Coaching rumors and notes: State of Texas could be in for wild in 2023-24 carousel

UTSA Athletics

Share or Save for Later

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Save to Favorites

The 2023-24 coaching carousel could be a wild ride for the FBS programs in Texas with a legitimate possibility that seven of the 13 jobs could turnover in a cycle kickstarted by Texas A&M’s decision to boot Jimbo Fisher 10 games into his sixth season in charge. 

The longest-tenured FBS coach in Texas is Sam Houston’s K.C. Keeler in his ninth season, but his first at this level. Take him away, and the 11 remaining FBS head coaches in Texas are, in average, 3.27 years into the job. Mike Bloomgren (Rice) and Dana Dimel (UTEP) are in their sixth seasons. Dana Holgorsen is in his fifth. Dave Aranda and Jeff Traylor are nearly four seasons in, and the rest of the bunch is on year three or fewer. 

Dimel and Bloomgren were the only two FBS hires in state during the 2017-18 cycles. In the five cycles since then, the state has only replaced more than two coaches in a year once and that was in 2022 when Sonny Dykes took TCU, Joey McGuire headed to Texas Tech, and Rhett Lashlee slid into the chair at SMU. The 23-24 cycle could offer unprecedented change as programs jockey with a new reality of conference realignment and an expanded playoff. The change at Texas A&M means we already have one guaranteed change ahead of next season. 

Let’s examine how over half of the jobs in Texas could potentially open by the end of the year. 


Dana Dimel, UTEP: Dimel took over a Miners program in the cellar of FBS football after a winless 2017. He built the program into a bowl team by 2021 and stock was rising in the Sun City. Dimel was extended through 2024 thanks to that seven-win 2021 season, but UTEP hasn’t reached a bowl since and are currently 8-14 since the start of 2022. Dimel has one year left on his contract and sources tell me it is more than likely that Dimel is not retained after the season. He’d be owed roughly $667,292 if let go after 2023. He is set to make $850,000 if retained through 2024. 

Mike Bloomgren, Rice: Proof that college football is a cruel sport is that sources indicate the Rice head man is on the hot seat despite improving the Owls record each full season he’s been in charge and building a much more talented roster than he inherited. Still, no finishes of .500 or better after five seasons and zero bowl bids outside of APR qualification after a five-win 2022 meant that the 2023 season would decide Bloomgren’s fate. Rice is 4-6 and must win out to reach bowl eligibility. With a new athletic director in Tommy McClelland in charge, change wouldn’t be shocking. 

Dave Aranda, Baylor: Sources tell us that Baylor wants to keep Aranda. He’s a good culture fit, he proved capable of coaching a team to great heights in 2022, and the buyout is at least $12 million dollars. But the Bears are 3-7 and will finish with a losing record for third time in four seasons under Aranda. The recruiting momentum isn’t there and the fan base is outspoken about wanting change. He’s already on his second offensive and defensive coordinators since arriving before 2020. 


Jeff Traylor, UTSA: Folks in Texas know all about the UTSA head coach. He won three state titles in five state championship appearances while leading his hometown Gilmer Buckeyes. After a few years of being an assistant at places such as Texas and Arkansas, Traylor took over at UTSA prior to 2020 and led the Roadrunners to Conference USA crowns in 2021 and 2022. They are currently 6-0 as members of the American Athletic Conference. Traylor is 27-3 in conference play as a head coach. He’ll get calls for Texas A&M and Arkansas, at least. He’d be a high priority at Baylor if that opened. 

Rhett Lashlee, SMU: The former Arkansas quarterback built a reputation as an offensive coordinator at stops such as Auburn, UConn, SMU, and Miami before taking over the Mustangs in 2022. He’s 15-8 overall and 11-3 in the AAC. The Mustangs is 8-2 this year and undefeated in conference play. They’ve only won 10 games once since the early 1980s and that was when Lashlee was an offensive coordinator on the Hilltop. His Arkansas roots should get him some buzz for the Razorbacks job, and his SEC ties could get him at the door at a place like Mississippi State. 

G.J. Kinne, Texas State: Kinne parlayed one year of magic at Incarnate Word – his first as a head coach – into the Texas State job. He’s already got the Bobcats bowl eligible for the first time since 2014. Kinne is 18-5 as a collegiate head coach with a deep run in the FCS playoffs and a win over a Power Five program (Baylor) in his first year as an FBS head coach. He’s a young offensive mind that’ll absolutely be on job boards across Texas and the country despite his relative inexperience. He'd probably be UTSA's first call if Traylor moved on. 

This article is available to our Digital Subscribers.
Click "Subscribe Now" to see a list of subscription offers.
Already a Subscriber? Sign In to access this content.

Sign In