Career Path: A West Virginia alum, Travis Trickett started his coaching career in Morgantown when WVU was still in the Big East. Under Rich Rodriguez, Trickett was a student assistant as he spent time with the defensive line coach. After WVU Trickett served a couple more stints as an apprentice on Jimbo Fisher’s and Bobby Bowden’s staffs at Florida State and even Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama. Trickett earned his first offensive coordinator gig in the FCS ranks at Samford and it was a fruitful one. Trickett was offensive coordinator for four years and coached 23 all-conference selections during his time there.
After Samford Trickett would be hired by FAU head coach Charlie Partridge in 2016 to be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. His offense set single-season school records for rushing yards, yards per carry, rushing touchdowns, as well as most yards in a game against Middle Tennessee. After Partridge was let go, Trickett moved on to another young FBS school as he would become the offensive coordinator for Georgia State under head coach Shawn Elliott for two years. GSU’s offense was a bit hit or miss that first year, but went on to lead the Panthers to a school-record seven wins with a bowl win over WKU. Trickett’s second year at GSU as offensive coordinator is perhaps the low point of his career as the Panthers struggled all year during a youth movement on offense as they went 2-10. In 2019 Trickett left Atlanta to return home as he joined Neal Brown’s coaching staff at West Virginia as the tight ends and inside receivers coach.
Buzz Surrounding The Hire: Trickett is a pretty under the radar name right now. His time at FAU as the offensive coordinator was brief so South Florida media isn’t likely to fall head over heels for him. Those who are really connected to coaches though would applaud the hire as Trickett is the son of former long time offensive line guru Rick Trickett.
What’s There To Like: Charlie Partridge almost saved his job by hiring Trickett. In his lone season as the offensive coordinator FAU averaged 26 points per game but really started to hit their stride towards the end of the season. In their last four games FAU averaged 39.2 points behind the rushing duo of Greg Howell and then-budding star Devin Singletary. At Georgia State, Trickett engineered a pipeline to several South Florida recruits signing with the Panthers during his time there. He knows how to work the recruiting circuit in South Florida and is likely to keep FAU well stocked with talent in the same way Partridge was able to do so. Given his connections, he’s likely to build a well-regarded coaching staff.
Why They Should Proceed With Caution: I think it’s fair to say that his offenses haven’t exactly excelled in the same way they did when he was coaching in the FCS. His offenses at Georgia State were extremely inconsistent and at FAU they were the same. He didn’t spend a long time at either spot though so perhaps he didn’t have the personnel to really get going. His decision to step away as Georgia State’s offensive coordinator to be a position coach at West Virginia is one not normally made in the profession as it’s pretty much a demotion. Maybe he really just wanted to return to Morgantown with a nice raise, or perhaps him and Elliott didn’t see eye to eye with the direction of the offense. Georgia State didn’t seem to miss a beat without Trickett as they returned to a bowl this season.
Why He Would Take The Job: After years as a position coach and offensive coordinator, Trickett could see this as the perfect time to become a head coach. His brother Clint Trickett has been on FAU’s staff as the Owls’ tight end coach for the last three seasons so he still has strong ties to the school. Perhaps he would see this as an opportunity to jump start his coaching career for not only himself but his brother too.
Analysis: Travis Trickett has been around college football for just about his entire life. His dad Rick Trickett is a legend in the coaching world. His brother knows a thing about coaching too as Clint has helped develop FAU’s star tight end Harrison Bryant into an eventual NFL Draft pick. Coaching is in his blood.
I’m intrigued at what Trickett would do as FAU’s head coach. He’s had the chance to learn from Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, and Rich Rodriguez at a very young age. Neal Brown is someone well-regarded in the coaching world and brought Trickett to his staff. Trickett developed some strong offenses as Samford’s offensive coordinator. At FAU he inherited a makeshift unit with potential and was able to turn in some successful moments while planting the seed of Devin Singletary becoming the best player in school history. His recruiting chops are clearly desired as Georgia State and West Virginia both have benefited from his connections in South Florida.
Given Trickett’s connections in the coaching world and who he is tied to, there’s a lot to like. FAU would be taking a chance on a coach who’s rising through the ranks with little to no glaring red flags. I can’t see too many downsides should FAU go in this direction. I really like the idea of Trickett becoming FAU’s next head coach and if the Owls were to make an outsider hire this would be my No. 1 option. On a scale of 1-10 this hire would be an 8.