SEC football coaches who are on the hot seat heading into 2024

Mark Stoops isn't in danger of getting fired at Kentucky, but with additional pressure in the loaded SEC, these three coaches could be on the hot seat if 2024 doesn't go their way.
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier and Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops
Florida Gators head coach Billy Napier and Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops / Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The landscape of college football is undergoing a massive reconfiguration and two factors could make SEC football programs even more desperate to put a competitive product on the field.

First, the league is getting bigger and more competitive. Texas is coming in and could be the top dog from Year 1 and Oklahoma, while not a true contender to win the conference, will bump quite a few teams down the totem pole. 

Second, the college football playoff is expanding. With 12 spots up for grabs and the sport consolidating into four major conferences, plenty of spots will go to SEC teams. Beyond a shot at the national championship, a playoff appearance will be revenue and exposure so we could see even more turnover in the coaching carousel after 2024. 

At Kentucky, Mark Stoops has quite a bit of job security, just so long as other SEC programs don’t try to rip him away from Lexington, like Texas A&M did this offseason. However, these head coaches in the conference are already on the hot seat heading into the year. 

Clark Lea. Clark Lea. . . . HC. player. Hired: 2021. Clark Lea. 537

If you can produce a winning team at Vanderbilt, then you’ll become one of the hottest names on the market. That’s what happened to James Franklin after he won nine games in back-to-back seasons before leaving for Penn State. Clark Lea on the other hand has won nine total games across his three years leading the Commodores. 

The odds are stacked against every head coach Vandy hires, but another 2-10 record last season still counts as underachieving. It’s hard to win in the SEC with Vanderbilt’s resources and academic requirements, but two conference wins in three years is unacceptable even for that tortured fanbase. 

If Lea has another disastrous season then Vandy has to move on. 

. 524. Hired: 2020. Sam Pittman. HC. . Sam Pittman. player. Sam Pittman.

Sam Pittman is lucky to still have his job at Arkansas right now. Last year, he regressed from winning seasons in 2021 and 2022 to post a 4-8 record, and that was with KJ Jefferson still at quarterback. 

Pittman just isn’t able to attract enough talent to Fayetteville and with how aggressive the basketball program was this offseason, hiring John Calipari away from Kentucky, it wouldn’t be a surprise for the administration to fire Pittman midseason and go big-game hunting with the backing of powerful boosters. 

. Billy Napier. Billy Napier. . HC. 526. Billy Napier. Hired: 2022. . player

Billy Napier isn’t a coach who aggressively attacks the transfer portal. He prefers to build organically and that takes time. He has put together back-to-back strong high school recruiting classes, but the results of a 6-7 record in 2022 and 5-7 in 2023 is below Florida’s standards, even for a rebuild. 

Napier’s strong high school recruiting needs to start paying off in Year 3 of his tenure because many Florida fans are already desperate to cut bait.

Next. Where does Gavin Wimsatt rank among transfer QBs. Where does Gavin Wimsatt rank among transfer QBs. dark