Ranking the top new coordinators in college football


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

While it's not followed as closely as the changes at the top of the football program, the hiring of solid coordinators can often make or break a program.

And it's a chore that sometimes faces successful programs on a pretty regular basis.

For example, former Oklahoma offensive coordinators Mike Leach and Chuck Long both assumed head coaching jobs after coaching on Bob Stoops' staff with the Sooners. And former Texas defensive coordinators like Dick Tomey, Greg Robinson and Gene Chizik all parlayed their experience coaching under Mack Brown to head coaching positions.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel will be facing an unprecedented dilemma -- at least while at Missouri -- as he replaces offensive coordinator Dave Christensen and defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus. Adding David Yost as his offensive coordinator and Dave Steckel as his defensive coordinator ranks as among the major changes the Tigers will be facing this season.

College Football News' Robert Cirminiello ranks the 20 biggest hirings of offensive and defensive coordinators for the upcoming season. Several have interesting Big 12 connections.

  • 4. Kevin Steele, Clemson defensive coordinator: The former Nebraska assistant and Baylor head coach will be trying to pump some life into the Tigers' defense on Dabo Swinney's staff.

  • 5. Bill Young, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator: The veteran Oklahoma State graduate returns to his old school from Miami intent on trying to bring the Cowboys' defense in line with their explosive offense.

  • 11. Greg Robinson, Michigan defensive coordinator: After washing out at Syracuse as a head coach, the former Texas defensive coordinator has been charged with bringing some life in Rich Rodriguez's group with the Wolverines.

  • 12. David Yost, Missouri offensive coordinator: After working with Missouri quarterbacks in the past, Yost was a natural pick to replace Christensen after he left for the head coaching job at Wyoming.

  • 13. Andy Ludwig, Californa offensive coordinator: Picked up stakes and moved to California after barely having time to memorize the menu at the Hibachi Hut in Manhattan during his 65-day stint on Bill Snyder's coaching staff.

  • 20. Gary Nord, Purdue: The former UTEP coach had a short stint on Howard Schnellenberger's staff at Oklahoma where he earned much derision among Sooner fans when he mentioned that he didn't see a full set of teeth in the state when coaching there.