2012-10-18 07:41

This week I would like to talk about the coaches.

I think for many people, the headcoaches of college football programs are Multi-Million-Dollar-Contract-Jobs, where they can do what ever is necessary to win and they are always on the sunny side of life.

Well ... this might depend on the perspective and the program they work for.

First of all, how do you become a headcoach?

The answer to that is "through hard work, time and luck".

Hard Work:
Being a coach in which ever position of responsibility, from graduate assistant to headcoach, is work with heavy workload.
Of cause every coach has room to do the job as he thinks he can do it best and the higher you are in the hierarchy, the more you can plan the time by yourself, but you will have a hard time working a regular 9 to 5 shift.
It is known, that many headcoaches do have 100+ hour weeks by default and it is also known that many coaches do have health issues, because of those workloads.
Still, for most of them, this Job is the Job they always wanted, until the health problem do sum up to the point where the most important question for the next weekend is not how to survive the next game in the chase for a Bowl-Place, but how to SURVIVE the next week and don't leave wife and kids alone, since you got buried six feet under.

Most coaches don't get the call and are headcoaches after a playing career. No, the progress to become one of those big time head coaches on TV is a very long one.
Many start as graduate assistant, earning basically only a little hand money and the university gives you a room and food.
If you can get a regular job as assistant coach for any position, this is the next step and after a while you might get a chance for coordinating a team.
And after a few years as a coordinator you normally get maybe the chance for leading a whole team as a head coach.
The time needed for this development is easily in the ball park of 15-20 years.
It needs a lot of passion to get their.
And a lot of guts, too, since for every stop UP you have to fight against several other competitors who all want the same, step up.

As said, there are a lot of people looking for the next step up and you need definitely more than a good reputation to outrace all the others.
There are a lot off good coordinators, never made the next step, because there was always a hotter candidate in front of you.
It might be, that those were bullshit or did turn out to be only decent, but they GOT the chance, because of what ever reason, and those long time coordinators did not.
Remember that you are also always dependent on the results your students do achieve.
You can be the next Vince Lombardi, if your team did only manage to win 1 game in a season; you have a hard time to convince anyone about your skills.

So now you all did that and grinded yourself to a headcoaching position over 15 years for hard work.
Now you are made for life, right?
Not so fast.

First of all ... did you get a job in the FBS, the FCS or maybe in the Div III?

In smaller colleges it is not uncommon that you have to teach additional classes, since the program can't afford to have a coach ONLY for football.
It depends on the schools and the sport the field, but sometimes you have to give classes or sometimes you are also the coach of the wrestling team or what ever.
And the payment .... expect less that a 6 figure amount of money per year, more likely in the area of 50.000$ annually.

OK, you did better and got a job in the FBS. Hurray!
No you are set for life, right?

Not so fast.

There are 124 schools in the FBS and as I once stated, the money revenue is somewhere between 3 mio. $ and over 100 mio. $ a year.
Do you think the 3 mio. $ schools will pay you a fortune and the players and assistants will do their thing based on discount stamps?

No, of cause not.

Lowest salary for a FBS Headcoach is about 200.000$ a year, but not for all schools such information is available, so there might be less paid headcoaches.

In this context it doesn't surprise that once you are recruited by a big dollar school, the loyalty to your last program is very small.
Every dreamed of a rise of 10 times your last salary? In College football, this is possible.
For a few coaches.

So ... next time you see those TV coaches ... you don't have to pity them, but remember that they (and their families) did put everything they had into the jackpot over 15-20 years, and THOSE on TV did (maybe) get it all back.

I did not find much information about divorces and all other things which could happen, if daddy is not at home for a very long time of a day, but I would bet, the numbers are as bad as those of the once with health problems.

Being a Headcoach in the FBS is basically like being a CEO of a Multi-Million-Dollar-Company, except, those coaches do also have to deal with fans and the press on a daily basis.

If you ever dreamed of becoming one ... be aware that it is a tough choice for job.


This week I have chosen some untypical games, to give some light on the conference racings.

#3 Oregon @ Arizona State
This could be the PAC 12 Championship game test or the Sundevils could be another speed bump in the Ducks run to perfection.
Arizona State is the leading team of the PAC 12 South, Oregon is one of the leading teams of the North division.
Not many had the Sundevils in this position predicted (USC was of cause the team predicted) and we will now see, what is behind those desert team.
I doubt they will really stop the Ducks from winning, but I hope for a good match.
The Ducks will in, and probably big.

#7 South Carolina @ #2 Florida
This will probably decide the SEC East. There is Florida, South Carolina and Georgia looking for the top spot, but Florida is the only unbeaten team and if they win here, there is not much the others can do.
So who will win this?
I think everyone is expecting a close game and the only thing which is unclear is, can the Gamecocks overcome the loss from last week and beat Florida in Florida?
Based on the tough running game of Florida I would lean towards a small "no".
LSU did win at the end also by their running back, so if South Carolina can't stop those Gator backs ...
I expect a close win by the Gators.

North Carolina State @ Maryland
Believe it of not, at the moment are the Terrapins of Maryland the ACC Atlantic leaders.
Now they have to face the Florida State defeating Wolfpacks and I have problems picking a winner.
Yes the Wolfpacks did win against FSU in a close one, but this one is at home in Maryland and the Terrapins might come up as in a lot of games this season, good enough to win.
Still ... I can't believe Maryland did turn around that quick, so I pick North Carolina State.

Michigan State @ Michigan
Yuhu, one of the most interesting rivalries in college Football and we all can expect a hard fought match.
Michigan seems to have the favourite position this year and that is probably only fair.
Still an upset is possible.
What do you think?
I think, it will be not as close as expected and the Wolverine will win this year.
If they do so, they might have to beat Iowa later in the season for the Division win.

#17 Texas Tech @ #23 TCU
Those two teams are right behind Kansas State in the BIG 12 and it might get interesting.
The Red Raiders did win against WV last week and the Horned Frogs did win against Baylor.
Funny thing is, TCU lost only once this season and it was at home.
So who will survive this battle?
I'm not sure, but I'm leaning towards the Red Raiders here.
Not only did they win big last week, no TCU has also lost their QB because of some Arrest and he is leaving TCU.

Louisiana Monroe @ Western Kentucky
This game might decide the Sun Belt Conference this year.
Both coaches did probably get a lot of attention this season and I wouldn't wonder if both might land a new HC spot with better payments in the off season.
But before that, the season has to be finished and THIS game might be the highlight for the Sun Belt.
So, Hilltoppers at home or the Warhawks?
I go with the Warhawks.
I'm still impressed by they play against Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor.
You need a tough QB to guide you through those games and I think this toughness will pay well for them.

‘Til next time

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