Philadelphia, PA – Every offseason there is a slew of fresh faces roaming the sidelines of major universities across America, but the head coaching turnover in the Football Bowl Subdivision has been especially busy heading into the 2013 campaign.
Thirty-one teams, or about one quarter of the FBS schools, will enter the upcoming season with a new head coach. Whether it be turning around a struggling program, or continuing the success of his predecessor, the following coaches are about to embark on their new adventure with the highest of expectations.
BRET BIELEMA (Arkansas) - The Razorbacks had lofty goals heading into last season following an outstanding 11-2 mark in 2011, but they finished their one and only campaign under John L. Smith a disappointing 4-8. Enter Bielema, who stewarded an impressive program at Wisconsin over the last half-decade (68-24), including three straight Rose Bowl appearances from 2010-12. Leaving a rock-solid situation in the Big Ten seems like a big risk, but the potential glory in the SEC was too much for Bielema to pass up.
GUS MALZAHN (Auburn) - It's hard to believe that the Tigers are just a few seasons removed from winning the BCS National Championship (2010), as they endured one of the worst seasons in school history last fall (3-9, 0-8 SEC). Malzahn, who was the offensive coordinator for the 2010 championship squad, had great success in his only season at Arkansas State in 2012, winning the Sun Belt Conference as well as the GoDaddy.com Bowl. The Auburn faithful hope that the return of his up-tempo style of offense will help turn around the storied program.
TOMMY TUBERVILLE (Cincinnati) - Tuberville, the longest-tenured and most successful head coach on this list, has racked up 130 wins over his 17-year career manning the sidelines at Ole Miss, Auburn and Texas Tech, including seven bowl victories. Now he'll take his spread offense up north to Cincinnati, a talented team that has gone an impressive 19-6 over the past two seasons. In a winnable Big East, Tuberville hopes his brand of coaching will be enough to challenge conference-favorite Louisville.
MARK HELFRICH (Oregon) - No coach in college football has bigger shoes to fill this season than Helfrich, who takes over for current Philadelphia Eagles head man Chip Kelly. The Ducks were spectacular in Kelly's four seasons, going 46-7, winning the Pac-10/12 title each year and claiming a pair of BCS bowl wins. Although Helfrich has never been a head coach, he has plenty of familiarity with this team, having served as the offensive coordinator for the past four seasons, which is the same role Kelly filled at Oregon prior to his promotion in 2009.
DARRELL HAZELL (Purdue) - Once a perennial power in the Big Ten, the Boilermakers have been mired in mediocrity in recent years, having failed to win more than seven games in any of the past five seasons, and Hazell will try to turn around Purdue's fortune. After spending more than 20 years as an assistant at various institutions, he finally got his chance at a head coaching gig with Kent State in 2011, and just a year later he led the Golden Flashes to an 11-3 record and a berth in the Mid-American Conference title game.
SCOTT SHAFER (Syracuse) - Former Orange head coach Doug Marrone had an up-and- down four seasons at Syracuse (25-25), but the momentum gained from his impressive 2012 campaign, where he went 8-5 and won a share of the Big East title, allowed him to land the coveted position as Chan Gailey's successor with the Buffalo Bills. Syracuse now turns the keys over to Shafer, who had been the team's defensive coordinator since 2009 and will surely bring a fresh philosophy to a locker room formerly privy to Marrone's mostly offensive- minded schemes.
BUTCH JONES (Tennessee) - The Derek Dooley experiment in Knoxville did not end well for the Volunteers, as he went only 15-21 during his three seasons and underachieved greatly in the past two years in particular, winning just one of his 15 SEC matchups since 2011. Jones takes over after displaying sustained success as the leader of Central Michigan (27-13) and then Cincinnati (23-14) over the past six seasons, but it's safe to say that the MAC and the Big East aren't quite on the same level with the mighty SEC, and he will surely have his hands full early on in his tenure.
KLIFF KINGSBURY (Texas Tech) - Following Tuberville's abrupt departure from Lubbock, the Red Raiders turned plenty of heads by hiring their former quarterback Kingsbury to fill the void. At just 33 years old, he is the second-youngest coach in the FBS, but his brief coaching resume' has been outstanding thus far, which includes a stint as the offensive coordinator for Texas A&M in 2012 as the mastermind behind Heisman-winning QB Johnny Manziel's record-setting campaign.
GARY ANDERSON (Wisconsin) - With the departure of Bielema, the Badgers looked to the lower rungs of the FBS for their replacement and came away with Utah State's Gary Anderson. After starting his head coaching career with a 4-8 record in 2009, Anderson improved all the way to 11-2 in 2012, winning the Western Athletic Conference as well as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl over Toledo (41-15), and in the process he gave Utah State its first consecutive winning seasons since 1979-80. The question of whether Anderson can keep his head above water in the more challenging Big Ten remains to be seen, but the former Utah defensive coordinator has the correct mindset to be successful in the hard-nosed league.
BOBBY PETRINO (Western Kentucky) - Petrino's career trajectory has been a strange one. He was outstanding at Louisville from 2003-06 (41-9) before landing the head coaching gig with the Atlanta Falcons, but he left the team before his first NFL season was complete to jump back into the college ranks, taking the coveted position at Arkansas. He then built a top-tier program, going 11-2 in 2011, only to lose his job following an April 2012 scandal. Now Petrino has to reboot his career in the Sun Belt Conference, as he attempts to improve a Hilltoppers squad that went 7-5 a season ago.
OTHER NOTABLE NEWCOMERS: Steve Addazio (Boston College), Sonny Dykes (California), Mike MacIntyre (Colorado), Paul Haynes (Kent State), Mark Stoops (Kentucky), Skip Holtz (Louisiana Tech), Dave Doeren (NC State), Rod Carey (Northern Illinois), Ron Caragher (San Jose State), Todd Monken (Southern Miss), Matt Rhule (Temple), Willie Taggart (South Florida).