There will be 27 new FBS head coaches walking the sidelines when the 2019 college football season kicks off later this year. Fans will be interested in which one or ones will have the most success. Along with the two-dozen-plus head coaching changes, there were plenty of assistant coaches that changed addresses in the offseason. Many of them may have an even greater impact than some new head coaches.
GRAHAM HARRELL, USC Offensive Coordinator After losing former Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury to the NFL, USC settled on another Red Raiders’ product. Harrell was a record-setting quarterback under then-head coach Mike Leach before a short professional career netted a Super Bowl ring while he was on the roster of the Green Bay Packers.
Harrell spent a season with Oklahoma State in 2009 and then worked for Leach at Washington State in 2014 and ’15. For the last three seasons, he helped North Texas rack up yards by the bunches as the Mean Green’s offensive coordinator.
North Texas finished 20th in total offense in 2018 averaging 461 yards per game. Harrell’s unit was 12th in passing yards with 307 per game and the offense wound up 27th in scoring averaging just under 35 points a game. Harrell’s quarterback, Mason Fine, finished 10th in the nation in passing yards with 3,793 and he also threw 27 touchdowns compared to just five interceptions.
Harrell will bring his version of the Air Raid to a Trojans offense that finished 96th in the country in total offense (383 yards per game). He will have the talent to make it work at USC which finished just 5-7 last season.
KALEN DeBOER, Indiana Offensive Coordinator Indiana got one of the most unsung names in college football as their new offensive coordinator. Kalen DeBoer, who spent the past two seasons resurrecting the offense at Fresno State, joins the Hoosiers in 2019. DeBoer has plenty of experience with high-flying offenses and winning.
He was the former head coach at NAIA Sioux Falls and led the program to three national championships and an overall record of 67-3 in five seasons. He spent time at Eastern Michigan before moving on to Fresno State. There, he took over an offense that ranked lower than 110th in the nation and turned it into a top-50 unit. The Bulldogs went 22-6 over the past two seasons with DeBoer running the offense. They were 4-22 the previous two seasons before he arrived.
SEAN GLEESON, Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy dipped into college football’s lower divisions once again to find his new offensive coordinator. Former coordinator Mike Yurcich, who came from Division II Shippensburg, left to become the passing game coordinator at Ohio State. Now, Gundy turns the Cowboys offense over to Sean Gleeson who comes to Stillwater from Princeton.
Gleeson guided a Princeton offense that led all of the FCS in scoring averaging 47.0 points per game. The Tigers were second in the country in total offense putting up 536.8 yards a game. Gleeson’s quarterback, John Lovett, won the Bushnell Cup for the second consecutive season. The Bushnell Cup is given annually to the best player in the Ivy League.
Since Gleeson’s arrival at Princeton, the Tigers offense has averaged 36.9 points per game, the highest output over any six-year stretch in program history. Gleeson will take over a Cowboys offense that will be breaking in a new quarterback.