The coaching carousel is one of the most unfortunate, yet entertaining parts of the college football offseason as programs shift their focus from one era to the next in search of success.
Across Division 2, the sentiment is exactly the same as the FBS as teams look to chase down the mighty titan Northwest Missouri State to claim their own national title.
While many programs won't even make the NCAA playoffs this year, some teams are being set up for long-term success. The coaches we'll highlight below might be in line for first-year glory.
Paul Tortorella — Indiana (PA)
This might be the easiest selection to make for coaches who should be successful in their first year, as Tortorella spent the last 22 years as the defensive coordinator at IUP, leading them to multiple top marks in his tenure.
Named coach after a surprise departure by new Elon coach Curt Cignetti, the former Maryland and Akron assistant will face questions on if everything can run smoothly for a Crimson Hawk team with serious title aspirations.
Big tests loom in year one against opponents such as Ashland and arch-rival California (PA), but IUP should be in prime position to head into the playoffs and try to finally break through the SR1 ceiling.
Rich Wright — Northwest Missouri State
After winning a second-straight national title, former Bearcat coach Adam Dorrel took the job at Abilene Christian, leaving the door open for long-time defensive coordinator Wright to step in and take lead of another title chase.
An easy transition for the defending champs, Wright should once again lead the best team in D2's history to the playoffs. Where it becomes tricky for the first-year coach is if he can win the third title in a row for the Bearcats. Titles are the expectation for Northwest and anything short might be seen as a disappointment.
So Wright will be successful in his first year, no doubt about that. But can a 14-year member of the staff continue title success while holding the highest perch? We shall see.
Paul Simmons — Harding
A three-time All-American during his playing career at Harding, former defensive coordinator (sense a trend with these coaches?) Paul Simmons takes the reigns after Ronnie Huckeba retired following a great run from the Bison in 2016.
Leading the Bison to some of the best defensive numbers in the country during his tenure as DC, Simmons should find some calmness when stepping into the new role as head coach as he fields a team loaded with talent along every level on both sides.
A Great American Conference title contender and playoff hopeful, Simmons should lead a great team onto the field again and see the best rushing offense from 2016 carry the charge home for another title chase.
Jon Anderson — Sioux Falls
Returning back to where Anderson got his start in coaching, the former West Virginia State lead man is now taking on the role as leader of the "Coo" as they usher in a new era looking for national success.
A playoff team in 2016, USF relies on a big run game to get things going. While some pieces are lost from that good team last year, there is still enough there that the Cougars should be a big threat from the NSIC this season.
A tough schedule awaits the first-year coach in his new dwellings, but an experienced team should make it a successful first campaign in the Midwest.