College Football Hot Seat Report
Welcome to the Coaches Database Hot Seat Report, an updating list of college football head coaches with low job security. With each update, coaches will be added, removed and shuffled around based on their performance (note: coaches are listed alphabetically). Keep up with coaches changes that have already happened on our FBS Coaching Carousel page.
**UPDATED DECEMBER 5, 2022**
Coaches from previous versions of the report that have already been let go.
- Scott Frost (Nebraska): Fired on 9/11
- Herm Edwards (Arizona State): Parted ways on 9/18
- Geoff Collins (Georgia Tech): Fired on 9/26
- Karl Dorrell (Colorado): Fired on 10/2
- Will Healy (Charlotte): Fired on 10/23
- Bryan Harsin (Auburn): Fired on 10/31
- Jeff Scott (South Florida): Fired on 11/6
- Jake Spavital (Texas State): Fired on 11/27
- Philip Montgomery (Tulsa): Fired on 11/27
- Marcus Arroyo (UNLV): Fired on 11/28
- Tim Lester (Western Michigan): Fired on 11/28
- Seth Littrell (North Texas): Fired on 12/4
- Ken Niumatalolo (Navy): Fired on 12/11
YOUR CHAIR IS ON FIRE, SIR
Coaches at the end of the line at their current school.
- Neal Brown (West Virginia)
- Year four under Brown is off to a slow start, as the Mountaineers currently sit at the bottom of the Big 12 with a 0-2 (2-3 overall) record. After three and a half seasons at the helm, Brown is just 19-21 (11-17) overall with two low-level bowl berths (1-1). Dana Holgorsen resigned in 2019 to take the Houston job after going 15-10 in the previous two seasons, and at that time there were plenty of rumblings that he was going to get let go. UPDATE: WVU finished 5-7 (3-6) and AD Shane Lyons was already fired.
- Danny Gonzales (New Mexico)
- Only in year three but on track for another bottom of the division finish, New Mexico has yet to find any footing under former Lobo Gonzales. Though hired in 2020 after a two-year stint as DC at Arizona State, Gonzales’ defense this year ranks among the worst in the Mountain West in terms of points allowed. The offense is no better, currently second-worst in yardage and points per game. UPDATE: The Lobos are 2-10, bringing their record under Gonzales to 7-24.
- David Shaw (Stanford)
- Shaw is one of the highest paid coaches in America, bringing in nearly $9 million in 2019 alone, all while the Cardinal have finished below .500 in three-straight seasons. The Stanford program has fallen a long way from the 2015 team that won the Rose Bowl and finished ranked #3 in the country and as the school’s investment in Shaw has increased, on-field production has hit the skids. UPDATE: Shaw announced on Sunday that he was stepping down as head coach.
THIS SEAT IS RATHER WARM
These coaches need to start winning right now, but that may not even be enough…
- Dino Babers (Syracuse)
- One bowl game in six seasons, with the other five all sub-.500 finishes. Babers came in from Bowling Green after two very successful seasons, but has not figured things out at Syracuse. The 10-3 record in 2018 got him a new deal through 2023, but another losing season and he is going to be out a year early. UPDATE: Babers had Syracuse ranked and 6-0 but with five-straight losses the ranking is gone and the heat turned right back up. The Orange finished 7-5.
- Scott Satterfield (Louisville)
- Satterfield is 18-19 in three seasons with the Cardinals, reaching two bowl games (1-1). He was ACC COY in 2019 after going 8-5 and winning the Music City Bowl, but has finished below .500 in each of the two seasons since then and has lost much of the fanbase. UPDATE 12/5: Satterfield has accepted the head coaching job at Cincinnati.
WE’VE GOT OUR EYE ON YOU, COACH
Here are those guys that are having a rough year (or two… or three…) but aren’t in total danger. Yet.
- Tom Allen (Indiana)
- The tides turned quickly for Allen and the Hoosiers, with the coach bringing the perennial underachiever IU program into the national picture in 2020 and earning a preseason #17 ranking in 2021. But that’s where the fairy tale ended, as Indiana went just 2-10 (0-9 Big Ten) and were embarrassed in several national games that they fought so hard to earn the year before. Allen is on a new deal (with a huge buyout) and is still well-liked by many in the fanbase, but that goodwill is running out quick. UPDATE: IU started with three wins (ensuring a better record than last year) but then lost seven-straight. The Hoosiers lost to rival Purdue at home to finish 4-8 (2-7) on the year.
- Kirk Ferentz (Iowa)
- Fans are growing anxious with the lack of progress within the program and Ferentz’ insistence on putting his son Brian in charge of the offense. The Hawkeyes’ average the second-lowest offensive yards in all of FBS (251 yds) and are scoring less than 18 points per game. However, they also have a chance to win the Big Ten West thanks in part to their defense, which ranks 3rd in the FBS in yards allowed and 5th in points allowed. Ferentz has been at the reins since 1999 and has seven 10+ win seasons (including last year) but the 67-year-old’s best coaching years are likely behind him. UPDATE: The Hawkeyes had a pathway to the Big Ten Championship but blew it against Nebraska, finishing 7-5 (5-4) and destined for another mid-range bowl game.
- Jeff Hafley (Boston College)
- The Eagles won 6 games in each of their first two seasons under Hafley, but this year’s squad has taken some steps back. BC has the least productive offense in the ACC and has already lost four with an incredibly rough schedule remaining (four of six on the road, three opponents currently ranked). This will only be Hafley’s first without bowl eligibility, but not a great sign of things to come. UPDATE: BC stopped a four-game losing streak by upsetting NC State, but still finished with a 3-9 (2-6) record.
COACHES THAT ARE SAFE (FOR NOW)
This section is comprised of coaches who were previously in one of the above categories this season or are just starting to feel heat but are not yet in any real danger of being fired.
- Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern)
- There have been plenty of highs and lows during Fitzgerald’s tenure as head coach of his alma mater, and the coach has weathered many storms along the way. The Wildcats have gone 3-9 twice in the last three years, though they also had their best finish under Fitz in 2020 going 7-2 (6-1) and landing 10th in the final polls. We don’t think Fitz will get fired – he’s under contract through 2030 and the school just released some stunning visuals for a new football stadium – but some consistency in Evanston would help his case. UPDATE: After a season-opening win in Dublin, the Cats lost eleven-straight – including home games against Miami (OH) and FCS Southern Illinois – to finish 1-11 (0-8).
- Scot Loeffler (Bowling Green)
- There are not a lot of coaches on the list who were hired as recently as Loeffler (2019), but his tenure at BGSU has been bad enough for him to be sitting on a pretty hot seat. He brought an impressive resume – save for zero head coaching experience – to the Falcons program but is just 9-25 overall and 5-17 in MAC play. UPDATE: The Falcons finished 6-6 (5-3) and are bowl-eligible for the first time under Loeffler.