List of Candidates to Replace Chris Ball at N. Arizona

By: Sports Teller


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With Chris Ball Fired, Who Will be the Next Head Coach for Northern Arizona in 2024? Who are the Favorites to Replace Chris Ball in 2024?

Today, we will review the latest news involving the List of Candidates to Replace Chris Ball at Northern Arizona! Before we reveal who those top candidates are, we must go over the whole story regarding Chris Ball’s firing. Without further adieu, let’s begin!

List of Candidates to Replace Chris Ball at Northern Arizona

Full Story on Ball Being Fired as NAU Lumberjacks Head Coach

With Chris Ball gone, now is the time for the Lumberjacks to interview top candidates. In fact, the recognizable applicants could be qualified to become the team’s new head coach for the 2024 season. Northern Arizona chose to dismiss Ball after five seasons under the helm. At the time of the dismissal, the football program was 5-6 for the season and 5-3 in Big Sky conference play. The coaching change was made despite the team winning four of its last six games. 

Chris Ball’s Career with the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks

Despite his five-season tenure with NAU, Ball was unable to lead the squad to any postseason appearances. To make matters worse, the men in blue and gold failed to win more than five games during that span. The Lumberjacks have not reached the Division 1 Playoffs since 2017, when they lost in the first round vs. San Diego. In addition, Northern Arizona has not won nine or more games in a season since 2013 (9-3). 

Before coming to Flagstaff in 2019, Ball served as the defensive coordinator for Memphis (2016-2018), Arizona State (2012-2015), and Washington State (2008-2011). He was also the defensive backs coach for Pittsburgh (2007), Alabama (2003-2006), and WSU Cougars (2000-2002). 

What’s Next for the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks?

Many Lumberjacks football fans might wonder: Who is the leading candidate to replace Chris Ball in 2024? The top coaches in consideration listed in this article have prior coaching experience. In addition, those candidates have been on the coaching staff for at least five years. Please refer to the information below for the list of top candidates to replace Ball as Northern Arizona Head Coach! 

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Possible Candidates to Replace Chris Ball at Northern Arizona

Internal Candidates

Aaron Pflugrad-Northern Arizona

  • Arizona State Graduate Assistant (2013-2014)
  • Northern Arizona WR Coach (2015-2017)
  • Northern Arizona OC (2018-Present)

Top Head Coach Candidates for Northern Arizona to Consider

Sean Lewis-Colorado

  • Eastern Illinois TE Coach (2012-2013)
  • Bowling Green WR Coach (2014)
  • Bowling Green Co-OC (2015)
  • Northern Arizona Co-OC (2016-2017)
  • Kent State HC (2018-2022)
  • Colorado OC (2023-Present)

Tony White-Nebraska

  • New Mexico LB Coach (2008)
  • San Diego St. CB Coach (2009-2017)
  • Arizona St. CB Coach (2018-2019)
  • Arizona St. DC (2019)
  • Northern Arizona DC (2020-2022)
  • Nebraska DC (2023-Present)

Jim Knowles-Ohio State

  • Cornell HC (2004-2009)
  • Duke DC (2010-2017)
  • Oklahoma St. DC (2018-2021)
  • Ohio St. DC (2022-Present)

Teryl Austin-Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Seattle Seahawks DC Coach (2003-2006)
  • Arizona Cardinals DB Coach (2007-2009)
  • Florida DC (2010)
  • Baltimore Ravens Secondary Coach (2011-2013)
  • Detroit Lions DC (2014-2017)
  • Cincinnati Bengals DC (2018)
  • Steelers Defense Analyst (2019-2021)
  • Steelers DC (2022-Present)

Al Golden-Notre Dame

  • Virginia DC (2001-2005)
  • Temple HC (2006-2010)
  • Miami-FL HC (2011-2015)
  • Detroit Lions TE Coach (2016-2017)
  • Detroit Lions LB Coach (2018-2019)
  • Cincinnati Bengals LB Coach (2020-2021)
  • Notre Dame DC (2022-Present)

Bronco Mendenhall-Virginia

  • New Mexico DC (1998-2002)
  • BYU DC (2003-2004)
  • BYU HC (2005-2015)
  • Virginia HC (2016-2021)

Doug Marrone-New Orleans Saints

  • NY Jets OL Coach (2002-2005)
  • Saints OC (2006-2008)
  • Northern Arizona HC (2009-2012)
  • Bills HC (2013-2014)
  • Jaguars OL Coach (2015-2016)
  • Jaguars HC (2017-2020)
  • Alabama OL Coach (2021)
  • Saints OL Coach (2022-Present)

Jason Candle-Toledo

  • Rockets TE Coach (2009)
  • Toledo WR Coach (2010-2011)
  • Rockets OC (2012-2015)
  • Toledo HC (2016-Present)

Leading Candidate to Replace Chris Ball at Northern Arizona in 2024

Liam Coen-Kentucky

  • UMass QB Coach (2014-2015)
  • Maine OC (2016-2017)
  • LA Rams Assistant Offense Coach (2018-2020)
  • Kentucky QB Coach (2021)
  • LA Rams OC (2022)
  • Kentucky OC (2023-Present)

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