Back When Does the Coaching Carousel Stop?

Back To SEC

When Does the Coaching Carousel Stop?

By BJ Bennett
Follow us at  Become a fan at the Facebook Page

In a game of inches, the impact of coaching changes are complex and wide-ranging.

Big-time college football is bigger than it has ever been. Perhaps no set of circumstances better showcase that sentiment than the wave of coaching changes that come crashing down at the end of every year. An unrelenting drive for success means there is no off-season or no down year for expectations. Coaches can go from the front row to the hot seat in a matter of mere months. Though pressure undoubtedly comes with the position and the pay, the question has to be asked: is the current climate sustainable?

Of the 14 SEC programs, for example, ten of them have now had coaching changes in the past two years. At least two of the other holdovers, Gus Malzahn and Derek Mason, have been constants in rumors regarding fleeting job security. Starting with the influx of new hires, this next fall will feature head coaches with an average of 2.29 years of full-season head coaching experience at their current positions. Nearly half the league will have new faces out in front. Media days will feature more introductions than interviews. 

Sure, some coaching moves are warranted and, certainly, there is a lot on the line with each win and loss. That said, constant changes create a culture of instability. Philosophical shifts and schematic adjustments take time to settle, much less succeed. It's hard to expect consistency on the field without some cohesion in the front office, too.

Even with the prestige and the resources, not to mention the contracts, that come with high-profile jobs, the expectations may now be causing some hesitation amongst potential candidates. Even high-profile head coaches are largely getting hired to, sooner rather than later, get fired. Fair or unfair, even program greats like Mack Brown, Phillip Fulmer and Mark Richt have been forced out in recent years.   

In some ways, the process has become bigger than the product itself. The chase, from the standpoint of both the coaches and the programs, is leaving college football breathless. 

Across all conferences, lost in the shuffle of the coaching chaos are the student-athletes. Players commit to schemes and individuals, choosing destinations based on factors that seem fixed. Understandably, the business side of even college sports is very real and very important. Where, however, is the line drawn? In some capacity, it's difficult to see the money at play here and not wonder why some sort of pool for paying players couldn't be established.     

In a game of inches, the impact of coaching changes are complex and wide-ranging. The big-picture, here, is worth consideration.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports