College football’s assistants and coordinators to watch in 2023

Two levels of heat surround college football assistant coaches: a bad level for those facing pressure to keep their jobs; and a good view, for those who are improving their chances of becoming head coaches.

Each college football season produces a new group of hot assistants who come to the attention of athletic directors and search firms looking for new head coaches.

And in college football things go fast. In 2021, Garrett Riley was the SMU offensive coordinator. He spent the 2022 season as TCU’s offensive coordinator, helping the Horned Frogs to an incredible success in the national title game, and also won the Broyles Award for the nation’s best assistant. Riley rose so quickly that Clemson hired him as head coach three days after the title game.

So, Riley makes our 2023 list of assistant coaches to watch out for, but he’s not alone. I have looked at several industry sources to compile a list of who might be next to the top programs on FBS. A factor mentioned by several sources is the attraction of school assistants who have expanded programs of names, pictures, and likenesses and who are comfortable navigating the NIL space.

The assistant coaches below are divided into two categories: those whose names have become the most popular since the 2022 season, and those who have already come under the head coach’s eye and should stay there as they enter the 2023 carousel.


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