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31 December 2015: Houston Cougars head coach Tom Herman reacts at the conclusion of the Houston Cougars 38-24 victory over the Florida State Seminoles in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

Where every AAC coach was working a decade ago

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Icon Sportswire)

What were The American’s coaches doing 10 years ago?

Nine of the conference’s 12 head coaches held on-field assistant coaching positions in 2006. The only three who didn’t were Willie Fritz, who was holding down his post with Central Missouri; Chad Morris, who was coaching high school; and Tommy Tuberville, who was at the latter stages of his tenure with Auburn.

Seeing how far most of these coaches have come — considering several were just graduate assistants at that point in time — is pretty cool. Scott Frost was just a few years removed from his professional playing days as an NFL quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers; meanwhile, Mike Norvell had just wrapped up a five-year career as a star wide receiver for Central Arkansas.

Tom Herman was gearing up for his first gig as a college football play-caller after four years coaching wideouts with Sam Houston State. Ken Niumatalolo was one year away from taking over the Naval Academy football program, and Matt Rhule had just found a new home in Philadelphia. (Little did he know he’d be staying a little while longer.)

Here’s where every current AAC head coach was a decade ago:

Bob Diaco (UConn): Entering his first season as Virginia’s linebackers and special teams coach

Willie Fritz (Tulane): Entering his 10th season as head coach of Central Missouri

Scott Frost (UCF): Entering his first season as a graduate assistant with Kansas State

Tom Herman (Houston): Entering his second season as Texas State’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach

Philip Montgomery (Tulsa): Entering his first season as Baylor’s co-offensive coordinator, quarterbacks and running backs coach

Scottie Montgomery (East Carolina): Entering his first season as Duke’s wide receivers coach

Chad Morris (SMU): Entering his third season as head coach of Stephenville (Texas) High School

Ken Niumatalolo (Navy): Entering his fifth season as Navy’s assistant head coach and offensive line coach

Mike Norvell (Memphis): Entering his first season as a graduate assistant with Central Arkansas

Matt Rhule (Temple): Entering his first season as Temple’s defensive line coach

Willie Taggart (USF): Entering his fourth season as Western Kentucky’s assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach

Tommy Tuberville (Cincinnati): Entering his eighth season as Auburn’s head coach

The AAC’s head coaches entering the 2006 season:

  • UCF: George O’Leary
  • Cincinnati: Mark Dantonio/Brian Kelly
  • UConn: Randy Edsall
  • East Carolina: Skip Holtz
  • Houston: Art Briles
  • Memphis: Tommy West
  • Navy: Paul Johnson
  • USF: Jim Leavitt
  • SMU: Phil Bennett
  • Temple: Al Golden
  • Tulane: Chris Scelfo
  • Tulsa: Steve Kragthorpe
Where every AAC coach was working a decade ago

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