The 2021-22 college football coaching carousel has been the wildest in recent memory.
We’ve seen several high-profile coaches leave great jobs to head elsewhere. When Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma for USC, it was shocking. The same goes for Brian Kelly’s decision to leave Notre Dame for LSU.
Over the last couple of weeks, though, it’s felt like the dust has mostly settled on the coaching changes. There will still be some assistants that move around, but it felt like the major changes were over.
Until Tuesday afternoon.
The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman reported that Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh might have interest in returning to the NFL. Feldman cited NFL and Michigan sources, so there’s probably some legs to this.
Harbaugh might feel like he’s accomplished all he can accomplish at Michigan after finally beating Ohio State, then getting blown out in the College Football Playoff by Georgia.
Feldman specifically mentioned the Las Vegas Raiders as a potential destination for Harbaugh.
The Michigan job opening this late in the cycle would definitely be disruptive. And it could potentially impact the Tennessee Vols.
If Harbaugh leaves for the NFL, the first name that comes to mind for the Michigan job is Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell.
Campbell is one of those coaches who is always mentioned as a potential option for programs, but he’s declined to leave Ames despite his success with the Cyclones.
The Michigan job, however, could pique Campbell’s interest.
Campbell is an Ohio native that has spent most of his career in the midwest. There are only a handful of jobs that he would be interested in taking.
CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported in 2020 that Campbell would only have interest in taking a head coaching job at Ohio State or Texas. Jordan Stack, a Toledo area reporter (where Campbell coached from 2009-2015), disputed that report.
I could see Campbell being the Wolverines’ top option. And I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the job that finally gets Campbell away from Iowa State.
And if that happens, then I think Tennessee offensive coordinator Alex Golesh could become a candidate to replace Campbell at Iowa State.
Golesh coached under Campbell at Iowa State from 2016-19. He was also with Campbell at Toledo.
Hiring Golesh would allow Iowa State to keep some familiarity, while also landing a coach associated with a high-powered offense.
Golesh is a smart, likable guy. He’s absolutely head coach material. It’s not “if” he becomes a head coach, it’s when.
Fortunately for the Vols, Heupel has an in-house option in quarterbacks coach Joey Halzle to replace Golesh as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator whenever that move is needed.
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