As of Sunday, Nov. 12, Texas A&M has officially fired head coach Jimbo Fisher after six seasons at the helm, finishing with a 45-25 record, including a dismal 27-21 SEC record. As a shock to many, TexAgs’ Billy Liucci announced the move on Sunday morning, just three days after the Board of Regents met last Thursday.
Taking over in the interim role, long-time associate head coach Elijah Robinson will fill said role, and honestly, there couldn’t have been a better short-term option. So, with the news hitting us in the face less than 24 hours after the Aggie’s 51-10 win over Mississippi State, it’s time to look toward the future.
With plenty of coaching options paired with the fact that Texas A&M is willing to pay Fisher’s over $76.8 million buyout to move on, money is no issue during the head coaching search.
While every fan and media member on the planet has their list, the Aggies likely have their man in mind, but nevertheless, I have my realistic options. Here are five Texas A&M head coach candidates to replace Jimbo Fisher.
Georgia Co-Defensive coordinator, Glenn Schumann
Current: Georgia Co-Defensive coordinator/Inside linebacker coach
Glenn Schumann? is the 33-year-old Nick Saban and Kirby Smart disciple who is one of the up-and-coming coaches in the country due to his recruiting prowess and defensive mind; that would definitely be a gamble, but if Texas A&M is looking for a cheaper option after Jimbo’s massive payout, I can’t think of a better option from a youth-movement perspective.
Washington head coach, Kalen DeBoer
Current: Head coach at Washington (33-8 at Washington and Fresno State)
Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer is likely at the top of several head coaching lists due to his immense success in just two seasons at the helm with the Huskies with a 21-2 record, including a current 10-0 mark in 2023.
DeBoer’s high-scoring offenses are certainly intriguing for an A&M program that has consistently struggled to move the ball down the field in recent seasons. Still, most importantly, DeBoer has won everywhere he’s coached, including three NAIA Championships during his time at Sioux Falls.
Oregon head coach, Dan Lanning
Current: Oregon head coach (19-4 at Oregon)
Former long-time Georgia assistant turned Oregon head coach Dan Lanning has been the talk of college football in 2023, recruiting at a level while immediately turning the Ducks into National Championship contenders in just his second season at the helm.
At this point, it would take Lanning out of Eugene with many valuable resources at his fingertips (Nike, for instance), but a return to the SEC could be on his mind.
Florida State head coach, Mike Norvell
Current: Florida State head coach (66-31 at Florida State and Memphis)
After two years of rebuilding, Florida State head coach Mike Norvell has completely turned things around in Tallahassee and is on his way to leading a possibly undefeated 2023 Seminoles squad to their first College Football Playoff appearance in a decade.
Realistically, would Norvell even consider a change of scenery with all he has going for him in the Sunshine State? Well, it would basically be the same move Jimbo Fisher made after the 2017 season, but let’s be honest: the SEC will always be an alluring option, while he likely garners a bigger salary than a less established “upside” candidate.
Duke head coach, Mike Elko
Current: Duke head coach (15-8 record at Duke)
Former Texas A&M defensive coordinator and current Duke head coach Mike Elko would be the primary “name to know” if anything were to happen regarding Jimbo Fisher’s future with the program. Fast forward to Nov. 12, 2023, Fisher is on his way out, and Elko likely remains one of the top options for Aggies AD Ross Bjork.
Elko’s four seasons in College Station were built on consistent progress, as the Aggies’ defense continued to improve year after year, including his 9th-ranked unit during the 9-1 2020 season, the most successful campaign under Jimbo Fisher during his entire Aggie career. Regarding relationships, Elko is close with several of A&M’s coaching staff members, including interim head coach Elijah Robinson, who would more than likely stay with the program if Elko were to be chosen.