A few years ago, Will Healy was a college football darling. He was dubbed as an up-and-coming coach at the Group of Five level.
Earlier this week, Charlotte fired Healy midway through the season after a 1-7 start to the year. Things spiraled quickly for Charlotte and the tailspin has the 49ers seeking a new head coach.
Who might be in the running for the gig? We look at the possible candidates for the job, which is fairly appealing with Charlotte soon joining the AAC.
Want to move away from a youthful head coach after the failed try with Healy? Holtz previously served as the head coach at UConn, ECU, South Florida, and Louisiana Tech. He also just led the Birmingham Stallions to a 2022 USFL title. He’s experienced, and he’d likely help Charlotte make bowl games.
The South Carolina special teams coach went 44-14 as Lehigh’s head coach, 35-22 as Elon’s head coach, and 33-29 as Ball State’s head coach. Lembo, like Holtz, can win. South Carolina ranks second nationally in special teams efficiency this season, per ESPN.
Currently the head coach at Campbell, Minter is a former standout defensive back for the Carolina Panthers. Campbell is just 43-57 since Minter took over as the program’s head coach in 2013, but the program has posted three winning seasons since 2017 and it only became a scholarship FCS program in 2018.
Plugged in reporters at The Athletic and the Charlotte Observer mentioned Minter and Hamilton as options. Hamilton is extremely qualified, with several stops in the NFL and across the Power Five. Hamilton is currently the offensive coordinator for the Houston Texans. The Charlotte native could certainly engage a fanbase hopeful for improvement.
N.C. State’s defensive coordinator helped the Wolfpack become one of the better defensive units in the country. Charlotte’s defense is abysmal, so I’m sure the fans would be pleased to hire a defensive mind with in-state recruiting experience.
South Carolina’s defensive coordinator played and coached at N.C. State. He’s familiar with North Carolina, and he’s a well-respected coach in the industry.
Florida State’s offensive coordinator and offensive line coach held the same role for Charlotte in 2019, Will Healy’s best season with the 49ers. If he’s willing to come back, Atkins figures to be a top candidate despite his lack of head coaching experience.
The running backs coach at No. 3 Tennessee, Mack went 31-15 as the head coach at North Carolina Central from 2014-17. His head coaching experience in North Carolina makes him an intriguing option.
App State’s new offensive coordinator is just 39, but he was tremendous as Central Michigan’s offensive coordinator in previous seasons, and App State averages 36.1 points per game this season. He helped the team score 61 against UNC, and they used a ball-control attack to outlast Texas A&M. He’s a bright young talent who served as Florida’s director of player development from 2015-17. The Gators won the SEC East in 2015 and 2016.
An out-of-the-box option, Poindexter nearly landed the Virginia head coaching job last offseason. He’s the current defensive coordinator at Penn State, and he could be eager to prove he’s ready to take on a head coaching gig. He’d likely recruit well in Virginia.