New LSU football coach Brian Kelly gestures to fans after his arrival at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, in Baton Rouge, La. Kelly, formerly of Notre Dame, is said to have agreed to a 10-year contract with LSU worth $95 million plus incentives. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

College football coaching carousel

As the 2021 college football regular season has come to a close, the head coaching carousel is spinning hot. And while schools are well underway making changes, there are plenty more moves to come from the carousel.

Tracking the head coaching carousel

Virginia Tech

Former head coach Justin Fuente was let go on November 16 and finished with a 43-31 record in six seasons with the Hokies. Subsequently, Virginia Tech announced Tuesday that Penn State defensive coordinator Brent Pry would be replacing Fuente as head coach.

However, this will not be uncharted territory for Pry. He served as a defensive graduate assistant for Virginia Tech from 1995 to 1997 under Frank Beamer. While serving as defensive coordinator for the past six seasons, he helped lead Penn State to an 11-2 record in 2019 and ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense.

Meanwhile, the Nittany Lions rank seventh in scoring defense this season, allowing 16.8 points per game. On the other hand, Virginia Tech finished 6-6 after beating Virginia 29-24 last week.


After 12 seasons as head coach at Notre Dame, Brian Kelly is leaving to become LSU’s 33rd head coach. The school announced the move on Tuesday as Kelly agreed to a 10-year deal worth $9.5 million annually, plus incentives.

Kelly became Notre Dame’s all-time winning coach in program history this past season with a record of 113-40. Further, leading the Fighting Irish to the College Football Playoff twice.

Meanwhile, expectations will be high at LSU. The Tigers’ three previous head coaches each won a national title, with Saban in 2003, Les Miles in 2007 and Ed Orgeron in 2019.


A major splash move is Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma and heading out west to become the head coach for USC. He is finishing his time with the Sooners with a 55-10 record. During his Oklahoma tenure, the Sooners ranked in the top 10 in each of his years.

Furthermore, Oklahoma made the College Football Playoff four times since Riley joined in 2015 and won 85 percent of his games in five seasons. In addition, he set records for most victories in his first two seasons with 24, three seasons with 36 and four seasons with 45.


Jimmy Lake is officially out. Now, Fresno State coach Kalen DeBoer is stepping up to lead the Huskies. DeBoer agreed to a five-year, $16.5 million deal with Washington

In two seasons coaching the Bulldogs, DeBoer went 12-6 with a 9-3 record this year that included notable wins over UCLA and San Diego State. The Bulldogs are currently waiting to hear what bowl game they will play in. On the other hand, Washington is coming off of a lackluster 4-8 season and did not attain eligibility for a bowl game.


David Cutcliffe is departing from Duke after 14 years with the Blue Devils. According to athletic director Nina King, the university and Cutcliffe reached a mutual agreement for separation.

The change comes after the Blue Devils’ 47-10 loss to Miami this past Saturday to finish the season 3-9. Duke has now suffered three consecutive losing seasons. Over the last two seasons, the Blue Devils went 1-17 in ACC play and 0-8 in 2021.

Hired before the 2008 season, Cutcliffe was 77-97 with six bowl appearances. He won the program’s first bowl game since 1961 in 2015 as well as a program-record 10 games in 2013 to reach the ACC championship game.

About Tori Edwards

Tori Edwards is a fourth-year Telecommunications student specializing in News with an outside concentration in Sport Management at the University of Florida. Tori works as an author and reporter for and is the voice of trendings on Wednesday mornings on ESPN 98.1 FM - 850 AM WRUF. You can reach Tori at

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