Barring a surprising development, the 2015-16 college football coaching carousel has ground to a halt. Twenty-eight FBS programs changed their head coaches, with the last move perhaps the most surprising. Just before national signing day, Southern Miss lost Todd Monken to the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not as their head coach, but as their offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach.
It was a reminder that the NFL is always a threat to poach college football coaches. Some coaches feel the pro game is a more comfortable fit. Others are just looking for their next challenge.
Some coaches have more success than others with the transition. Tom Coughlin went from Boston College to the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and eventually won two Super Bowl championships with the New York Giants. More recently, Oregon’s Chip Kelly made a splash by heading to the Philadelphia Eagles, but he didn’t even last three full seasons before flaming out in a culture clash.
He rebounded by taking the San Francisco 49ers' head coaching job.
Kelly’s failure in Philly won’t scare off the next NFL owner who is looking for a great college leader. Monken won’t be the last college coach to jump to the pro ranks. Who will join him? The game has a number of excellent candidates. Here are nine college coaches who are destined to wind up in the NFL sooner or later.