College Football Coaches Revenge and Reunion Games

In 2019 college football, there are several games that feature coaches going up against their old teams or coaches they used to work with.

This list does not include all of them, but dives into some of the first-time matchup between former co-workers or former employees.

Miami vs Florida 

Former Temple head coach and new Miami head coach, Manny Diaz had two previous stints as Defensive Coordinator on current Florida head coach Dan Mullen’s staff at Mississippi State. Diaz worked for Mullen in 2010 and 2015, before coming to Miami in 2016 as Defensive Coordinator. In both seasons, Mississippi State finished 9-4.

Miami’s defense ranked 4th in 2018 under Diaz. Mullen led Florida to a 10-3 season in his first year.

Cincinnati vs Ohio State 

Luke Fickell is entering his third year as head coach of the Cincinnati Bearcats. After a 4-8 rookie campaign, he led Cincy to an 11-2 record and bowl win in 2018. Fickell was on the Ohio State staff from 2002-2016, serving as co-Defensive Coordinator from 2005-2010 and 2012-2016. He served as interim head coach of the Buckeyes in 2011 (following Jim Tressel’s late firing). Ohio State went 6-7 in his lone year in charge. The former Buckeyes defensive star returns to Columbus week 2 to face his alma mater.

New Mexico vs Notre Dame 

New Mexico coach Bob Davie was Notre Dame’s Defensive Coordinator from 1994-1996 and became head coach in 1997 through 2001. During that time, Davie was 35-25 and went 0-3 in bowl games. He has been the coach at New Mexico since 2012, compiling a 33-54 overall record, and 1-1 in bowl games. Davie’s only head coaching experience before New Mexico was Notre Dame and he was an analyst for over a decade, before returning to the sidelines. 

Temple vs Georgia Tech

It’s not often a Power 5 school plays at Temple. So what are the chances that when it happens, the team just happens to be coached by Temple’s previous coach. Geoff Collins left the Owls after two years and a 15-10 overall record to take the job at Georgia Tech, replacing Paul Johnson. Collins background is defense, most recently working at Florida as Defensive Coordinator from 2015-2016, before becoming head coach at Temple. 

Washington State vs Houston 

Houston made a surprising coaching move, firing Major Applewhite and poachig Dana Holgorsen from West Virginia. Holgorsen was 61-41 during his 8 years in Morgantown. He moves on to Houston, who face Washington State week 3. Cougars coach Mike Leach was a mentor to Holgorsen. The first Division 1 job Holgorsen got was at Texas Tech in 2000 as WR Coach. He was later promoted to Offensive Coordinator from 2005-2007

SMU vs North Texas 

Speaking of Mike Leach, both SMU coach Sonny Dykes and North Texas coach Seth Litrell worked under Leach at Texas Tech at different times.

Colorado vs Colorado State

This annual rivalry is now a battle of former Georgia coordinators. Mike Bobo served as Offensive Coordinator from 2007-2014, while new Colorado head coach Mel Tucker was Georgia’s Defensive Coordinator from 2016-2018. 

West Virginia vs Texas Tech 

New WVU coach Neal Brown, previously of Troy, was Offensive Coordinator at Texas Tech from 2010-2012. This is his first time facing his former team as a head coach. 

Maryland vs Illinois

Mike Locksley was the Illinois Offensive Coordinator during the 2007 season that ended in Illinois going to the Rose Bowl. 

Texas St @ Texas A&M 

First year Jake Spavital makes his debut against Texas A&M, where he was Offensive Coordinator from 2013-2015.

Miami vs FIU 

Miami beat FIU 31-17 in 2018 and 2019 game is at FIU. I know I said in the beginning, this article would feature first time matchups but this one features Butch Davis, who went 51-20 in five years as Miami coach, which culminated with Miami finishing the 2000 season ranked #2.


2019 College Football Preview


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About Mike Schneid 530 Articles
Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

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