The worst kept secret in college football was revealed Sunday. After a truly magical season in Memphis, Mike Norvell has been named the head coach of the Florida State University Seminoles.
And now, the Tigers are in the market for a new coach themselves.
It comes at a critical point. The open recruiting period ends Saturday, Dec. 14. Memphis Athletic Director Laird Veatch will need to name a new coach soon so the new staff can have work to retain all of the current commitments the Tigers have secured.
University of Memphis administration knew about FSU’s impending offer to Norvell and have been working behind the scenes to ensure a swift and effective transition. In Norvell and his predecessor Justin Fuente, The Tigers have hit two home runs with the last two coaching hires.
Memphis has consistently been getting some of the highest recruiting classes lately among the Group of 5 non-Power-5 conferences. The replacement for the Tigers may come from the existing coaching staff. It is widely rumored that Ryan Silverfield will be the next head coach.
Other notable people who have been mentioned as possible replacements:
Kenny Dillingham. He is currently an assistant coach with Auburn and was on the Tigers’ staff last season. But he may be off the market already — reportedly, Norvell has already snapped him up for his Florida State staff.
Hugh Freeze. Currently coaching at Liberty University, Freeze also coached at Ole Miss and at locally at Briarcrest. Freeze left Ole Miss under a cloud of controversy for some personal transgressions and NCAA violations. He also had a show cause restraint that has expired, and he is a hot candidate to get a shot at another higher coaching position.
Barry Odom. The former Missouri head coach was offered the Tigers’ head coaching position before Norvell accepted it four years ago. He also has been an assistant coach for the Tigers under former coach Justin Fuente.
Meanwhile, the Tigers are gearing up for a Cotton Bowl appearance against Big 10 powerhouse Penn State on Dec. 28.