There were plenty of future stars on 247Sports’ 30Under30 list when it debuted in 2017.
Kenny Dillingham has risen from Memphis’ 27-year-old tight ends coach to Florida State’s offensive coordinator. Glenn Schumann has gone from 27-year-old linebacker coach to Georgia’s co-defensive coordinator. Indiana’s Nick Sheridan was a 29-year-old quaterbacks coach back then and is now the Hoosiers’ offensive coordinator.
But it’s the last name on that 2017 list – alphabetically – who’s made the fastest rise to head coach: Scotty Walden.
Southern Miss promoted the now 30-year-old Walden to interim head coach last week following the resignation of head coach Jay Hopson. Whether Walden will keep the full-time job is to be determined, but he’ll be the head coach for the 11 remaining games on the Golden Eagles’ schedule.
It’s fast risers in the industry like Walden that 247Sports aims to annually identify. 247Sports’ goal with the 30Under30 series is to find the next group of college football coaching stars. We cast a wide net to do so, canvassing coaches and many other contacts to find 30 of the best young minds in the sport. That group will include a handful of off-field personnel, either those who work on the recruiting side of things or the GAs and analysts we believe are will be future impact coaches.
In the end, Barton Simmons, Steve Wiltfong and I whittled the list down to 30 following a months-long process. In order to bring some fresh blood to the list, 247Sports limited returning honorees to five, most of whom earned a promotion this offseason.
These are college football’s rising stars for 2020, with names listed in alphabetical order.