San Jose State’s coaching candidate wish list is flush West Coast talent – both experienced and fresh – as potential replacements for Ron Caragher.
San Jose State decided to part ways with head coach Ron Caragher on Sunday evening, ending the coach’s four-year tenure with the Spartans.
Caragher took over for Mike MacIntyre when the latter accepted the Colorado head coaching position, but could never come close to his predecessor’s success. Under Caragher’s watch, San Jose State never registered a winning season, topping out at .500 (6-6) in his first year – a season where the program was coming off a 10-2 record the year prior. Despite finishing the 2015 regular season with a 5-7 mark, the Spartans earned a berth in the Cure Bowl on account of the program’s high APR and a lack of teams over .500. SJSU defeated Georgia State in the game, 27-16, though still finished with a 6-7 mark on the year.
SJSU backslid to 4-8 this past year, winning only three games in Mountain West play. Despite finishing the season with a 16-14 road win against Fresno State, school officials felt it best to move on.
With the position now open, here are five possible replacements for Caragher at SJSU.
San Jose State Coaching Candidate Wish List
While much has been (rightfully) made of Washington State’s offense, this season’s success has really hinged on the team’s defense. In his second year as defensive coordinator, Grinch oversaw a unit that allowed 27.2 points per game. Compare that to 38.6 points per game in the year before Grinch was named DC.
Speaking of defense, just look to the other sideline of the Apple Cup. Pete Kwiatkowski has been by Chris Petersen’s side since the latter become a head coach in 2006. From Boise to now Seattle, Kwiatkowski has been the architect of some truly special defenses. Kwiatkowski is very familiar with the West Coast and has deep recruiting ties in the region.
A Torrance, California native, Drevno served as offensive line coach at SJSU for one season (1999). He’s a branch off the Jim Harbaugh coaching tree many times over – at Stanford, with the 49ers and now with Michigan – and boasts a wealth of experience. At 47, Drevno might be getting the itch to set out on his own. SJSU presents a perfect opportunity, in a region he knows all too well, to make the leap.
It’s hard to believe, but Jones is only 63 years old. There’s still tread on the tires for a coach who did well at Hawaii, but could never quite gain traction at SMU. Jones could pump up ticket sales and draw attention to a program that greatly needs both.
Coach Spav is a name that will pop up more than a time or two during the coaching carousel. One of the nation’s top recruiters, Spavital moved from Texas A&M to Cal this past season and oversaw the dynamic Bear Raid offense that was third in the country passing the ball (358.8 yards per game). With a year of NorCal experience under his belt, Spavital could immediately inject life in an offense that scored fewer than 20 points seven times this season.