Jeff Brohm turned down a chance to coach his alma mater when he rejected Louisville’s overtures and opted to return to Purdue on Wednesday.
With that in mind, here’s a look at five candidates Louisville must consider for its vacant head coaching position.
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State
He’s not a big national name, but Scott Satterfield is a big-time up-and-comer in football coaching circles. The 45-year-old has done nothing but win over the past few seasons at Appalachian State and he’s earned a shot at a bigger job.
In six seasons at App State, Satterfield has posted a 50-24 record including two straight conference titles (the Mountaineers will play for a third this weekend). Since he went 4-8 in his first year and 7-5 in his second, Satterfield’s teams have gone 39-11 over the past four years.
He’s a former quarterback, but Satterfield’s teams rely heavily on the run and a stout defense. This season the Mountaineers rank 14th in nation in rushing offense (242.5 yards per game), 17th in scoring offense (37.3 points per game), fourth in total defense (278.2 yards per game) and fourth scoring defense (15.4 points per game).
Satterfield would be a great hire for Louisville.
Neal Brown, Troy
The 38-year-old Neal Brown grew up in Kentucky and even played for and coached at Louisville’s rival, Kentucky. He was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for the Wildcats before becoming the head coach at Troy in 2015.
Since taking over the Trojans, Brown has been wildly successful. Troy went just 4-8 during his first season, but since he’s posted records of 10-3, 11-2 and 9-3. He also helped engineer upsets over Nebraska and LSU in the last two years.
Would it be weird for the Cardinals to hire a guy with a ton of ties to their rival? Sure, but fans would get over that as soon as he started winning games. His track record suggests he would turn things around quickly.
Matt Wells, Utah State
A two-time Mountain West Coach of the Year, Matt Wells has won a ton at Utah State and is ready to move to the next level. The 45-year-old brought the Aggies back up this year after a few mediocre seasons, but his overall track record is one of success.
This year may be Wells’ best job so far. He’s got Utah State sitting at 10-2 and ranked third in the nation in scoring offense (47.2 points per game) and 38th in scoring defense (23.0 points per game). In six years he has a record of 44-34, but also has three nine-win seasons on his resume.
Wells spent a year at Louisville as the quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2009 and it would be a solid fit.
Ryan Day, Ohio State
Being the offensive coordinator at Ohio State will get you noticed and Ryan Day is definitely getting noticed. The 39-year-old will be a hot name for every job that opens over the next few years after leading the Buckeyes’ potent offense this season.
Ohio State currently ranks second in total offense (543.9 yards per game), seventh in scoring offense (43.3 points per game) and second in passing offense (362.5 yards per game).
Day has a ton of experience at both the NFL and college levels and was named the acting head coach during Urban Meyer’s suspension earlier this year.
He’s ready for a head coaching gig and importing that Ohio State offense would be a great fit with the talent Louisville can attract.
File this under this one under “why not?” Reports suggest Louisville was willing to offer Jeff Brohm $5 million a year to come home, why not turn around and give the same offer to someone like Bob Stoops?
Stoops was a wildly successful head coach for 18 seasons at Oklahoma. He went 190-48 and won 10 conference titles and took home a national title in 2000. His track record speaks for itself.
Stoops announced his retirement in the summer of 2017 most believed it was due to the stress of running a program in football-mad Oklahoma. He’s still just 58 years old, could immediately bring in a top-notch staff and the stress of coaching at Louisville will be far less than it was at Oklahoma.