Coaches come and go, it’s a fact of life in college football. So is the eternal sense of optimism that comes whenever a football program starts a new chapter of its existence.

Whatever struggles a program may have experienced, whatever doldrums they may be slogging their way through, the hiring of a new coach brings hope. Maybe it’s someone who had success at a previous institution that could turn around a fledgling program. Maybe it’s the coordinator who’s finally ready to take on his first big head coaching job. Maybe it’s the hot, young coach on the market who has worked his way up the coaching ladder to finally take over the sleeping giant. Maybe it’s Lane Kiffin.

Another fact of life in college football is that not every coaching change works out as it was intended, no matter how bright fans, analysts, and experts think that new era is going to turn out to be.

Of course, that doesn’t stop every coaching hire being labeled a “home run” at the outset. Why college football people love using a baseball analogy to describe coaches being hired is a bit of a weird peculiarity in and of itself, but that’s another #longread for another day.

File this one under the “Future Cold Takes” file because odds are not every single one of these hires will turn out to be the “home run” that it was hyped to be.

Willie Taggart – Oregon

Tom Herman – Texas

 This is the closest thing to a home run hire Texas officials can make. Herman is 22-4 in two seasons at Houston and 6-0 against ranked teams. UT fans are simply starved for a winner. At this point, if Herman can get the Horns to a bowl game, that would represent progress. – Austin American-Statesman

While not the exact “home run” analogy, I’m going to assume that “unicorn” puts Herman in the same class.

LSU – Ed Orgeron


Fansided even has a listicle for not just one but five reasons why Coach O was a home run for the Tigers.

The home runs even go down to the coordinator level, like for new LSU offensive coordinator Matt Canada.

Jeff Brohm – Purdue

Brohm should definitely be honored that he got into the elite “home run hire” territory by also being a GRAND SLAM hire.

Matt Rhule – Baylor

Major Applewhite – Houston

Lane Kiffin – Florida Atlantic

When reports had Lane Kiffin as Houston’s frontrunner, Mike Farrell thought it would be a home run. It’s hard to imagine he feels differently about FAU hiring Kiffin.

Even if Kiffin puts his foot in his mouth over something, or gets the NCAA enforcement division riled up, or simply finds that there isn’t enough talent in the program to push Louisiana Tech and Old Dominion out of the way in this league, the Owls still will have taken their biggest home-run swing since agreeing to let Howard Schnellenberger sell his original concept of football in paradise. And if it turns out that Kiffin has matured to the point that he really can teach FAU players about doing things the right way and earning every success, that would be a fine surprise. – Palm Beach Post

Butch Davis – Florida International

Even fellow college coaches are getting in on the home run derby. Miami (FL) coach Mark Richt thinks Butch Davis is a “home run” for FIU.

Luke Fickell – Cincinnati 

Geoff Collins – Temple

The old Temple coach thinks the new Temple coach is a home run hire…

Shockingly, Collins “won the press conference,” continuing an impressive streak of every new football coach aside from Jim Tomsula doing so.

Charlie Strong – South Florida

And hey, even we got into the act on this one as well! The Comeback named Charlie Strong a “home run hire” for the Bulls


Wait a minute though… these sound just a little bit familiar…

Apparently not all home run hires are created equal. Be careful out there football fans.