The “market” for college coaches, “like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

Jimmy Sexton nods approvingly, says to himself, “my work is done here”.


Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness

9 responses to “The “market” for college coaches, “like nothing I’ve ever seen.”

  1. I never thought about it in terms of how the NFL works. How different things would be if the only coaches you could hire were ones who aren’t currently head coaches somewhere else. I can’t imagine that will ever happen at the NCAA level, but it is interesting to think about……..but to be honest, I’m not sure I would want it to be like that. I think it would make it a lot harder for the schools to improve their programs, plus you’d end up seeing a lot of the re-tread hires like you do in the NFL (guys who’s main reason for getting hired is that they were a head coach at one time, and are currently available, not necessarily because they are a great coach). But again, interesting food for thought.

    There’s no doubt though that it is a farce how much mobility the coaches have compared to what the student athletes have available……….especially when coaches try to limit the mobility of their players even more than it already is.


  2. Gravidy

    Wow. That column was physically painful to read. It is safe to say that I don’t think “market” means what the author thinks it means. Thanks, Bluto. My head hurts now.


    • mdcgtp

      it was not just a bad article. it was a terrible article that reveals the narrow minded approach that ADs take to hiring. It was not at all about a free market and why coaching salaries have increased. It was simply about a prenuptial agreement.

      Ultimately, they do the easiest thing, which is to hire someone to do exactly the same thing they have done in the past. In this world, that means hiring a guy whose current functions are as close to being a head football coach at their university as possible. We know that usually means a head coach at a lateral school, a coordinators, etc. What is worse is they don’t feel compelled to offer highly incentive laden contracts with huge penalties to reduce incentives to cheat.

      That said, I always find it both maddening and frustrating when “the coaching hot board” gets posted for each vacancy as they occur because of how little creativity gets employed. John Harbaugh was a Special teams coach for the Eagles before a year as a DB and being hired as head coach of the Ravens. Certainly, he benefits from Ozzie Newsome’s good personnel decisions, but the point I am making is few would have thought it was a particularly inspiring hire. Similarly, Mike Tomlin was not on anyone’s radar screen when the Steelers hired him. Again, he has benefitted from the Steelers personnel department and very structured approach, and perhaps he is not a great coach. that said, the important point is that NEITHER was on the “radar screen” of most NFL teams. I wonder what the track record of “off the radar” guys is. Obviously, I just cited 2 successful examples, but I wonder if there is an equal number of off the radar guys that have failed as nfl head coaches.

      My point being is that the radar screen is WAY WAY too narrow and the success of Malzahn, Briles, and Chad Morris suggest that major college experience is NOT an imperative to success. why a big 10 team has not sniffed the son who just took over for his father at Mt. Union college is a flat out mystery to me. Purdue formulaically hired Darell Hazell with one year of success at Kent instead of trying to hire someone from Mt Union. the same small mindedness translates to coordinator and position coaching position.


      • Gravidy

        I agree with much of what you said. However, the point of my snarky comment was not to critique the process, but to criticize the article – particularly his notion of a “market”. Whether or not he is a fan of free markets in general, or whether the college coach hiring system should resemble one is unrelated. The current system for hiring coaches is a pretty darned free market. But since he holds an obvious disdain for free markets, he decided that he would define his “market” as something which required much, much more regulation from the NCAA – you know, because that would be a good thing.

        I was also not at all pleased with his notions of contracts and his laughable inference that college coaching contracts are the only kinds of contracts which EVER get renegotiated.

        I probably should have kept my mouth shut. “Journalists” flaunting their ignorance about their chosen subject matter is a huge pet peeve of mine. My sincere apologies to anyone who came looking for a football blog and found anti-journalism snark instead. 🙂


  3. Will Trane

    Bowl time. 17 straight years for the Dawgs. 13 of those with CMR. What does that say about a money coach and teams. Alums and ADs love that!


  4. Nashville West

    That 13th Amendment thing is a real inconvenience, you can’t force someone to work at a job that they don’t want. I suppose that they could put in a covenant not to compete in coaching contracts but those are virtually unenforceable in some states, notably California. They could try using some of the devices that the tech industries use, call all of the information contained in the playbooks (and the coach’s brain)”proprietary data” or “trade secrets” and get an injunction preventing their use by competing teams. More money for the legal system and less for sports.

    On the other hand I really don’t like the idea of the NCAA stepping in, that has selective enforcement written all over it (For example, Ohio State is permitted by the NCAA to steal Michigan State’s entire defensive coaching staff with only a warning while USC gets the death penalty for talking to Jon Gruden because he used to be on the staff at Pitt in 1991).

    The real “victims”, if there are any, are the guys on the team. However, it is probably a good chance for these young men to learn that: 1.Change is inevitable and 2. Life can be unfair.


  5. americusdawg

    One thing the writer did bring up that continues to boil my blood is that coaches can limit the schools that a student athlete can transfer to (See the Senator’s blog post earlier this year regarding Mike “I’m 40” Gundy – Allegedly, Gundy initially prevented a former quarterback at OKST8 from transferring to 37 schools) … but most coaches can come and go as they please without retribution. While I’d love to see some changes to all coaches’ contracts that prevent breaking contracts, I’m not that stupid to think that it’s ever gonna come to a time when it’s no longer the norm. I guess that this discussion is in sync with the O’Bannon case, etc. F^ck the players, we coaches and administrators can do what the hell we want and no one can really do anything about it. It’s sad but that’s what today’s society (including myself) has come to. Whether it be the corporate world or a someone on the street just trying to make it to tomorrow … “It’s all about money … ain’t a damn thing funny … you gotta have a con in this land of milk and honey.”