The silly season got sillier on Thursday as Maine head coach Joe Harasymiak accepted an assistant coach position at the University of Minnesota. He's going from leading the Black Bears to their most successful FCS ever — reaching the FCS semifinals while enduring 12,000 miles of travel — to coaching in the Big Ten. Maine is the 22nd FCS school to have a coaching transition this offseason.
[divider]COMPARE: Any Two FCS Players | Any Two FCS Teams
NFL DRAFT: Top FCS Prospects For 2019[divider]
Harasymiak was hired by Maine to be the head coach in Dec. 2015, when long-time legend Jack Cosgrove stepped down. The assistant had coached under Cosgrove since 2011.
PODCAST: Joe Harasymiak talks to HERO Sports' Brian McLaughlin
EDITOR'S NOTE: This published piece will be updated immediately when new news breaks. Check back often …
FCS COACHING CHANGES
|TEAM||OUTGOING||WHY?||NEW COACH (LAST JOB)|
|Austin Peay||Will Healy||Took Charlotte job Dec. 4||Mark Hudspeth (ASST Miss. St.)|
|Brown||Phil Estes||Stepped down||James Perry (HC Bryant)|
|Bryant||James Perry||Took Brown job||Chris Merritt (HC high school)|
|Charleston Southern||Mark Tucker||Resigned Dec. 7||Autry Denson (RB Notre Dame)|
|Chattanooga||Tom Arth||Took Akron job Dec. 14||Rusty Wright (ASST Ga. State)|
|Drake||Rick Fox||Resigned Dec. 10||Todd Stepsis (DC Drake)|
|Eastern Illinois||Kim Dameron||Contract not renewed||Adam Cushing (ASST Northwestern)|
|Elon||Curt Cignetti||Took JMU job Dec. 14||Tony Trisciani (DC Elon)|
|Howard||Mike London||Took William & Mary job||Ron Prince (ASST Michigan)|
|Jackson State||Tony Hughes||Fired Oct. 28||John Hendrick (JSU Interim)|
|James Madison||Mike Houston||Took East Carolina job Dec. 2||Curt Cignetti (HC Elon)|
|Lehigh||Andy Coen||Retired Dec. 7||TBA|
|Maine||Joe Harasymiak||Took Minnesota asst job Dec. 20||Nick Charlton (OC Maine)|
|McNeese State||Lance Guidry||Contract not renewed||Sterlin Gilbert (OC South Florida)|
|Morgan State||Ernest Jones||Interim tag removed||TBA|
|No. Carolina Central||Granville Eastman||Interim tag removed||Trei Oliver (DB Southern U.)|
|North Dakota State||Chris Klieman||Took Kansas St. job Dec. 10||Matt Entz (DC NDSU)|
|Northern Arizona||Jerome Souers||Retired||Chris Ball (DC Memphis)|
|Sacramento St.||Jody Sears||Fired Nov. 26||Troy Taylor (OC Utah)|
|Stephen F. Austin||Clint Conque||Fired in August||Colby Carthel (HC TexA&M-Comm.)|
|Texas Southern||Mike Haywood||Resigned||Clarence McKinney (ASST Arizona)|
|William & Mary||Jimmye Laycock||Retired||Mike London (HC Howard)|
NDSU COACH CHANGE: Chris Klieman leaves Bison for Kansas State
[divider]TWO COACHING CHANGES (Dec. 7): We learned Lehigh head coach Andy Coen — who will go down as tied for the all-time wins leader in school history — has stepped down because he's been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimers. We also learned of another FCS coaching change at Charleston Southern, as head coach Mark Tucker resigned, and sources have told HERO Sports it was a change that alumni and administration had wanted to see.
“Life has thrown me a curveball,” Coen said in a press release put out by Lehigh. “I am in the early stages and it is best for me to eliminate stress and concentrate on my health and well-being. It is an opportunity for me to spend more time with my family. Coaching is a 24/7 job and does not allow a lot of time for family. My wife, Laura, and my children, Molly, Nolan and Finn have supported me throughout my career and are my biggest fans. This is a very difficult decision for all of us, but it is what is best at this time.”
Tucker was 11-11 in two seasons since the former CSU assistant replaced Jamey Chadwell after the 2016 season.
[divider]AUSTIN PEAY SITUATION (6:30 p.m. – Nov. 30): Today, we learned that Austin Peay head coach Will Healy — who had been rumored to be pursued by FBS program Charlotte since last Thursday — has indeed agreed to become the new head coach of the 49ers. That pushes the number of FCS coaching changes to 15, and undoubtedly there will be more as the coaching change domino effect hits the FBS full speed and the FCS gets some of the ripple effects of it.
This year the Govs were 5-6, but again … coming into last season, if somebody had said Austin Peay would go 5-6, most FCS fans would have recommended checking in with a doctor. Healy played his college football at Richmond, then took a position on Chattanooga's staff before becoming one of the youngest head coaches in the FCS prior to the 2016 season.
Here's a Podcast we did with Will Healy last year after breaking the 29-game losing streak, and another one later in the year when the Govs were hoping for a playoff spot.
[divider]MCNEESE SITUATION (6:30 p.m. – Nov. 30): A committee comprised of McNeese officials, former football players and community members has begun the process of searching for the next Cowboy Football head coach. The committee, selected by McNeese President Dr. Daryl Burckel, is tasked with finding the best candidate to lead McNeese football into a new era. More updates will become available as the search process continues.[divider]
JMU'S HOUSTON TO EAST CAROLINA (2 p.m. – Dec. 2): The story.
[divider]WHO IS BEING CHASED (as of 5 p.m. – Nov. 30):
Brian Bohannon, Kennesaw State — The minute Paul Johnson's retirement at Georgia Tech was announced, Bohannon was one of several members of Johnson's "coaching tree" who were mentioned. Coach Bo runs the same style offense as the Yellow Jackets, has had massive success in just his four years at Kennesaw State, and he's already in the Atlanta, Ga. area and knows that talent-rich recruiting area like the back of his hand. His Owls host Wofford in the FCS Playoffs on Saturday.
Will Healy, Austin Peay — Since Houston and Charlotte went their separate ways this morning, Healy's name has popped up for the Charlotte job. Healy was the Eddie Robinson Award winner last year for top FCS coaching job, after he led the Governors to an 8-4 record after ending the school's 29-game losing streak in week three. Three of the four losses were to FBS teams, including UCF. This year the program slipped to 5-6, but just a year ago that would have been considered a massive success story. Healy has a unique way of motivating a program, and it will work in the FBS one day, if not next year.
Jay Hill, Weber State — With Matt Wells being hired away from Utah State by Texas Tech, suddenly Hill's name has been tossed around as a potential replacement at Utah State. Hill has worked magic with the Wildcats the past couple of years — making the playoffs three straight times and pushing James Madison to the brink last year in the quarterfinals. This year, Weber State holds the No. 2 seed in the FCS playoffs, and will play host to SEMO Saturday. Hill was a prized assistant at Utah under Kyle Whittingham and Urban Meyer.
Mike Houston, James Madison — Houston spoke publicly this week about Charlotte's job offer, but today the JMU coach and Charlotte program parted ways from any further discussion — likely because of the timing of the leaking of the news they were in discussions, which undoubtedly came from the Charlotte camp. Also, now we pivot to East Carolina, which reportedly has Houston as a top priority. Another program to keep an eye on is Appalachian State. The Mountaineers, also based in North Carolina, are hosting the Sun Belt Championship game Saturday and their head coach — highly coveted Scott Satterfield — might have options following his weekend, and that may open up the App State job — which by the way is closer to Houston's hometown of Franklin, N.C. than East Carolina is. Dizzy yet? I am.
Chris Klieman, North Dakota State — With the closing of legendary Kansas State coach Bill Snyder's career coming within days (if not hours), one has to wonder if Klieman might not be just a candidate, but the frontrunner for the Wildcats' head coaching position. The Iowa native has created a family culture of winning with the Bison, and he'd be recruiting the same general area (and type of kid) to come to K-State. Oh, and Gene Taylor is now the AD at Kansas State, and he was AD at NDSU when Klieman was hired. Hmmmmm.
TOP FCS CROWDS: From 2018 And Playoffs