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FAU’s List of Potential Coaching Candidates: Glenn Spencer

The journeyman coach has had a few successful stops in his career as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, Charlotte and this year at FAU.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 03 Charlotte at Tennessee Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Career Path: Spencer is mostly known in the college football world for being the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State under head coach Mike Gundy. Spencer spent 10 years in Stillwater (5 as the defensive coordinator, 5 as a position coach) and was apart of the most successful stretch in OSU football history as the Cowboys had 10-win seasons in six of Spencer’s last seven years there. Prior to arriving at FAU and leading a defensive resurgence, Glenn Spencer spent one year as the defensive coordinator at Charlotte and lead one of the most successful turnarounds in 2018 as the 49ers led Conference USA in rushing defense last year. Although Spencer has spent the majority of his coaching years as a position coach or defensive coordinator at various spots, he has been a head coach before.

From 1998-2000 Spencer was the head coach at West Georgia. The Wolves went 28-7 under Spencer with two Gulf South Conference titles in 1998 and 2000. Spencer was named the NCAA Division II Region Coach of the Year in 1998 and advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 1998 and 2000.

Buzz Surrounding The Hire: Removing the interim head coach tag from Glenn Spencer won’t exactly win the press conference, but FAU could do a whole lot worse. Spencer is well travelled in the coaching world and is sure to invoke some positive reaction for Spencer finally getting a shot to lead his own FBS program.

What’s There To Like: Well, the players love him for starters. After Lane Kiffin’s departure players are actively pushing for Spencer to be the next head coach. While Spencer has no real connection to Florida outside of this season as FAU’s defensive coordinator, he’s not a stranger to being in the south by any means. Spencer is from Georgia and is a Georgia Tech alum. If Owl fans and the administration don’t want to see another head coach leave for greener pastures, Spencer is likely to be in Boca for a while and could even retire here given his age. If that’s not enough to sway you here’s an interesting tidbit, 5 conference champions this year had their head coach promoted from within (Ohio State, Clemson, Oklahoma, Oregon, LSU)

Why They Should Proceed With Caution: Making a hire just because the players want him as the head coach should never be the primary reason for someone to become a head coach. Making a hire for the sake of continuity typically never works out for G5 schools either. Young head coaches are going to jump for a bigger job. Hiring the young, hungry offensive coordinator, while a risk, typically results in more wins than the defensive coordinator who’s been around for a while. We’ve seen in C-USA head coaches who are long in the tooth and yet have not done much besides going to bowl games (see Rick Stockstill). Do you really believe a coaching journeyman is capable of elevating FAU’s football program and keeping them in contention for conference titles?

Why He Would Take The Job: Glenn Spencer interviewed for the job earlier this week, so it’s safe to say he would accept the position if offered. He’s made an impression on the players and has enjoyed his time in Boca.

Analysis: The biggest reason for promoting Spencer to the big chair is to keep continuity. The foundation Lane Kiffin laid is a great one. I don’t think an outside hire wanting to shakeup the place and put his own identity on the program is really needed for FAU to remain at the top of C-USA. Spencer did a tremendous job of turning around FAU’s defense. For that reason alone he warrants serious consideration for the job.

I can’t help but think about what UCF did when they lost Scott Frost to Nebraska. The Knights had the opportunity to keep the engine rolling by promoting defensive coordinator Erik Chinander to head coach. Instead they went for another coach primarily known for offense in Josh Heupel and didn’t skip a beat the following season. Considering the ties in the athletic department between FAU and UCF, I have a feeling that we’ll see the Owls go in a similar direction.

With that said, I actually don’t mind the idea of Spencer getting the job. Especially if it means keeping Charlie Weis Jr. as the offensive coordinator. Spencer’s defenses have proven to be opportunistic and play with a lot of aggression. This type of play suits the athletes the Owls typically recruit. The one big red flag is Spencer isn’t familiar to recruiting South Florida. We would really find out what FAU’s brand is in the region with someone not familiar to Florida running the program. Your feelings regarding Spencer’s potential promotion rest in your faith in FAU Athletic Director Brian White? Do you trust him to make a great outside hire? On a scale of 1-10 this hire would be a 7.

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