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Ranking the Big 12 Head Coaches for 2024

Kyle Whittingham looks to bring his success in the Pac-12 to a new conference this Fall

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Article by WestCoastCFB

1. Kyle Whittingham (Utah)

Year after year, Kyle Whittingham takes a roster of mainly three star players and develops them into a group that is tough and plays excellent defense. There are not many coaches out there who can match Whittingham's track record of NFL development and consistent success on the field. Since 2014, Utah has won nine or more games seven times and won the Pac-12 Title in 2021 and 2022 with Cam Rising at QB. Rising is now back in 2024 after missing last season with an injury and the Utes project as the favorites to win the Big 12 in their first season in the league.

2. Mike Gundy (Oklahoma State)

Mike Gundy has been the Kyle Whittingham of the Big 12 over the years. The man can coach and despite a roster that doesn't look supremely talented on paper, he has found a way to win ten or more games eight times since 2010. You could make a strong case for Gundy to be in the top spot on this list and if Oklahoma State can win the conference this season, the top spot will belong to the Stillwater Legend.

3. Chris Klieman (Kansas State)

After leading North Dakota State to four National Titles, Klieman made the jump to the Power Five level and quickly found success once again. Some may argue for Lance Leipold over Klieman but Kansas State has gone 3-0 against Leipold with Klieman at the helm. For now, the edge goes to the Waterloo, Iowa native.

4. Lance Leipold (Kansas)

Rebuilding Kansas once seemed impossible but Leipold somehow pulled off one of the greatest program turnarounds ever. Taking over a program that hadn't had a winning season since 2008 and coming off a winless campaign in 2020, Leipold took the Jayhawks to two wins in 2021, six wins in 2022 and nine wins in 2023.

5. Matt Campbell (Iowa State)

Matt Campbell was once seen as one of the top coaches in the country and was considered for positions such as Washington but the shine has worn off over the past few seasons. Campbell is just 18-20 since 2021. Ames, Iowa is a tough place to win but when your best year was 9-3 with Brock Purdy at QB, it starts to bring questions about whether you can bring the program to the next level.

6. Gus Malzahn (UCF)

Malzahn was given the axe at Auburn after one mediocre season in 2020. His track record is strong with five seasons finishing ranked in the Top 25 and he has won nine or more games six times. The UCF offense will feature former Arkansas star K.J. Jefferson at quarterback and the 6-3 247 pound dual threat could give people flashbacks of Cam Newton in Malzahn's scheme.

7. Willie Fritz (Houston)

Landing Willie Fritz was a major coup for Houston after the Kansas native won 23 games over the past two seasons at Tulane. Fritz will likely need a year or two to get Houston competing for Big 12 titles but given enough time the Cougars should be dangerous for years to come.

8. Sonny Dykes (TCU)

It's hard to know what to make of Sonny Dykes after he led the Horned Frogs to the National Title game in 2022 but couldn't reach a bowl in 2023. He's had occasional success throughout his career but in 14 seasons as a head coach, he has had just the one ranked finish in 2022.

9. Neal Brown (West Virginia)

Neal Brown was on the verge of being fired before going 5-1 to end the season in 2023. Garrett Greene has been a revelation at quarterback and likely saved Brown's job with his play down the stretch. Overall, Brown is 66-45 as a coach.

10. Kalani Sitake (BYU)

Sitake has proven he can win big when he has an elite QB as witnessed in 2020 and 2021 but that won't be the case in 2024. The Cougars were just 5-7 last season and things aren't looking much better for this coming Fall.

11. Joey McGuire (Texas Tech)

Joey McGuire came to Texas Tech after never being a coordinator but so far it hasn't seemed to matter. The Red Raiders won eight games in his debut season in 2022 before winning seven in 2023. Entering year three, we will now see if McGuire can build Texas Tech into a nine or ten win program.

12. Deion Sanders (Colorado)

Deion Sanders is a polarizing figure and his coaching ability has rightfully been questioned. His recruiting ability, however, has been outstanding. The Buffs will have one of the best rosters on paper in the Big 12 next season but development and scheme matter as well. If the Buffs can figure that part of the equation out, they could surprise some folks next season.

13. Scott Satterfield (Cincinnati)

Cincinnati took a major step back in year one under Satterfield after Luke Fickell left for Wisconsin. Satterfield's tenure at Louisville was a mixed bag as he went 25-24 and had worn out his welcome. He did, however, have success at Appalachian State where he won 51 games over five seasons.

14. Brent Brennan (Arizona)

Brent Brennan has done a great job stabilizing things in Tucson and was able to keep the majority of the roster intact. With the return of Noah Fifita, the Wildcats look to be an eight to ten win team in 2024. The long term view for the Wildcats is where things get murky as Brennan never won more than seven games at San Jose State.

15. Kenny Dillingham (ASU)

Dillingham is a rising star in the coaching ranks and is only near the bottom of the list due to not having a proven track record yet. He was dealt a tough hand at ASU without having a strong NIL foundation in place and a mess to clean up from the Herm Edwards era. The Sun Devils will likely struggle in 2024 but expect things to start trending up in 2025.

16. Dave Aranda (Baylor)

Aranda has one of the hottest seats in the country after being a rising star following a 12 win season in 2021. Outside of that 12 win season, Aranda is 11-23 in Waco and likely needs to make a bowl to have a chance to return in 2025.


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