Rating each soccer coach within the AAC from 1-11 heading into the 2022 season

The AAC can be present process a dramatic makeover following the 2022 soccer season, as three of its premier soccer manufacturers — Cincinnati, Houston different UCF — are set to depart for the Huge 12. The exit of these three will coincide with the arrival of Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, UTSA, rice different UAB from Convention USA. Collectively, the makeover will change the dynamics of the league, which has stood out in recent times from its Group of 5 friends for fulfillment on the gridiron.

Because the transition transpires, a void for teaching management inside the convention will emerge. Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, UCF’s Gus Malzahn and Houston’s Dana Holgorsen are every large names within the career. The outlet created by their absences may enable a brand new coach equivalent to Jeff Traylor of UTSA, Invoice Clark at UAB or Willie Taggart at FAU to come back in and declare some early clout.

Earlier than we get to the way forward for the AAC, although, there may be nonetheless yet one more season to go below the league’s present configuration, and it is going to be coached by a principally acquainted group of males. Stan Drayton is in for Rod Carey at Temple and Rhett Lashlee has changed Sonny Dykes at SMU, however the different 9 coaches are acquainted faces returning to the league.

So with out additional ado, right here is how our employees at CBS Sports activities voted in a breakdown of the AAC coaches getting into 2022. Voters used various standards that absorbs head-coaching historical past, latest on-field outcomes, future potential and intangibles into one rating.

Fickell solidified his stranglehold atop the AAC coach rankings by main Cincinnati to a School Soccer Playoff look final season. He’s 44-7 over his final 4 years since posting a 4-8 mark in his debut marketing campaign on the helm. As the primary coach to ever information a Group of 5 college to the CFP, Fickell has been supplied with alternatives to maneuver up the ladder to the Energy 5. As an alternative, he is constructing a legacy with a program that can quickly be shifting on to the Huge 12. 2021 AAC rating: 1

2. Gus Malzahn, UCF

The truth that a 9-4 season felt considerably disappointing for each Malzahn and UCF of their first 12 months collectively tells you every little thing you want to know concerning the popularity of each events. Each the previous Auburn coach and his new program have completed plenty of profitable in recent times, and Malzahn’s place at No. 2 on this rating is an endorsement from our voters of their future collectively. With out an damage to star quarterback Dillon Gabriel, Yr 1 would seemingly have been a 10-win season. Because it stands, knocking off the flagship Florida Gators in a bowl sport was an effective way for Malzahn to cap his first season with the Knights. 2021 AAC rating: 3 (+1)

3.Dana Holgorsen, Houston

Holgorsen wanted a breakthrough season in Yr 3 final 12 months and bought it because the Cougars completed 12-2 and ended the 12 months at No. 17 within the AP High 25 following a win over Auburn within the Birmingham Bowl. The leap final season was partially the product of a light-weight schedule that missed Cincinnati and UCF throughout the common season. It was additionally a validation of Holgorsen’s gradual construct after he arrived with a lot fanfare from West Virginia following the 2018 season. With a ton of offensive manufacturing again, Houston might be in for one more strong season. 2021 AAC rating: 6 (+3)

4. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy

Niumatalolo stays the longest-tenured of the AAC’s coaches as he enters his fifteenth season main the Midshipmen. Of their seven years within the league below Niumatalolo’s steering, Navy has gone 7-1 in AAC play on three events. However the lean years have been tough, and extra frequent, as of late. After touchdown at No. 2 within the rating in 2020 and 2021, Niumatalolo slipped a bit this 12 months following his workforce’s 4-8 season. Since ending 11-2 in 2019, the Midshipmen are 7-15 (6-9 AAC) since. 2021 AAC rating: 2 (-2)

5. Willie Fritz, Tulane

Fritz’s physique of labor holds up fairly properly, even after a 2-10 season in 2021. In six years with the Inexperienced Wave, he is led this system to 3 bowl video games. Previous to his arrival, Tulane had been to 3 bowls in 20 years. With a bunch of returning manufacturing and a a lot simpler nonconference schedule than final 12 months’s slate which featured Oklahoma different Ole missdo not be shocked if the Inexperienced Wave discover themselves within the hunt for bowl eligibility throughout a difficult closing stretch towards UCF, SMU and Cincinnati in November. 2021 AAC rating: 5

Philip Montgomery has led Tulsa to bowl sport appearances in every of the final two seasons.

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6. Philip Montgomery, Tulsa

Montgomery is the second-longest tenured coach within the AAC as he enters his eighth season main the Golden Hurricane. It has been an up-and-down trip marked by the excessive of a 10-win season in 2017 and the lows of a 9-27 mark between 2018-20. The previous Baylor offensive coordinator survived the tough patch and has led Tulsa to consecutive bowl video games. He practically orchestrated a few large upsets final season and did properly to rally Tulsa from an 0-3 begin. 2021 AAC rating: 7 (+1)

7.Ryan Silverfield, memphis

After debuting at No. 11 in his first season as coach in 2020 and sliding up two spots to No. 9 final 12 months, Silverfield once more rises two spots this 12 months. Regardless of his upward trajectory within the rankings, Yr 3 marks a important juncture for Silverfield, who’s following two stalwarts of the Memphis soccer resurgence in Justin Fuente and Mike Norvell. Silverfield is 14-10 (8-8 AAC) and coming off a 6-6 season. He is saved the prepare on the tracks, nevertheless it’s unclear if the locomotive has the mandatory chops to make the Tigers the category of a new-look AAC sooner or later. 2021 AAC rating: 9 (+2)

After posting a 37-6 document in three seasons at JamesMadison, together with a 28-2 mark in his first two years, Houston’s construct at ECU has been predictably slower. Nevertheless, the Pirates made some main progress in 2021 by ending 7-5 and snapping a six-year bowl drought in his third season. Given Houston’s profitable observe document at a number of collegiate ranges and ECU’s current momentum, there’s a case to be made that he must be increased on this listing. 2021 AAC rating: 10 (+2)

9. Rhett Lashlee, SMU

After getting the Mustangs ranked sooner or later throughout every of the previous three seasons, Sonny Dykes left for TCU and opened the door for Lashlee to get his first head-coaching alternative. The 38-year-old served as SMU’s offensive coordinator below Dykes in 2018 and 2019 and helped usher in this system’s greatest period since its return from the demise penalty within the Nineteen Eighties. Contemplating his familiarity with SMU and extra expertise because the offensive coordinator at Auburn and MiamiLashlee appears to be like like a strong rent on paper. 2021 AAC rating: N/A

Scott is simply 3-18 by way of two seasons after greater than a decade on Dabo Swinney’s employees at Clemson, and solely a kind of victories is towards an FBS opponent. The hope is that this could be a turnaround season, because the Bulls have tons of returning manufacturing and an enormous switch class coming in, headlined by former Baylor quarterback Gerry Bohanon. However with non-conference video games towards BYUat Florida and at Louisville, reaching bowl eligibility will not be straightforward. If USF does not present important progress in 2022, it is truthful to surprise if Scott will get one other season. This is not FSU, Miami, Florida and even UCF. However Scott’s predecessors have proven that South Florida is a college that may win at respectable ranges. 2021 AAC rating: 10 (+1)

11. Stan Drayton, Temple

After Rod Carey did not get traction in three seasons following strong runs from Geoff Collins and Matt Rhule, the Owls are turning to a well-traveled school assistant in Drayton, who additionally brings some NFL expertise to the job. Drayton spent the previous 5 seasons because the operating backs coach at Texas and has additionally labored at Ohio StateFlorida, Syracuse, Tennessee different Mississippi State along with stops with the Bears and Packers. Given his lack of coordinator or head-coaching expertise, Drayton’s identification as a head coach can be a thriller till the Owls tackle Duke to start the 2022 season. 2021 AAC rating: N/A

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