Okay Brian Kelly, clean up your office and hit the road. Now we have to figure out who will be next to take over this program. Here is a short list of names that could potentially be roaming the sidelines of Nippert next year.
Sumlin, the coach of the surging Houston Cougars was the 2009 coach of the year in the Conference USA and has an 18-8 record with two bowl apperances for Houston. Sumlin is one of the hottest coaches in college football right now and would be a great hire for the Bearcats.
The son of former Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz, Skip has been the head coach for East Carolina. Holtz took a program in East Carolina that could barely win a game and directed them to three straight bowl games. He has had East Carolina ranked as high as 14 in the country during his time there.
Quinn is currently the Cincinnati offensive coordinator and has coached every season with Brian Kelly during his time as a head coach. Quinn served as the offensive coordinator for Kelly during his last years at Central Michigan and has been once of Kell's top recruiters. Chances are Quinn will follow Kelly to Notre Dame but a hire of Jeff Quinn would potentially keep the same offensive system in Cincinnati.
Petersen, the head coach at Boise State, also let his team to an undefeated season. In his four years leading the Broncos Petersen has quickly risen as one of the top offensive coaches in the country. He has twice led Boise to a BCS game as an at-large bid. Petersen has a pretty big contract currently with Boise and I wonder if Cincinnati could lure him away? This would be a big time hire in my opinion, but I think they have an outside chance to land him.
Jones took over for Brian Kelly at Central Michigan in 2007. After taking over the program the Chippewas didn't miss a beat winning their conference this year and landing in the GMAC bowl. Jones has coached before in the Big East, as a Wide Receivers coach for West Virginia in 2005 and 2006.
Personally I think this would be a terrible hire for Cincinnati. Coombs was the head coach at Colerain for 16 seasons leading the Cardinals to one state championship. But he only has three years of college coaching experience all as the secondary coach for Cincinnati. Coombs has led the recruiting attack for Cincinnati but I think lacks the experience to take over a Big East program.
If I were making decisions this would be the guy that I would go after. Gill has a lot of great experience coaching for Nebraska, Green Bay Packers, and currently head coach and offensive coordinator at Buffalo. Gill has currently been linked to interviews with Kansas, and I think Cincinnati would be a better place for him.
Phil Fulmer has been poking around different program trying to find a right fit to get himself back into coaching. After years at Tennessee, and winning a National Championship in 1998, I am not sure that Cincinnati would be a good fit for Fulmer.
The former Auburn coach is a former Walter Camp and Bear Bryant coach of the year award winner. Tuberville experienced ups and downs at Auburn and after finishing 2008 5-7 was fired from his position. He is currently working as an analyst for ESPN. I am not sure that Cincinnati would be able lure him away from the broadcast booth but he is out there.