Top Candidates: Stanford


David Shaw announced he would be stepping down as the head coach of Stanford during his post game press conference on Saturday. Shaw was 96-54 at over 12 seasons but compiled just 14 wins over the past four seasons. Stanford is not expected to compete for the Pac-12 championship every season but reaching a bowl consistently is the expectation. Shaw helped Stanford finish in the top 12 in five of his first six seasons. The next coach is likely to have familiarity with recruiting to programs with high academic standards. USC and UCLA are leaving the Pac-12 which also hurts the attractiveness of the Stanford job. The administration is still likely to have a lengthy list of interested candidates.

Mike Bloomgren (Rice Head Coach) – Stanford will almost certainly not consider Mike Bloomgren as their next head coach. Bloomgreen is 16-38 over five years at Rice and has never made a bowl game. He does understand how to recruit with high academic standards which is the enticing part of his experience. Bloomgren coached under Shaw at Stanford from 2011 to 2017. Stanford will only consider Bloomgren if they are looking for a current coach who has experience recruiting a similar landscape. Bloomgren is more likely to be fired by Rice than to be hired by Stanford.

Troy Taylor (Sacramento State Head Coach) – Troy Taylor is 29-7 over three seasons at Sacramento State. Taylor currently has his team undefeated and ranked number two in the country. The Hornets were co-champions of the Big Sky and are considered one of the favorites to win the National Championship. Taylor has spent his entire career on the west coast including multiple stops at Pac-12 schools. Making the jump from Sacramento State to Stanford may be a big jump but Taylor also may be the right fit.

Pep Hamilton (Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator) – Pep Hamilton has bounced around college football, the NFL and the XFL giving him a wealth of experience. Hamilton coached at Stanford from 2010 to 2012 where he became familiarity with the program and the standards. Hamilton was a head coach in the XFL’s lone season in 2020 before the league folded. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2020 where Justin Herbert won offensive rookie of the year. Hamilton has not coached in college since 2018 which poses the question if he would even want to return to college football.

Brent Brennan (San Jose State Head Coach) – Brent Brennan is an underrated candidate because his overall record is not flashy. Brennan has turned San Jose State around over the past three seasons. The Spartans went 7-4 this season and are destined for another bowl game this winter. Brennan has coached at three different Pac-12 programs over the course of his tenure. Brennan has helped the Spartans defense rank inside the top 25 twice over the past three seasons after being ranked 99th in 2019. Brennan will likely receive a power five offer in the near future but it may not be this year.

Troy Walters (Cincinnati Bengals Wide Receiver Coach) – Troy Walters played at Stanford from 1996 to 1999. He was also named a First Team All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award as a senior. Walters was named a finalist for the Broyles Award in 2017 after helping UCF finish 13-0. Walters followed Scott Frost to Nebraska before parting ways after the 2019 season. He joined the Cincinnati Bengals staff and helped develop one of the best offenses in the NFL led by Ja’marr Chase. Walters has never been a head coach but Stanford may be interested in giving one of their own a chance at the job.

Ryan Grubb (Washington Offensive Coordinator) – Ryan Grubb’s name has not been mentioned for many jobs but it should be. Washington was one of the of the worst offensive teams in 2021 but they are one of the best in 2022. Grubb helped the Huskies improve from the 108th ranked scoring offense to the 6th in just one season. He is also the quarterback coach and helped Michael Penix become one of the best quarterbacks in the country. Grubb was also the offensive coordinator at Fresno State for three seasons prior to taking the job with Washington. He has only spent one season at a power five school which could deter Stanford from considering Grubb.

Chris Petersen (Former Washington and Boise State Coach) – As soon as David Shaw announced he was stepping down numerous outlets pointed to Chris Petersen as one of the top candidates. Petersen has been out of coaching since 2019 after the profession took a toll on him. He has never eliminated the possibility of returning to college football and Stanford would allow him a position with lower expectations. Coaching college football is still a grind and Petersen may not be ready to return to the lifestyle. Stanford would certainly have interest if Petersen is ready to return to the sidelines.

Tosh Lupoi (Oregon Defensive Coordinator) – Tosh Lupoi is a young coach rising through the ranks. Lupoi is only 41 years old and has already spent three seasons as a defensive coordinator at the power five level including a stint at Alabama. He has coached under Nick Saban and Urban Meyer in his short career. Lupoi’s defense this season has recorded 15 interceptions which ranks as one of the best in the Pac-12. He played and coached at Cal and also spent time at Washington over the course of his tenure. Oregon’s defense leaves more to be desired which is a main reason why Stanford will likely go another direction.

Others to be considered: Bill O’Brien (Alabama Offensive Coordinator), Bronco Mendenhall (Former BYU and Virginia Head Coach), Dave Clawson (Wake Forest Head Coach), Mike Elko (Duke Head Coach), Vic Fangio (Former Denver Broncos Head Coach)


Top Candidates: Duke


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