The FCS regular season has come to a close but the coaching carousel is only beginning with numerous coaching changes announced. Cornell, Northern Arizona, and Western Illinois will have new head coaches in 2024.
David Archer will not return to Cornell after 10 seasons in charge of the Big Red. Archer failed to guide his alma mater to a winning record in his tenure finishing 29-71 overall and 19-51 in the Ivy League. Cornell hasn’t had a winning season since 2005 when they went 6-4 and haven’t won a share of the Ivy League title since 1990.
Chris Ball is out at Northern Arizona after five seasons. Jerome Souers retired following the 2018 season after 21 seasons including 5 FCS Playoff appearances and his departure led to Ball being hired. Ball went 20-30 overall and 16-21 in the Big Sky Conference for the Lumberjacks. Ball had one winning season during the 2020-21 spring campaign but failed to reach the playoffs in any of his five years.
Western Illinois has decided to let Myers Hendrickson go after two seasons as the Leathernecks will move from the Missouri Valley Football Conference to the Ohio Valle Conference in 2024. Hendrickson went winless in his two seasons finishing 0-22 overall and 0-16 in the MVFC. He was previously the head coach at NAIA’s Kansas Wesleyan where he went 31-5 overall and led the Coyotes to two NAIA Quarterfinal appearances. WIU hasn’t made an FCS Playoff appearance since 2017 and hasn’t won a conference title since 2002 when the MVFC was known as the Gateway Conference.
On the positive side of the coaching news, VMI has extended head coach Danny Rocco for five years, which will see him stay with the Keydets through 2028. Rocco went 5-6 overall in his first season with VMI in 2023 after the Keydets went 1-10 the previous season. Rocco was previously a head coach at Liberty (2006 through 2011), Richmond (2012 through 2016), and Delaware (2017 through 2021).
Photo Credit to Western Illinois University Athletics