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The College Football Girl
Gus Malzahn is one of many potential candidates for the Texas head coaching job.

Who will be the next head coach for Texas football?

After Mack Brown announced his resignation, who will be the next head coach of one of the most prestigious programs in the country?
Gus Malzahn is one of many potential candidates for the Texas head coaching job.The College Football Girl

For the first time in 17 years, the Texas Longhorn football program will be hiring a new head coach. After a week of countless reports and rumors regarding Mack Brown’s job status, the 62-year-old decided to step down on Saturday.

After getting hired as Texas’s new men’s AD just over a month ago, Steve Patterson will be faced with the difficult task of hiring Brown’s replacement.

Until very recently, Alabama coach Nick Saban was rumored to be the top target for the Longhorns. However, the headman for the Crimson Tide just signed a long-term extension to stay in Tuscaloosa and said that he “never considered going to Texas.”

The Longhorns now have to turn elsewhere to find a new head coach. Texas is widely considered to be one of the top, if not the top, coaching jobs in the country, which should give the Longhorns a lot of options to pick a new leader.

Texas has the potential of “stealing” a major head coach from a successful college football program. Other schools are aware of this, and a couple of teams have signed their head coaches, who were reported to be candidates for the Texas job, to long term extensions. Saban, Art Briles of Baylor, Gus Malzahn of Auburn and Jim Mora, Jr. at UCLA have all been locked into big contracts over the past couple of months.

With those four guys seemingly out of the picture (although I still see a slim chance that Malzahn or Mora would consider taking the UT job,) Steve Patterson and the Horns will have to look elsewhere for a head coach. While nobody outside of Austin knows the official “list” of possible candidates, here are a few guys that have been linked to possibly replacing Mack Brown at the University of Texas.

The first group of names is coaches who have been thought of as possible candidates, but have denied any interest in coming to the Forty Acres. These names are Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers), Chip Kelly (Philadelphia Eagles), Jim Harbaugh (San Francisco 49ers), David Shaw (University of Stanford), and Todd Graham (Arizona State University.)

All of these coaches have been asked, by the media, about the Texas job and have said that they are staying put.

At the moment, at least to our knowledge, Texas has yet to reach out and offer any candidate the position. However, here are the other names that are rumored to be possible replacements in Austin.

Mike Gundy, the current Oklahoma State head coach, has turned OSU into a perennial Big 12 contender and has been able to lure some big time recruits into Stillwater, a very tough task. As we’ve seen in his press conferences, Gundy is man and is older than 40. Gundy was reported to have “taken a look” at the Arkansas and Tennessee jobs last year, but decided to stand pat at his alma mater in Oklahoma.

Another candidate for the job is James Franklin, the current coach at Vanderbilt. While Franklin isn’t a household name, the 41-year-old has turned the Vandy program from the laughing stock of the SEC to a team that makes a bowl game almost every year. He doesn’t have the pedigree of a big-time coach, but the young Franklin has a lot of energy that many people think this Texas program needs. Plus, he could be seen as a great guy for the Longhorn Network.

Another possible replacement for Brown is Charlie Strong, of Louisville. Strong has led to Cardinals to back-to-back 11-win seasons and led Louisville to a BCS bowl game last season. Strong is a defensive-minded coach, who was on the staff at Florida when the Gators won their two championships in 2006 and 2008. Texas would need to pay Louisville around $5 million if they decided to hire Strong.

Some other names that have been linked to Texas are Les Miles (LSU), Jimbo Fisher (Florida State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M). All three of these guys have good things going at their respective programs, and I don’t see any of them coming to Texas to replace Mack Brown.

Nobody, at least according to what we know, has been contacted by the University of Texas. The reports and rumors have given us a long list of coaching candidates to replace the legendary Mack Brown on the Forty Acres, but as of right now, these men are only possible candidates.

My top five most likely candidates to come to Austin next year (in no particular order) are Mike Gundy, James Franklin, Charlie Strong, Gus Malzahn, and Jim Mora, Jr.

Steve Patterson, your move. Longhorn nation is anxiously waiting.

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