SJSU's Brent Brennan Under Consideration for Stanford Opening

SJSU's Brent Brennan Under Consideration for Stanford Opening

Mountain West Football

SJSU's Brent Brennan Under Consideration for Stanford Opening


SJSU’s Brent Brennan Under Consideration for Stanford Opening

Brennan, Chris Petersen among those rumored as replacement for David Shaw

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With the conclusion of College Football’s regular season comes the always intriguing coaching carousel. It is already underway in the south, as Hugh Freeze, formerly of Ole Miss, has returned to the SEC to take over for the fired Bryan Harsin at Auburn. Harsin, of course, is the former head man at Boise State, where he compiled a 69-19 record, and he will no doubt be in the mix for jobs that come open, or already are open. But it’s a current Mountain West Conference coach that is garnering attention for a current big time opening. Brent Brennan, who is finishing his sixth season as head man at San Jose State is being mentioned as a top candidate at nearby Stanford University.

Stanford, to the surprise of some, is in need of a head coach after the resignation (forced resignation?) of David Shaw, who led the Cardinal for 12 years. Shaw had immediate success taking over for Jim Harbaugh, after he bolted for the NFL and the San Francisco 49ers. The program has fallen on hard times though, as the transfer portal/NIL era of college athletics does not seem to be a great match with places that have pristine academic reputations, such as Northwestern and Stanford.

Ultimately, after another disappointing 3-9 season, Shaw, the administration at Stanford, or both, decided it was time for a reboot. And as is the case with any unfilled job, speculation starts immediately on who is up next. Here are the current odds, courtesy of BetOnline ( to replace Shaw on the farm.

Chris Petersen 3/1
Troy Taylor 4/1
Bronco Mendenhall 5/1
Mike Bloomgren 6/1
Brent Brennan 15/2
Derek Mason 8/1
Tom Herman 10/1
Bill O’Brien 11/1
Greg Roman 12/1
Troy Walters 14/1
Ryan Walters 16/1
Pep Hamilton 18/1

That list of 12 is like you will see for most jobs, a mix of current head coaches, former head coaches, current college assistants, and current NFL assistants. Let’s take a quick look at the first four to see how concerned Spartans fans should be about possibly losing their head coach.

Chris Petersen:
Petersen preceded Harsin at Boise State, and led the Broncos to their greatest successes. He then moved over to Washington, and won two Pac-12 titles and led the Huskies to the College Football Playoff before resigning.

Troy Taylor:
Taylor has no FBS head coaching experience, but has been an assistant in the Pac-12 at both Cal and Utah. He also absolutely has it rolling right now as the head man at Sacramento State, who is 11-0 and one of the favorites to win the FCS title.

Bronco Mendenhall:
Mendenhall had a successful 11 year run at BYU before he decided to head east and take on the challenge at Virginia. Things did not go as well there, and he resigned after 2021. Word on the street is he wants to get back in the game.

Mike Bloomgren:
Bloomgren is on the list for one reason – he spent years on staff under Shaw at Stanford. He has been in charge at Rice for the last five seasons, with no bowl bids, though they just missed out this year, finishing 5-7. One thing to note; the academic standards are very similar at Rice to Stanford, so that may be appealing to the higher ups in Palo Alto.

As you can see, there are others under consideration, and this is by no means a concrete list. Brennan has done great things at SJSU, and that’s the double edged sword that faces schools with fewer resources than the big boys. If you do well, someone is going to come calling for your coach. If you look at the four choices above Brennan, there are different ways for Stanford to go here. You want a proven winner? Go get Petersen or Mendenhall. You want the hot name working his way up? Go with Taylor. You want someone with connections to the program? Bloomgren is out there for you. With the possible exception of Petersen, it’s tough to see any of the next three saying no if Stanford would offer them the position. The gut feeling here is there are enough different options that San Jose State should feel safe in keeping Brennan for now.



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