Florida Coaching Hot Board: Top 10 Candidates To Be The Gators' Next Head Coach

The Florida Gators have been looking for a head coach ever since firing Jim McElwain at the end of October, and so far, a number of coaches have been linked to the job. Chip Kelly was the favorite for the past few weeks, but he is now reportedly out of the running. So, who could the Gators target to fill their vacancy? Here are the top 10 options:

10) Bob Stoops, former Oklahoma head coach

Florida fans would love this, as a Twitter or message board search can confirm. After all, Stoops was the DC at Florida under Steve Spurrier and those two are still friends. Plus, maybe Stoops could get the Ol' Ball Coach to help him out? While it's a nice dream, it's only a dream.

9) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State Head Coach

Surely there's no way Gundy will leave his alma mater, where he's had a ton of success, to coach at Florida, right? You'd think, but he also chased the Florida job last time. There have been rumors that Gundy doesn't get along with mega-booster T. Boone Pickens, which could help spur a move. While Gundy might have changed his mind, it's an option worth mentioning. Plus, the mullet totally works in Florida. 

8) Mike MacIntyre, Colorado head coach

MacIntyre's career win-loss record won't wow you (40-58) but he has turned around programs at both Colorado and San Jose State. He led the Buffs to the Pac-12 Championship Game last season, and they're off to a 5-4 start this year. Florida isn't a rebuild, but MacIntyre has proven he knows how to get the most out of his talent. MacIntyre was born in Miami, played at Vanderbilt and coached at Ole Miss, so there are SEC ties.

7) Neal Brown, Troy head coach

At just 37 years old, Brown is on the rise in the coaching ranks. He went from four wins to 10 wins in year two at Troy and managed to upset LSU in Baton Rouge this year. He does have some ties to the SEC, having coached and played at Kentucky. Someone will give Brown a promotion soon, it's just a matter of which program. At 8-2, Troy is going bowling again this year. 

6) Jeff Brohm, Purdue head coach

Brohm made the jump from Western Kentucky to Purdue this year. Early this season, Brohm had been generating coach of the year buzz from other Big Ten coaches. Brohm's done an impressive job taking a Purdue team that won nine total games under Darrell Hazell to a 5-6 mark so far this year. 

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5) Mike Norvell, Memphis head coach

Norvell has already been connected to the Florida job and for good reason. Just 36 years old, Norvell left his OC position at Arizona State to take over the Memphis head coaching gig last year. After an 8-5 season in year one, the offensive-minded Norvell has guided one of the most electric offenses in the nation. The Tigers are 9-1, with their lone loss coming to undefeated UCF. 

4) Matt Campbell, Iowa State head coach

Campbell is just 37 years old with few ties to anywhere outside of Ohio, but that didn't stop him from taking the Iowa State job after the 2015 season. Iowa State won just three games last year but is 7-4 this year. The ranked Cyclones have already beaten TCU and Oklahoma, both top 10 teams at the time. Not having any ties to the SEC or Florida could hurt Campbell, but few coaches are as hot as Campbell right now. 

3) Charlie Strong, USF head coach

Does this sound weird to you? Well, believe it. Strong, who the Gators are strongly considering, was the defensive coordinator at Florida from 2003-2009 - even serving as the interim head coach in 2004 - before taking head coaching jobs at Louisville, Texas, and now USF. Despite his lack of success at Texas, Strong has a 62-38 career coaching record and has the Bulls sitting at #22 in the latest AP poll with a 9-1 record. He also has a tremendous history of success recruiting in the state of Florida, which the Gators like.

2) Dan Mullen, Mississippi State head coach

Mullen was not considered among the candidates when McElwain was originally hired. So why would the former Florida OC be at the top this time around? For starters, Mullen continues to produce quality teams at MSU, no easy task in the SEC West. While there is some doubt about whether Mullen would want to go coach at Florida (there's a lot of pressure that comes with being the UF coach), don't forget who is now the AD at Florida. It's Scott Stricklin, the former Mississippi State athletic director. So provided Stricklin believes in Mullen and wants to work with him again, he's an obvious fit. 

1) Scott Frost, UCF head coach

Frost has quickly emerged as a coveted head coach candidate. He's led the Knights to a perfect 10-0 record this year, just two years after UCF went 0-12 in 2015 before hiring Frost. That's a hell of a turnaround. The reason he's not at the top like some Florida fans want? Frost is a Nebraska alum and the Cornhuskers will go after him hard if/when Mike Riley is canned. 

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