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Five Potential Replacements for Co-OC/QB Coach GJ Kinne

Kinne will reportedly become the new head coach at Incarnate Word

UCF v Cincinnati
Gus Malzahn
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G.J. Kinne, the UCF Knights’ QB coach and co-offensive coordinator, is leaving to take the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word, according to Zach Barnett of Football Scoop:

Kinne spent all of one year at UCF under Gus Malzahn. He heads back to his native Texas — San Antonio, specifically — for his first head-coaching job.

Incarnate Word made the FCS Playoffs Second Round last season under Eric Morris, who was hired by Washington State to be their offensive coordinator.

What This Means for UCF

Kinne’s departure leaves Tim Harris, Jr. as the Knights’ offensive coordinator. Harris was under consideration by FIU for their head coaching job, which went to former Memphis defensive coordinator Mike MacIntyre.

It also opens up the QB coach job, which could be a stepping stone to the OC job if Harris does eventually leave. Here are a few potential candidates:

UCF Offensive Analyst Darin Hinshaw

University Of Tennessee Volunteers Football
Darin Hinshaw at Tennessee
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Hinshaw should be the prohibitive favorite for the quarterbacks coach job. The former UCF quarterbacks dots the program’s record books from his time as a player, and since then, he has established himself as an experienced offensive coach.

Hinshaw was the co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Kentucky from 2016-2020 prior to coming back to his alma mater. Prior to that, he was a quarterback or wide receivers coach at a number of schools, including Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Memphis. He was also an offensive coordinator at Georgia Southern and Middle Tennessee State. He currently serves on staff as an offensive analyst, so he clearly has the pole position to replace Kinne as quarterbacks coach.

Utah State Grad Assistant Hayden Kingston

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Hayden Kingston at UCF in 2019
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Should Hinshaw not move up, Kingston, a former UCF quarterback, might be a name to watch, although he is relatively young and inexperienced.

Kingston went to Utah State as a graduate assistant following his matriculation from UCF in 2020 and helped the Aggies to an LA Bowl victory this past week.

Texas A&M Wide Receivers coach Dameyune Craig

Dameyune Craig
Dameyune Craig as a Carolina Panther
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This is a wild card entry. Craig was a co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach under Gus Malzahn at Auburn from 2013-15 before leaving for LSU. He coached there as wide receivers coach before Les Miles was fired. He then coached for Jimbo Fisher at Florida State as a quarterback coach and recruiting coordinator. He’s been the wide receivers coach at Texas A&M after moving over with Fisher in 2018.

Craig was also a quarterbacks coach for Florida State from 2010-12 before going to work for Malzahn. He played quarterback for Auburn from 1994-97 before playing four years on the Carolina Panthers. Since retiring and moving on to coaching in 2003, he's worked as a quarterback or wide receivers coach. A move to co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach would give him an opportunity to create more visibility to work towards a head coaching job.

Allen High School Head Coach Chad Morris

Western Kentucky v Arkansas
Chad Morris at Arkansas in 2019
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Chad Morris used to be a name talked about a lot. The one-time SMU and later Arkansas head coach was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Gus Malzahn during his final year at Auburn in 2020. Now, he coaches Allen High School in Texas. Prior to being a head coach, Chad Morris put his name on the map as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Clemson, where he helped implement a new offense that went 42-11 over the four years he was there. From 2015-17 he was the head coach at SMU and at Arkansas from 2018-19. His head coaching record isn’t so good, but his track record as an assistant is. Morris and Malzahn are longtime friends and this could be a good reclamation project. Morris employs a hurry-up spread offense that coincides with Malzahn’s style.

It’s not unprecedented for coaches who were big in college or the NFL to fall back to high school for a time. The current offensive coordinator of Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida is former NFL coach Todd Haley.

Florida Atlantic Offensive Coordinator Chip Lindsey

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Chip Lindsey
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Currently, Lindsey is the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for FAU. Lindsey has experience with UCF as he was Gus Malzahn’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach in 2017 and 2018. In 2019, he was hired to be the head coach at Troy before being fired in 2021. On December 15, 2021, it was reported he was hired as the offensive coordinator at FAU. Despite the report, he hasn't been introduced by school, which is an unusual development. Stranger things have happened though.