Top 3 college football coaching hires ahead of 2024 season

Looking back to the college football coaches hired ahead of the 2024 season, here are the top three.

Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach
Jan 13, 2024; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; The University of Alabama introduced new head football coach / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA
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It feels like the college football coaching carousel has finally stopped spinning after a wild offseason. Jim Harbaugh left for the NFL. NIck Saban retired and a some big-name coaches have new jobs.

Some of them left to take over as the head coach of other programs, while other head coaches such as Chip Kelly from UCLA and Jeff Hafley of Boston College left to be coordinators. Kelly will run the offense at Ohio State now, while Hafley is the Packers new defensive coordinator.

it's a brave new world for college football head coaches. With the transfer portal essentially turning every offseason into free agency, college football coaches have their work cut out for them.

Finding the right coach is still the key to having a successful program. Harbaugh was a great example of that. Michigan was in tatters before he arrived, following the two worst coaching hires in program history. Less than a decade later, the Wolverines won three Big Ten titles in a row, conquered Ohio State, and won the national championship.

None of that happens without Jim Harbaugh, just like Alabama football wasn't truly turned around until Nick Saban arrived. With those coaches leaving allow their programs to fall back to Earth?

That remains to be seen but with the college football coaching cycle for the 2024 season in mind, here were the three best hires this offseason.

3. Jonathan Smith, Michigan State

The Spartans got rid of Mel Tucker and made one of the best hires in the entire 2024 college football head coaching cycle. Smith did a stellar job with Oregon State and likely would have been hired by Washington or UCLA if the timing had been different.

Instead, the Spartans get a guy who knows how to win, even if his program is viewed as secondary in the state. That was Oregon State to Oregon, just like Michigan State is to Michigan. At least right now.

Smith might not change that right away but with Aidan Chiles following him to be the starting quarterback, Michigan State's future feels bright once again.