled a 35-25 mark with Notre Dame (1997-2001). His coaching career started as a GA at Pitt in 1977 before he traveled to Arizona (1978-79), back to Pitt (1980-82), and on to Tulane (1983-84) and Texas A&M (1985-93). He was the Irish’s defensive coordinator from 1994-96 before replacing Lou Holtz.
MIKE LEACH, Washington State
Leach made a name for himself as offensive coordinator at Valdosta State (1992-96), Kentucky (1997-98) and Oklahoma (1999) before going 84-43 in 10 season as head coach at Texas Tech (2000-09). He also has worked at Cal Poly (1987), College of the Desert (1988) and Iowa Wesleyan (1989-91). In 1989, Leach also coached the Pori Bears in Finland.
URBAN MEYER, Ohio State
Meyer is back in Columbus, Ohio, where he began his college career as an assistant (1986-87). Other stops along the road: Illinois State (1988-89), Colorado State (1990-95) and Notre Dame (1996-2000). He was the head coach at Bowling Green (2001-02), Utah (2003-04) and Florida (2005-10). Meyer is 104-23, and won the national championship in 2006 and ’08.
JIM MORA, JR., UCLA
Mora returns to the college game after spending the majority of his career in the NFL coaching ranks. Mora’s first gig was as a GA at Washington in 1984. However, he spent the ensuing 25 years in pro football, including stints as the head coach in Atlanta (2004-06) and Seattle (2009).
RICH RODRIGUEZ, Arizona
Rodriguez began his coaching career as a student assistant at West Virginia (1985) before he spent three years at Salem (1986-88). Rodriguez returned to WVa. in 1989 before shuttling to Glenville State (1990-96), Tulane (1997-98) and Clemson (1999-2000). He also was head coach at West Virginia (2001-07) then Michigan (2008-10).
JOHN L. SMITH, Arkansas
Smith is a head coach for the fifth time — six if you count Weber State, where he hasn’t coach a game yet. Smith was tabbed to lead Arkansas in the wake of Bobby Petrino’s firing in April, at which time Smith jetted Weber State. He previously was head coach at Idaho (1989-94), Utah State (1995-97), Louisville (1998-02) and Michigan State (2003-06) and is 132-86.
KEVIN SUMLIN, Texas A&M
Sumlin was an assistant at Washington State (1988-90), Wyoming (1991-92), Minnesota (1993-96), Purdue (1998-2000), Texas A&M (2001-02) and Oklahoma (2006-07) before being tabbed as head coach at Houston (2008-11). He is 35-17 overall, and 1-1 in bowl games.
CHARLIE WEIS, Kansas
Weis spent 2011 as the offensive coordinator at Florida. He was 35-27 record as head coach at Notre Dame (2005-09). Weis’ college experience also includes three seasons at South Carolina (1986-88). He was an NFL assistant from 1990-2004, the last seven as an offensive coordinator, and served as the Kansas City Chiefs’ OC in 2010.