Week 8 of the College Football Season Has Arrived Which Means the FIRING and HIRING Season For College Football Head Coaches Is About To Get Underway – Brian Curtis of Paradigm Sports On “The Kingmakers” In the FIRING and HIRING Process in Major College Football – The Arkansas Situation and the Top 25 COOLEST COACHES on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings and What Their Previous Positions Can Tell College Football Fans and Especially ADs Looking For A New Head Coach What They Should Be Looking For To Lead Their Football Program Into the Future
Week 8 of the College Football Season upon us which means the…
Firing and Hiring Season in Major College Football
….is about to crank-up which reminds us to review a series of stories written by Brian Curtis then of CSTV from 2008 who is today running Paradigm Sports in Atlanta.
Brian Curtis titled his series on Major College Football Head Coaching Hiring and Firing…
….and even almost five years later it is still MUST reading for people on the inside of college football that are trying to understand all of the forces swirling around them and for fans that want to better understand what REALLY goes on when a college head football coach is fired and then his replacement is hired. Enjoy!
Kingmakers, Brian Curtis, CBS College Sports
The Arkansas football program and Arkansas AD Jeff Long are now in the process of hiring a new head football coach and Arkansas Sports 360 has been all over this story as one would expect of media organizations in the Hyper-Football Nut Southern United States and here are some of the terrific stories they have produced in the last week on the situation at Arkansas:
The Tennessean columnist David Climer also touched on the Arkansas coaching search recently in a recent column…
…that details how decisions on whether to retain a head coach or not is being moved up further into the season as there are fewer and fewer what we here at Coaches Hot Seat call…
….out there in the world that can have an immediate and positive impact on a college football program while at the same time allowing the AD and Administration at the school to sleep soundly at night because they are confident that their head football coach is doing things right both on and off the field.
In the Arkansas Sports 360 story…
…Jeff Long was quoted telling the Little Rock Quarterback Club earlier this week on the Arkansas coaching search that…
““First of all you’re looking at going after a leader, a leader of young men,” Long said. “You can look across college football right now and see an awful lot of philosophies, offense and defense, that are being successful. But I think it starts with the head coach. It starts with them as a leader and a person, and whether that’s defense or offense, no … I haven’t said we’re only looking at offensive coaches or to come in and take advantage of maybe the perceived offensive talent we have.
“In college, the leader matters,” Long said. “The coach matters, the teacher, the motivator, all those things matter, especially in college. Saying it’s going to be offense or defense would be limiting us at this point. I want a quality leader for our program.”
That individual could be a sitting head coach, or he could be a coordinator, Long insisted.”
We agree with everything that Arkansas AD Long told the Little Rock Quarterback Club and taking a look at the bottom of the…
….which details the College Head Coaches that have the COOLEST SEATS provides some interesting insights into the backgrounds of the BEST head coaches in Major College Football today
Summaries of the Top 6 COOLEST SEAT COACHES on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings
124. Nick Saban, Alabama – Nick Saban was a proven winning commodity and head football coach when Alabama hired him in 2007, but Saban was only…
34 – 24 – 1 (.576)
…in 5 seasons at Michigan State when LSU hired Saban in 2000 which means Saban was a risky hire for LSU especially when on considers the difficulty of coaching in the SEC Conference and hiring a coach that had never up to that point worked at a school in the Deep South.
Bottom-Line on Nick Saban: Saban was a moderately successful head coach at Michigan State when LSU hired him in 2000 but was a Slam-Dunk hire for Alabama in 2007 if they were able to get him away from the Miami Dolphins which was easy enough after Saban got a taste of what coaching in the almost “passionless” NFL can be at times especially when you don’t have that much talent on your roster and NO great QB!
123. Urban Meyer, Ohio State – When Urban Meyer was hired as the head coach at Bowling Green in 2001 he had been an assistant at Notre Dame for 5 years and was an unknown quantity, but he was also not that much of a risk for a MAC Conference school that was not under the pressure to win almost immediately that now exists at many larger schools in the country.
Urban Meyer put up a 17 – 6 record in two years at Bowling Green which caught the attention of the folks at Utah where Meyer promptly put up a record of…
22 – 2
…in two years with the Utes which led to Florida hiring Meyer and the rest they say is College Football History making stuff.
Bottom-Line on Urban Meyer: Bowling Green took a chance on hiring the unproven assistant Urban Meyer. Utah took a chance on a coach that had won in the MAC Conference but had done little else noteworthy in his coaching career. Florida then hired Meyer who was the hottest coach in the country to replace Ron Zook. In the wake of Jim Tressel’s epic personal meltdown Ohio State was lucky enough to have Urban Meyer available who had always wanted to be the head coach at OSU.
122. Gary Patterson, TCU – Gary Patterson was on the Dennis Franchione’s TCU staff when Franchione took the Alabama job in 2001 and was promoted to head coach so Patterson had NO head coaching experience when he took over at TCU and Patterson in 11 seasons at the school has put up a record of:
114 – 31 (.786)
Bottom-Line on Gary Patterson: TCU took a risk by promoting the unproven Gary Patterson when Dennis Franchione left for Alabama and that risk has paid off big-time for the school because it is our opinion that Patterson’s coaching and win/loss record at TCU was the major factor in TCU being invited to join the Big 12 Conference.
121. Chip Kelly, Oregon – People around college football had been telling us for years about New Hampshire offensive coordinator Chip Kelly who as the OC at UNH from 1999 – 2006 before he was hired to be Oregon’s OC in 2007 which led directly to the retirement of Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti and Chip Kelly being made the head coach at Oregon in 2009.
Chip Kelly’s record in four seasons at Oregon:
40 – 6 (.870)
Bottom-Line on Chip Kelly: Chip Kelly would probably have never been given a shot to be a head coach at a major school like Oregon as a long-time successful offensive coordinator at New Hampshire and it took a very unique situation at Oregon with a moderately successful head coach at OU in Mike Bellotti who was in our opinion pushed out of that job and replaced by Chip Kelly by powerful a powerful booster of Oregon athletics. Basically, Chip Kelly was a very successful assistant coach that was promoted to the head coaching position because of the immediate impact he had on the Oregon offense and he got the Oregon OC job because of his successful run as the OC at New Hampshire.
120. Bill Snyder, Kansas State – Bill Snyder took over as the head coach at Kansas State in 1989 which is when some of us here at Coaches Hot Seat were still in college, but Snyder before beginning his rebuilding of the KSU football program was a successful offensive coordinator under Iowa head coach Hayden Fry for nine seasons.
Bottom-Line on Bill Snyder: Bill Snyder was an assistant coach at a Big Ten school (Iowa) for almost a decade before getting the Kansas State job in 1989 and in 21 seasons at KSU Snyder has put up a record of…
165 – 83 – 1 (.665)
…and after a slow start Snyder turned Kansas State into a consistent winner over several decades now by playing a very simple and straightforward brand of football that is still very hard to beat IF you have a solid QB under center which Kansas State has this season.
119. Chris Petersen, Boise State – Chris Petersen became the head coach at Boise State in 2006 when then Boise State head coach Dan Hawkins took the Colorado head coaching job. Petersen had been the offensive coordinator on the Boise State staff for 6 years (2001 – 2005) when Dan Hawkins led Boise to…
..over those six years and much like Hawkins being promoted to the head coaching job at Boise when previous Boise head coach Dirk Koetter took the head coaching job at Arizona State it was also Petersen getting the nod from the Boise State in the wake of Dawkins departure.
Bottom-Line on Chris Petersen – Chris Petersen had never been a head coach when he took over at Boise State in 2006 and Petersen has over the past 7 seasons been one of the most successful coaches in Major College Football with a record of…
78 – 7 (.918)
…which is a record that borders on obscene it is so good even if your team is playing in the Mountain West Conference!
We could go on profiling the COOLEST SEAT COACHES on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings but let us summarize the previous position that the…
Top 25 COOLEST SEAT COACHES on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings
…had just before taking over their current head coaching jobs:
124. Nick Saban, Alabama – Proven Head Coach – LSU, Michigan State
123. Urban Meyer, Ohio State – Proven Head Coach – Florida, Utah, Bowling Green
122. Gary Patterson, TCU – Top Assistant Hired Off TCU Staff
121. Chip Kelly, Oregon – Top Assistant Hired Off Oregon Staff
120. Bill Snyder, Kansas State – Proven Offensive Coordinator at Iowa
119. Chris Petersen, Boise State – Top Assistant Hired Off Boise State Staff
118. Dave Doeren, Northern Illinois – Proven Offensive Coordinator at Wisconsin
117. Butch Jones, Cincinnati – Prove Head Coach – Central Michigan
116, Dan Mullen, Mississippi State – Proven Offensive Coordinator at Florida
115. Frank Solich, Ohio – Proven Head Coach – Nebraska
114. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame – Proven Head Coach – Cincinnati, Central Michigan, Grand Valley State
113. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina – Proven Head Coach – Florida, Duke
112. Charlie Strong, Louisville – Proven Defensive Coordinator at Florida
111. Bill Blankenship, Tulsa – Top Assistant Hired Off Tulsa Staff and Very Successful High School Coach in Oklahoma
110. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma – Proven Defensive Coordinator at Florida
109. Kyle Flood, Rutgers – Top Assistant Hired Off Rutgers Staff
108. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State – Top Assistant Hired Off Oklahoma State Staff
107. Willie Taggart, Western Kentucky – Proven Assistant Coach at Stanford
106. Lane Kiffin, USC – Uhhhhh, Fired at the Oakland Raiders and One Mediocre Year at Tennessee – Please, can anyone explain to us how exactly did Lane Kiffin get hired at USC?
105. Les Miles, LSU – Proven Head Coach – Oklahoma State
104. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – Top Assistant Hired Off Florida State Staff
103. Brady Hoke, Michigan – Proven Head Coach – Ball State, San Diego State
102. Dabo Sweeney, Clemson – Top Assistant Hired Off Clemson Staff
101. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M – Proven Head Coach – Houston
100. Will Muschamp, Florida – Proven Defensive Coordinator – Texas, Auburn, LSU, Miami Dolphins
So to summarize the previous positions held by the…
Top 25 COOLEST HEAD COACHES on the Coaches Hot Seat Rankings
9 Proven Head Coaches
8 Top Assistant Coaches Hired Off of Current Staff
7 Proven Assistant Coaches at Another School
1 Lane Kiffin who we still don’t know how in the Hell Kiffin got hired at Tennessee or USC!
What do the above numbers prove?
That a Successful Head Football Coach can be found in all kinds of places and if we here at Coaches Hot Seat were an athletic director at a major school…..like Arkansas….we would first be looking for a…
Proven Head Coach
…and the reason we would look for a Proven Head Coach first is because that man has already been in the high pressure situation of being the head football coach on the college level and has learned mainly through making mistakes what does and doesn’t work and thus the experience that he will bring to the new job will be light years ahead of even what a Top Assistant Coach would bring with him.
If a Proven Head Coach cannot be found that matches all of the criteria that we as an AD at a school were looking for AND was someone that we believed would be a good FIT with the school, the football program, the fans and the community then we would move on to Top Assistant Coaches especially if hiring from within on the current staff was not a viable option as is the case at Arkansas right now which really needs a clean break from the Bobby Petrino years to start the program new again with a complete house cleaning.
Coaches Hot Seat As Athletic Director Hiring Preference
1. Proven Head Coach
2. Top Assistant Coach IF there is not a strong viable candidate on the current staff
Where does the above Coaches Hot Seat As Athletic Director Hiring Preference leave as a case in point Arkansas right now you ask?
Well, Arkansas is going to be able to pay enough money to a head coach and his assistants AND will provide everything a coach could want to build a winning program AND Arkansas has some of the most loyal and rabid fans in the country which leads us to believe that Arkansas should be able to land a….
Proven Head Coach
….but IF none of the Proven Head Coaches that are on the Arkansas AD’s short-list are interested in the job or don’t seem like the right fit for the job then Arkansas should move on to hiring the very best Top Assistant Coach in the country that FITS best with the Arkansas football program and in our internal Top 25 Assistant Coaches Ranking here at Coaches Hot Seat which we are hotly debating on whether to publish or not there are at least 10 Top Assistant Coaches that would FIT very nicely with the Arkansas program and the Arkansas area of the country and it is up to Arkansas AD Jeff Long to find that…
….and if he doesn’t….
Well, Jeff Long survived the Bobby Petrino fiasco BUT he won’t survive another hire that doesn’t succeed both ON and OFF the field of play!
Below is another great article from the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer that is worth a read on how coaches salaries in the SEC Conference have grown very fast in the last few years: