Scott Satterfield seems to still be the leader for the job but Vince Tyra gave the media an update last night and happened to mention his criteria for hiring a coordinator. Tyra more or less would only consider a coordinator if they are a coach for a championship level team and that coordinator is a major part of that team being on that level. To me, it seems like Ryan Day would possibly fit that and maybe one other coordinator that I haven’t mentioned yet.
Also, Matt Wells took the Texas Tech job last night so he won’t be an option. I don’t think that he was near the top of Tyra’s list but I do think he would be an option if Vince somehow whiffed on his top guys. He also stated last night that he has leaned towards an offensive coach though it wasn’t a necessity.
Tony Elliott - Clemson Offensive Coordinator
There’s not a coordinator in the country that fits Tyra’s description like Elliott does. He took over for Chad Morris in 2015 and the offense has been a buzz saw since. They went to the national championship game in his first year as OC and won it the next year. Elliott is young and very well known and respected in coaching circles. That bodes well for him being able to hire a good staff. He’s also been in Dabo’s culture for eight years and he surely knows how to run a program.
Vince Tyra said that he thinks he can get this done next week and that his list is at 4 or 5 guys right now. I think that he really wants a head coach but I do think the list as of now is: Satterfield, Day, Norvell, and Fickell. My hope is that Elliott is the option if he ends up going with someone that no one has mentioned for the job. I don’t know that UofL has the ability to pull off a “shock” hire that happens somewhere in the country each year, but if they do, Elliott would be a great hire.
I’m also under the impression that Neal Brown is no longer an option.
A few names on the list below are still available for Vince Tyra after Jeff Brohm decided to stick with Purdue. There are two new names to add to the list with one looking like the early favorite to get the job.
Scott Satterfield - Appalachian State Head Coach
National and local media are running with the idea that Satterfield will be the next coach up in Vince Tyra’s search. I’ll openly admit that I didn’t consider him an option for Louisville early on because he’s been at App State for almost his entire career. He didn’t seem like a guy that would leave. He’s been mentioned for a couple of other jobs over the last week but UNC was the only likely option and they took the discount route with Mack brown.
Satterfield’s offense is the exact offense that Louisville fans would love. It’s balanced with a great run game while also being very aggressive in the pass game. He likes to use misdirection with jet sweeps and reverses. He will also utilized RPOs. It isn’t the fast paced air raid type of offense but it is built on aggressive play calling and it keeps the defense off balanced with read option plays as an added element. It’s about as similar to Jeff Brohm’s offense as you can get.
For some context on how aggressive Satterfield is you can go back to the FIU game in 2010. He was the guy calling the plays when T.Y. Hilton smoked UofL’s defense for 201 yards with a bunch of throws down the field.
Matt Wells - Utah State Head Coach
This name is a little out of nowhere but Wells has ties to UofL and his name is being legitimately floated for a few jobs in the midwest. Wells has won games at a place that does not have a great history and he’s maximized his talent there. While I don’t think that Wells’ ties to UofL will be enough for him to have a real shot at the job, he could be a name that gets mentioned if Tyra misses on his next guy.
The rest of the list seems to be made up of some of the guys below. Neal Brown is reportedly ready to take the job if offered just like Satterfield. Ryan Day has been mentioned for every job that opens up but with OSU playing for a playoff spot, I don’t think anything will come out with him until after Saturday at the earliest. I think those are the top names on the list right now and I’d be pretty surprised if the next head coach isn’t named by Monday.
All is not lost if Louisville doesn’t get Brohm. UofL will likely be one of the top schools looking for a coach this year and they have a head start on everyone. Louisville can pay for a top coach and they have the facilities and the support for and from the athletic department that candidates will want to be a part of. While Jeff Brohm is the guy that most fans want, here are a few guys that would still be a great fit at Louisville.
Ryan Day - Ohio State Offensive Coordinator
Louisville is a prime spot for a guy that is at the top of the list of the “young up-and-comers” to start their head coaching career. Day is only 39 years old but he’s been a coach at the college or NFL level for 16 years now. Day got his start at New Hampshire as a tight ends coach after playing in Chip Kelly’s offense there. Day built his resume from that point on coaching at multiple schools on the east coast before moving onto the NFL to coach quarterbacks for Chip Kelly.
Day has been the offensive coordinator for Urban Meyer for the last two years and the OSU offense has averaged over 500 yards per game both years. Day has shown the ability to run pass heavy offenses as well as run heavy schemes. The fact that he was chosen to be the interim head coach when Meyer was suspended to start the season says a lot. There are two other coaches on that staff that have been head coaches in the past.
Mike Norvell - Memphis Head Coach
Louisville will more than likely go after a coach with an offensive background and Norvell is about as good as you can get if that’s what you want. Norvell’s offense has been in the top 5 in yards per play in both of the last two seasons. In 2016 and 2017 he utilized Anthony Miller and Riley Ferguson to field one of the best passing offenses in the country in both seasons. This year, Norvell’s rushing offense is ranked 6th in the country and his star running back is averaging 9.48 yards per carry. His offense is versatile and he’s shown the ability to elevate the game of lowly rated recruits.
A concern with Norvell will be his defenses as well as how recruiting has gone during his time at Memphis. However, he recruited at a high level during his time as Arizona State’s offensive coordinator.
Neal Brown - Troy Head Coach
Neal Brown has as many wins over ranked teams at Troy as UofL has over the last five years. Brown is another coach with a great reputation for his offensive scheme. I’ve actually been very impressed by the defense in the games that I’ve watched. Troy is having a “down” year on defense this year and they’re ranked 38th in yards per play. They’ve been in the top 25 each of the previous two years.
Brown is a UK guy, so I’m sure there will be plenty of fans that will write him off just because of that. But, Brown’s balance and record at Troy can’t be dismissed. He doesn’t have the high powered offense that some other have, but he has a little more head coaching experience and he’s done well everywhere he’s been.
Luke Fickell - Cincinnati Head Coach
I’m not sure that Louisville can go with a defensive coach with this hire, but if they do I think Luke Fickell is the guy. Cincy was in a bad spot when he took over last year but he went to a bowl game in his first year and has them in position to possibly knock of UCF for the conference title this year. Cincy has a top 5 defense and the offense holds their own in the top 50.
What I really like about Fickell is his staff. He has a nice mix of veteran assistants and young guys. He’s been able to land recruits with better offers and he also gets great effort out of his players. I have a strong belief that Louisville should be able to recruit Ohio and Missouri much better than they do and his current staff would be able to do that here, in my opinion.
THE GUY YOU WON’T LIKELY GET BUT YOU HAVE TO TRY
Brent Venables - Clemson Defensive Coordinator
There isn’t much of a chance at all that Brent Venables would leave Clemson to go anywhere; let alone Louisville. He has built a great reputation at Clemson for his outstanding defenses as well as his passion and intensity on the sidelines. But, Venables is coaching his son right now and he’s only in his freshman year. Then you can throw in all of the reasons he would pass on going to a team in the same division as Clemson as well as a team that is a step down from potential spots he could end up at in the future.
You do have to try, though. Louisville can pay well enough to get a guy like Venables and he is arguably the second best option for UofL. Venables has said that he won’t listen to offers until after a season after a bad loss earlier in his career, so he might not even be on Tyra’s list. Vince wants a coach in place before the early signing day.