The Texas A&M Aggies are having another subpar season under current head coach Jimbo Fisher. Currently, the Aggies sit at 4-3 with back-to-back SEC losses against Alabama and Tennessee.
With this being Fisher’s seventh year at the school and yet to capture a 10 win season, one has folks in College Station wondering what’s next. Is it this season, or does he remain with the Aggies? Fisher received a 10 year $95 million extension in 2020 after he led the Texas A&M Aggies to a 9-1 season, but it’s been downhill since with the Aggies best season since coming in 2021 when they went 8-4. This is a far cry from the expectations in Aggieland, yet a giant buyout still remains. Although the buyout is less than previous years, it still remains a large sum of $76 million if the Aggies cut ties with Fisher after this season. And as it stands right now with the Aggies all but out of the SEC race, that’s what they may have to do.
If the Aggies do get rid of Fisher, speculation will begin on who should replace him.
Predictions for Texas A&M Aggies’ next head coach
Here are my top picks to replace Jimbo Fisher as the next head coach for the Texas A&M Aggies:
James Franklin: Franklin is the current head coach at Penn State University where he’s been since 2014. During his time in Happy Valley, Franklin has returned the Nittany Lions to national prominence compiling four eleven win seasons in his time there with an overall record of 84-37. Let’s rewind three years where Franklin got his first head coaching gig with Vanderbilt in the SEC. The long proclaimed “doormat” of the SEC program wasn’t exactly that under Franklin. He led the Commodores to 9-4 records in his final two seasons in Nashville. Nine wins had only been accomplished twice in the programs long history, and 1915 was the last time it happened. Franklin was the only one to do it in back-to-back seasons. Being a proven winner rebuilding two different programs with one being in the SEC makes Franklin a prime candidate for the job.
Mike Elko: Elko has a background with the Aggies where he served as the team’s defensive coordinator from 2018-2021 before departing for Durham, North Carolina to become a first time head coach for the Duke Blue Devils. In his first season there, Elko led the Blue Devils to a 9-4 record. Since 1941, Duke has only had four seasons with nine wins or more as they’ve forever been known as a “basketball school.” This makes this feat extremely impressive. Furthermore, Elko is the only one in the programs history to do it in his first season at the helm. So far this year, Elko has the Blue Devils at 5-2 kicking off the season with a signature win against Clemson. Leading a program like this to winning at the rate that he has in his first two years as a college coach is going to draw attention. And with his experience and relationships in College Station, look for Elko to be a premier target for the job.
Curt Cignetti: Cignetti is a name many haven’t heard of as head coach of the James Madison University Dukes. The Dukes play out of the Sun Belt Conference and have only been in FBS since last year. Cignetti however has been winning there since he took over in 2019. Between their time at the FBS and FCS levels, Cignetti has led the Dukes to a combined 41-8 record. In their first season in FBS last year, the Dukes went 8-3 under Cignetti, cracking the Top 25 at one point. They’re in the Top 25 again and are off to a 7-0 start this season. With 12 years of combined head coaching success for Cignetti between James Madison and at his previous stops being Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Elon, one can’t help but give him a serious look.
Urban Meyer: Meyer’s resume is self-explanatory to many. Although controversial at both the professional and collegiate levels, he’s a proven winner and has national championships with two different power five programs – the University of Florida and Ohio State University. Meyer’s overall winning percentage is 85%, which is on par with other top coaches in the SEC, Kirby Smart and Nick Saban. On top of that, Meyer has coached a Heisman trophy winning quarterback in Tim Tebow at the University of Florida. And we all know the Aggies would love to have another Heisman quarterback to add to the trophy shelf aside Johnny Manziel. Here is a more extensive look into Urban Meyer’s coaching background and why he’d be a good fit.
One thing is for certain, compared to schools like Arkansas and others that may be on the hunt for their next head coach, the Aggies have very deep pockets. And any of the four or beyond could easily end up in College Station for the 2024 season where expectations remain higher than the 64% winning percentage Fisher has provided.