Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle said he plans to move quickly hiring a new football coach. With a few notable exceptions — Randy Edsall at Connecticut, Jeff Tedford at Fresno State and Ed Orgeron at LSU — recent hires favor candidates under 50. Let’s take a look at the recent track record of major hires:
• Willie Taggart, 40, hired by Oregon on Dec. 7.
2017 salary: $2.9 million. Taggart, a former quarterback at Western Kentucky who spent 11 seasons coaching at his alma mater, including three as head coach, is one of the rising stars in the college football coaching ranks. He most recently spent four seasons at South Florida, leading the Bulls to a 10-2 season before leaving for Oregon.
• Tom Herman, 41, hired by Texas on Dec. 27.
2017 salary: $5.25 million. Herman is another young rising star. He spent just two seasons as a head coach at Houston before being hired by Texas. He led the Cougars to a 13-1 record and finished ranked No. 8 in the nation in his first season. Houston was 9-3 this season. The offensive-minded coach has a strong track record of successfully recruiting the best players in Texas.
• Lane Kiffin, 41, hired by Florida Atlantic on Dec. 12.
2017 salary: $1 million. Kiffin, a graduate of Bloomington Jefferson High School, has coaching experience at several of the top programs in the country and at one time was the youngest head coach in NFL history. He coached the Oakland Raiders in the NFL, in college at Tennessee and Southern California and most recently was the offensive coordinator at Alabama.
• Major Applewhite, 38, promoted to head coach by Houston on Dec. 9.
2017 salary: $1.5 million. Applewhite was promoted to head coach after two seasons as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. He has been among the young rising stars in the college football ranks since starting in 2005 as quarterbacks coach at Syracuse. Applewhite has spent time at Rice, Alabama and three seasons Texas, two as the offensive coordinator.
• Matt Rhule, 41, hired by Baylor on Dec. 6.
2017 salary: Baylor, a private school, does not release salary details. Rhule is known for his work as a defensive coach, but has a well-rounded background coaching offense and special teams. His high-energy coaching style is credited for leading Temple to back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in program history.
• Luke Fickell, 43, hired by Cincinnati on Dec. 10.
2017 salary: $2.3 million. Fickell has spent most of his adult life at Ohio State and is known for his defensive expertise. After playing for the Buckeyes in the mid-90s, he has spent 16 seasons on the coaching staff including a stint as interim head coach in 2011. He was the co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach and responsible for much of the team’s recruiting under Urban Meyer.
• Jeff Brohm, 45, hired by Purdue on Dec. 5.
2017 salary: $3.3 million. Brohm, a former NFL quarterback, spent the past three seasons at Western Kentucky, leading the program to a 30-10 record, back-to-back conference championships, and three bowl game victories. His 14 years of coaching experience include two seasons in the Big Ten as the quarterbacks coach at Illinois from 2010-2011.
• Tom Allen, 46, hired/promoted by Indiana on Dec. 1.
2017 salary: TBD. Allen was promoted to head coach after one season as the team’s defensive coordinator. The Indiana native is a former high school football coach and is expected to have a strong pull in recruiting the best in-state talent. He was a nominee for the 2016 Broyles Award honoring the nation’s top assistant coach.