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Which coaches are on the hot seat in Texas?

Gaby Velasquez

Seriously, what happened to Texas football this season for college football? Top ranked teams last year, like Baylor and TCU, crumbled this year during their rebuilding phases. Hopeful squads like Texas and Texas A&M fell bellow expectations, while the underdog contender Houston could not avoid upsets and mishaps. And, Texas is home to two teams at the bottom of the barrel—UTEP (3-8) and Rice (3-8).

It was a season that posed high expectations with primarily low outcomes for the Lone Star state.

Now, the pressure is at the head coach. Boosters and athletic departments are very impatient and rumors are stirring about personnel changes. To put it bluntly, not many head coaches are safe in Texas.

Here are some to note:

Charlie Strong – Texas

Well, UT Athletic Director Mike Perrin has basically signed the $10 million dollar buyout to send poor Charlie packing at this point. After the Horns’ abysmal 24-21 overtime loss to Kansas, it was obvious to everyone that Charlie’s job in Austin would come to an end. It was a loss to Kansas—a team that had not won against a FBS team since 2014.

Strong’s three-year tenure at UT has been marked by a 16-21 overall record, including three back-to-back-to-back losing seasons as head coach.

The sad part is Perrin and the UT athletic department has left Strong and his team in limbo. There have been reports that he has been fired as head coach, but Perrin has yet to announce whether or not he will be.

Regardless of the outcome of Friday’s game against TCU, it is pretty clear where Strong’s career with the Longhorns stands. Boosters don’t want him, nor do the fans. It’s not about whether or not he will be fired; rather, it will be about who Texas is looking at to replace him.

Kevin Sumlin – Texas A&M

Sumlin is the best thing to happen to Texas A&M.

People do not remember how inconsistent ex-head coach Mike Sherman was from 2008-11. Sherman had overrated quarterbacks with Stephen McGee and Ryan Tannehill—who, despite being a quarterback in the NFL, is still highly overrated. The season that made me laugh the most under Sherman was 2011 when he boasted his team into the top-10 rankings, yet finished 7-6, which included the final matchup between Texas and A&M where ex-Longhorn Justin Tucker buried the game-winning field goal to win 27-25.

Anyways, back to Sumlin. He had notable seasons from 2012-13 with Johnny Manziel at gunslinger, but ever since he left, Sumlin has struggled.

Recently, the Aggies squeaked by UTSA 23-10, and carry a 8-3 record. It’s highly unlikely Sumlin gets fired for, at worst, a 8-5 record, and the idea that A&M decides to buyout his hefty contract.

However, it will be a watchful decision that will pressure Sumlin to rectify his defense and sharpen his consistency during the 2017 season.

Kliff Kingsbury – Texas Tech

Kingsbury and his Red Raiders just game off a beyond embarrassing 66-10 loss to Iowa State. The Cyclones have not put up those numbers since 1980.

Tech and Kingsbury have never been notorious for their defense, but being statistically the worst defense in the nation is eye opening. After Iowa State rolled with 608 total yards of offense, it set the Red Raiders at 128th in the nation for total defense.

It seems like the 37-year-old coach’s job is pretty intact for the 2017 season; however, there could be major personnel changes at both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions.

Baylor – Jim Grobe

Jim Grobe and Baylor football is what President Gerald Ford was to the oval office in 1974—no one wanted him, but he was all they had until his term ended. Poor Grobe never really got a chance with Baylor. He was given a team that from the get-go was deemed to do poorly based off all the preseason antics surrounding ex-head coach Art Briles and the sexual assault scandal.

It seems like new athletic director Mack Rhoades has not rested on the new coaching job hunt, and possibly has narrowed down his list to three candidates: ex-LSU head coach Les Miles, Houston’s Tom Herman, or SMU’s Chad Morris.

Miles is the ideal man, but the Bears will have to hope they get to him before Texas and Oregon do. Although he would shift the dynamic from the team to focus on his defensive expertise, Miles is clearly the most qualified candidate for the job.

Next up, Herman, who happens to be the most likely candidate, has an extremely notable 22-3 record with the Cougars. In fact, Rhoades was the athletic director at Houston and hired Herman as head coach. With the help of their history with each other, a reunion between Rhoades and Herman seems like the best fit for Baylor. But, again, they have to keep a watchful eye out for Texas, who would love Herman in their department.

Morris seems like the last viable choice for the Bears; however, he poses unique attributes. He has a lackluster 7-15 overall record as head coach for SMU, but it’s his tactics and job history that could help him land this job. While as an offensive coordinator, he and Dabo Swinney helped turn Clemson into a national championship contender. Even previously, he was a prestigious high school football coach in Texas, holding a 169-38 overall record. Morris could use his ties in Texas to better recruit and use that to his advantage if he were Baylor’s head coach.

Rice – David Bailiff

From the start of the season until the beginning of November, Rice held a 1-8 overall record and hit rock bottom. They were the furthest thing from anything special and were suffering heavy losses to sub-par conference teams.

Fingers started pointing David Bailiff’s direction all up until the Charlotte game.

Rice snapped a six-game C-USA losing streak after beating the 49ers in a wild 22-21 game. They were down 21-0 at the beginning, but then turned the game around with 22 unanswered points to take the victory. They translated their success against UTEP where they shut out the Miners 34-3 by halftime and defeated the Miners 44-24.

But does that save Bailiff’s job?

He has had only four winning teams out of his 10 seasons with the Owls. Does his 56-68 overall record do him justice to keep him as the head coach? Athletic director Joe Karlgaard will have to evaluate Bailiff’s success in recent years, which isn’t much. He has lost at least eight games in five seasons, which is a stat line that can’t be ignored.

The ultimate question is whether or not Rice will learn to live with this mediocrity and us the try-again-next-year mentality, or if they will move on with another coach.

UTEP – Sean Kugler

Last on the list, but to El Paso fans, definitely not the least attention that should be taken away from the fourth year head coach. During those years, Kugler has posted a 17-31 overall record and three straight losing seasons.

Despite all local fans’ pressure, Kugler claims he will remain with the Miners for as long as he can.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be, hey, we’re going to be 10-2 the day I get there and it’s going to stay that way,” Kugler said. “And I’m taking on that responsibility with that job. I’m not going to stop until it’s done and I really feel we’ll get it done and I’m confident in that. So I’m not going anywhere; until they kick me out, I’m going to keep fighting until we make this work.”

There really is not a likelihood that Bob Stull will pull the plug on the fourth year head coach, even if he did lose to the two bottom teams in the conference, FAU and Rice. Stull would have to buyout Kugler’s contract for $500,000-plus and look for a coach to fill in the shoes of an already redefining program. And, notorious as he is, Stull has been known to be very patient when holding the firing trigger.

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About the Contributors
Adrian Broaddus, Sports Editor
Adrian Broaddus is the sports editor for The Prospector. He is a junior multimedia journalism major with a minor in political science.   Adrian was born and raised in El Paso, TX, and is a graduate of Franklin high school. He entered college in the fall of 2015 in hopes to better his career in journalism.   Along with sports, Adrian enjoys writing music reviews, perspective columns and news stories on politics.   Although he is pursuing his degree in journalism, Adrian would like to go to law school and be an attorney while doing part-time work in journalism.  
Gaby Velasquez, Photo editor
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Which coaches are on the hot seat in Texas?