It didn’t come as a surprise that Troy Trojans head coach Neal Brown was destined to be at a power-five program. It did come as a surprise that a well-advanced team like West Virginia quickly took Brown as their head coach. The Trojan nation is not upset with the decision of Brown to leave for West Virginia. In fact, they are celebrating this huge accomplishment of their beloved coach. They do, however, need to move on and continue the recent success that coach Brown brought to Troy in only four seasons. The Trojans need a head football coach to take over the highly-thriving group-of-five program. There are countless options for them to take but they need to make the best decision that fits the program, players, and fan’s needs. Here are a few options to investigate for their next head coach.
Seth Littrell – North Texas Head Coach
Much like coach Brown was a legitimate offensive guru at Kentucky and Texas Tech, Troy is looking into offensive guru Littrell. In three seasons with North Texas, Littrell accounted for a 23-17 record including nine-wins each in the two previous seasons. He has turned his Mean Green offense into one of the most consistently, explosive offenses in the nation. In 2017, North Texas was ranked 19th in points per game with an average of 35.5 points per game. This past season, the Mean Green had the 28th scoring offense (34.6 points) in the nation. Littrell is a potential head coach for a power-five program in the future, so it would make sense for him to be attracted to the program that brought Brown to West Virginia. He could bring the Trojans’ offense to the same consistent, explosiveness that he brought to North Texas.
Larry Fedora – former North Carolina and Southern Miss Head Coach
Another offensive minded coach who would be a great candidate for the Trojans is Fedora, who is looking to rebrand. The former Southern Miss head coach accounted for a 34-19 record including a 2011 Conference USA championship season with a 12-2 record. That year, the Golden Eagles’ offense ranked 14th in the nation in points per game (36.9). When Fedora went to North Carolina from 2012 to 2018, he found early success. He brought the Tarheels to an 11-3 record in 2015 and an ACC Coastal Division title. The past two seasons, however, Fedora couldn’t settle on a quarterback as they went 5-18 in 2017 and 2018. Fedora is looking for a rebound in his head coaching career as he hopes to learn from his mistakes. The Trojans nation is up and down on his status of popularity, but he has the experience to continue success.
Todd Orlando – Texas Defensive Coordinator
Here is an interesting option that not a lot of people had in mind. Orlando has been a defensive coordinator with five different schools since 2005. The past two seasons, his Longhorns defense has helped win close games. Before Texas, he was at Houston as their defensive coordinator and linebacker coach. His defenses have been known to be highly effective in stopping the run. His biggest success with the Longhorns was his defense outperforming the Georgia Bulldogs offense in the 2019 Sugar Bowl. Texas held Georgia to only 296 total yards including only 72 on the ground. Orlando has coached many different positions along with defensive coordinator for five different programs. Name recognition could be the first goal to him rising as a top coach in College Football with Troy.
John Grass – Jacksonville State Head Coach
Comparatively, North Dakota State isn’t the only FCS program to be a great transition program to a program in the FBS. Grass has helped turned the Jacksonville State Gamecocks into one of the best programs in the FCS. It will take a good proposal for the Trojans to persuade a coach who accounted for a 52-12 record in five seasons away from Jacksonville State. The Gamecocks have won the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in each of the five seasons that Grass has served as head coach. Grass has spent his entire coaching career from high school (1990-2012) to Jacksonville State (2013-present) in the state of Alabama. The Troy Trojans can ensure that he can continue to coach in the state of Alabama where he knows the recruiting areas.
Troy defensive coordinator Vic Koenning
If the Troy Trojans decide to promote from inside the program, Koenning will be the first coach that gets a call. Koenning has been with the Trojans since 2015 but spent two years previous (2003 & 2004) as their defensive coordinator. Before his second stint with the Trojans program, Koenning spent four very successful seasons as their defensive coordinator. Each of the four seasons with Koenning running their defense, they were in the top-25 in points allowed per game. He did spend three very rough seasons with the Wyoming Cowboys with a 5-29 record from 2000 to 2002. Currently, no one knows the Trojans program better than Koenning and has elevated himself a top candidate for the head coach.
Troy offensive coordinator Matt Moore
Moore is another in-house candidate for the Troy Trojans head coaching job. Much like how Koenning knows the Trojans program, Moore is well equipped with the knowledge of the Trojans’ offense. Moore has been running the offense, along with Brown, since the 2016 college football season. In his first season in 2016, Troy was ranked 39th in the nation in points per game (33.7). Throughout the following seasons, Moore has done well in adjusting to the numerous offensive stars leaving. He simply finds new starters that will create the same amount of impact from the previous starters. This is the kind of adjustments and coaching that the fans and AD Jeremy McClain notices.
Matt Canada – Maryland Terrapins offensive coordinator
Canada is an interesting option for the Troy Trojans to take. Canada is the Terps offensive coordinator, but he was the head coach last season when the program was facing backlash after the death of one of their players. Maryland was 5-3 in the middle of the season including a 34-29 season-opening upset over Texas. Head coach D.J. Durkin was enlisted back as the head coach of the Terps on October 30th. Fans and protestors were outraged by the reinstatement of Durkin to the extent that he was fired the next day. The Terps would lose the last four games of the season due to the chaos and turmoil around their football team. Canada did almost beat the sixth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes but lost 52-51 in overtime when going for a two-point conversion. Alabama offensive coordinator Mike Locksley is now the head coach of Maryland.
Canada is now left with two decisions to make. The first is to stay with Maryland Terps as their offensive coordinator, considering Locksley doesn’t select his own. This means staying with the program that disrespected him and didn’t trust him for the final four games of 2018. The second option is to go to another program where he will be an offensive coordinator or head coach. This will be depending on the program that hires him. Canada has an excellent resume of leading offenses to efficient productivity. In 2016, he led his Pittsburgh Panthers offense to become the 10th ranked scoring offense (40.9 points per game). Troy fans remember Canada as the offensive coordinator of the LSU Tigers back in 2017 when the Trojans shocked the Tigers in Baton Rouge. If hired at Troy, Canada will have a reliable offense to help run and make consistent.
Gene Chizik – former Auburn head coach & North Carolina defensive coordinator
Now, if Troy is looking to hiring big names, then adding a national championship coach in Chizik will help. Chizik helped the Auburn Tigers win their second National Championship in program history in 2010. This was with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton. But, Chizik never generated the same success of his title championship season and he was let go in just four years. In his first year with North Carolina in 2015, his defense ranked 42nd in points allowed per game (24.5). The following year, his defense ranked 43rd in points allowed per game (24.9). Chizik resigned in February of 2017 from North Carolina to be closer with his family in Auburn. If Chizik is craving the itch to coach again but wants to be close with his family, Troy and Auburn are only a few hours away.
Dan Enos – future Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterback coach and former Central Michigan head coach
Enos would be an interesting hire not only for the track record of offensive production he has delivered but also due to the potential he could bring to the position. Most of Alabama’s coordinators under head coach Nick Saban eventually get a head coaching job somewhere. Enos does have five years of head coaching experience at Central Michigan from 2010 to 2014. He spent three seasons as Arkansas’ offensive coordinator including his first-year in 2015 where his offense was ranked 27th in points per game (35.9). His first year at Alabama this season, he was the quarterbacks’ coach where he led Heiman runner-up in quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. With the impact of Enos and Tugavailoa, the offense ranks sixth in passing yards per game (325.6). If Troy took a risk on Enos, he could be a tremendous hire with being a Saban assistant.