Could a former SEC assistant coach be on his way to his first Power 5 head coaching job? There are three guys that could fit that bill.
According to a report from FOX Sports’ Bruce Feldman, former Texas A&M OC Jake Spavital, former Tennessee DC Justin Wilcox and former Kentucky WR coach/Tennessee QB Tee Martin are each potential names that could replace recently fired Cal coach Sonny Dykes in the Pac-12.
Recently fired 49ers coach Chip Kelly and Washington co-defensive coordinator Jimmy Lake round out Feldman’s list.
Of course, the rumor mill has been churning out its share of Chip Kelly-to-Cal talk in the hours since the Golden Bears made their decision known on Dykes. The former Oregon coach has hinted at a willingness to return to college football after failed stints in the NFL at Philadelphia and San Francisco, plus he has strong Pac-12 recruiting ties from his years with the Ducks.
Still, he may be out of the price range for Cal, or he could be waiting for a different opportunity to emerge.
Spavital, who served as the team’s offensive coordinator under Dykes in 2016 after leaving Texas A&M, seemingly would have the inside track if the program decides to go with an internal candidate.
Wilcox currently is the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin. He left the Tennessee program following the 2011 season.
Martin, who is the favorite son of many Tennessee fans after serving as the quarterback for the 1998 national championship team, most recently guided USC’s offense to a Rose Bowl victory against Penn State. It’s unclear if the up-and-coming head coaching candidate would take a job against a conference rival, or hold on for another year with a strong USC offensive unit returning to see if he can use it to springboard him into a higher-profile head coaching job.