Which Non-FBS Head Coaches Could Be Moving in 2023?

Photo courtesy HCU Athletics

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There were 11 new head coaches in the Non-FBS ranks when the carousel ended last year. That’s a remarkably high number and was the most movement across the Non-FBS landscape since I joined Dave Campbell’s Texas Football in 2018. In other words, 31 percent of Non-FBS teams in Texas had a new head coach in 2023.

The 2023 offseason appears to be less active than last year. Most of the 35 Non-FBS head coaches in Texas are likely to return. Many of the Athletic Directors take at least a week after the conclusion of the regular season to assess their football program before making any changes.

One or two coaches and their staff could possibly receive the worst possible news. The annual question regarding whether Midwestern State coach Bill Maskill might retire remains. However, it’s unlikely Maskill will retire, and every time I broach the subject, he reminds me that he has no other hobby or desire to do anything but coach.

So, the carousel outlook is far less active for this offseason. But 2023 could be very busy once again. Why? Because the FBS carousel could be of historic proportions this year, and that could translate to an active Non-FBS offseason.

It’s unlikely this offseason will have more than two or three coaches fired, and that’s good news for everyone. However, if coaches at the Group of Five schools in Texas are poached for Power 5 teams, those schools could look to the Non-FBS ranks to fill the void. Texas State finding success under former UIW coach G.J. Kinne this year is a recent example.

Which Non-FBS coaches could be on the shortlist for teams needing a head coach?

Braxton Harris, Houston Christian

Harris is in his first season at HCU and has quickly changed the culture around the program. The Huskies have secured the first winning season in program history. He is known as one of the top recruiters in FCS and has a charismatic personality that will win over even the grumpiest among us with his infectious positivity. Harris has quickly rebuilt two programs at two separate levels (HCU and NCAA Division III Howard Payne) and is a rising star. It’s easy to see why Harris could be on the move to FBS soon.

Kris McCullough, UTPB

Talking about a rising star in the coaching ranks, McCullough more than fits that definition. The 28-year-old led East Central to a win in the RV Fun Town Heritage Bowl in his first season as a head coach last year and led the Falcons to their first Lone Star Conference title and NCAA Division II playoff appearance this year. McCullough has built solid relationships with his players and will continue to garner interest as he receives national attention.

Jordan Neal, McMurry

Neal took over a McMurry program that was among the worst in NCAA Division III in 2018. Success took time for the War Hawks under Neal, but signs of progress were seen until the pandemic hit and ravaged the roster. The result was a 1-9 campaign in 2022 and concerns over the program's direction. Neal continually emphasized that last year was an anomaly and proved that this year by leading McMurry to six wins, which is the most for the program since 2012. He is another young rising star with high energy and an infectious, upbeat personality.

Jerheme Urban, Trinity

Want a guy who knows how to win at a school with extremely high admission standards? Urban has proven he can win in that circumstance and has led his alma mater to its third consecutive Southern Athletic Association title and third straight trip to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Trinity had an admission rate of 28 percent last year. Urban knows how to find the right players for his program and brings instant credibility to the locker room with his experience playing in the NFL for Kansas City and Arizona.

Clint Killough, UIW

Killough became the third head coach in three years when he was promoted to replace Kinne. Former head coach Eric Morris is now head coach at North Texas following a one-year stint as offensive coordinator at Washington State. Killough will likely lead UIW to an at-large bid in the FCS playoffs with a win at Houston Christian on Saturday. Pulling Killough away from his alma mater would take an extremely good offer, but that offer could come if the Cardinals make a run through the playoffs.

Peter Rossomando, Lamar

A win over McNeese on Saturday would mark the sixth win for the Cardinals this season. Regardless of the outcome against the Cowboys, Rossomando has led Lamar to five wins, equal to the program’s combined wins in the previous three seasons. Rossomando not only changed the culture within the program but worked with the administration to make upgrades to facilities that improved the player’s quality of life. He has experience coaching in the FBS as an assistant at Rutgers, Charlotte, and Vanderbilt and led Central Connecticut State to the program’s first FCS playoff appearance. In addition to his assistant coaching experience in FBS, Rossomando was named interim head coach and led Charlotte to a 2-2 record to finish the 2022 season. An experienced offensive line coach, Rossomando’s resume could lead to an FBS opportunity soon.

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