In this post entitled “How can we fix assistant coaches leaving after signing day?” (answer: you can’t without violating contract law), there’s this:
“You should never try to convince a player to attend a school because of who the head coach is, or who his position coach or coordinator is going to be,” said one assistant at a Power 5 program. “There’s a 75 percent chance that his coordinator or position coach won’t be there by the time the player graduates, and that’s probably as high as 50 or 60 percent for the head coach. That’s just the reality.”
College coaching positions do indeed turn over at a high rate, but if kids are being dissuaded from choosing a school because of who based on who will be coaching them, what factors should they be considering? Does the quality of a university’s engineering or broadcast journalism or philosophy program truly matter to five-star prospects for whom Plan A is to spend three years playing college football before moving on to the NFL? If pro football endgame, then it’s perfectly reasonable that kids would want to be comfortable with what they’ll be learning and from whom they’ll be learning it.
I mention this because it seems one thing Mark Richt is selling these days about his program is that it’s “NFL Ready” (h/t Bulldog Illustrated). Here’s a tweet from Georgia Football after the Schottenheimer hire.
Now there’s nothing wrong with that, since Georgia puts a lot of student-athletes in the NFL. Also, I’m sure it’s not the only thing Richt is pitching to recruits about what they can expect out of enrolling at the school.
(Although it’s certainly ironic in a world where we’re told a kid shouldn’t go to a school because of who the head coach is, that one of Georgia’s great sales points is Richt’s longevity and the program’s stability, er, consistency. Speaking of which: “It does have more of an impact when it’s a position coach because kids want to know who is going to be coaching them and working with them every day to get better,” said one SEC assistant. “If a coordinator leaves they really just want to make sure the scheme is going to be the same. As long as the scheme is the same they don’t care who is calling the plays.”)
My guess is that any smart recruiter, of which Georgia certainly has its share, tailors his pitch to his audience. The kids who want to hear about playing on Sundays more than anything else are probably going to factor coaching more prominently into their decision than others. And, like Roquan Smith, those last minute coaching changes are going to sting more as a result for them.
Every Georgia signee commits to the G. It’s just that “G” may mean different things to different people. It’s up to the coaches to market that accordingly.