The Top Choices
Danny Rocco, Richmond – Rocco is an interesting candidate. He has brought Richmond back to the forefront of FCS football. In his 4 years with the Spiders, Rocco has compiled a 33-18 record. This past season was his best as a head coach as he led Richmond to a 10-4 record and a semifinal appearance in the FCS Playoffs. Prior to coming to Richmond, Rocco spent 6 seasons building Liberty into a legitimate power. Rocco posted a 47-20 record including 4 Big South Conference titles. Among his accomplishments at Liberty was a stunning 27-23 victory over Ball State.
Bo Pelini, Youngstown State – We are all well acquainted with Mr. Pelini. After spending 7 seasons heading the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Pelini was let go – despite never posting worse than a 9-4 record. During his tenure with the Cornhuskers, Pelini finished first in the Big 12 3 times and first in the Big Ten once. This past season, Pelini coached at Youngstown State, his alma mater and hometown school. He posted a 5-6 record and is in the process of rebuilding the Penguins.
Brock Spack, Illinois State – The immediate thought on everyone’s mind here at the Insider when Pete Lembo left was Spack. While at Illinois State, Spack has posted a 56-29 record in 7 years including leading the Redbirds to the FCS Championship game in 2014. Prior to Illinois State, Spack spent several years coaching at Purdue.
Russ Huesman, Chattanooga – In 7 seasons at the helm of the Mocs, Huesman has built quite a program. After 4 seasons of toiling around the .500 mark, Huesman has posted 3 straight first place finishes in the Southern Conference including two straight trips to the FCS playoffs. In 2014, Huesman led the Mocs to a 10-4 record, a perfect 7-0 record in the Southern Conference and a quarterfinal appearance in the FCS Playoffs.
Everett Withers, James Madison – Although he has spent only two seasons at the helm of the Dukes, Withers has rebuilt a sleeping giant. Withers has posted back to back 9 win seasons and led the Dukes to the second round of the FCS playoffs this past year after losing in the first round of the playoffs in 2014. Withers also spent a season as the interim coach at North Carolina, posting a 7-6 record and an appearance in the Independence Bowl.