“This is my first Media Days, but I am no stranger to the SEC…”

Emphasis on the word “first”.

Since 1996, 16 coaches have gotten their first college head coaching job in the SEC. In their SEC careers, those coaches combined to win 49 percent of their games overall and 39 percent of their SEC games. No rookie head coach has eventually taken his school to the SEC Championship Game at any point in his career since Phillip Fulmer, who debuted at Tennessee during the 1992 season.

Now, obviously, given that most new coaches are brought on because their predecessors didn’t perform well enough to keep their jobs, those percentages shouldn’t come as much of a shock.  And I think we’d all agree Smart walks into a better situation in Athens than, say, Mark Stoops did a few years ago at Kentucky.

There’s one other thing that may work in Smart’s favor.  From a coaching perspective, the SEC is a green league in 2016.

It’s fair to say there has never been this much uncertainty about the long-term careers of so many SEC coaches. In fact, 2016 is collectively the SEC’s least experienced group of coaches in 52 years as the conference rebuilds its coaching depth, according to a CBS Sports analysis of SEC head-coaching careers…

On average, the SEC’s 2016 coaches have been a college head coach for 6.6 years. A year ago, the SEC coaches averaged 10.1 years in head-coaching experience. Since the SEC’s national title run began in 2006, the lowest average was 7.6 years in 2010.

You have to go back to 1964, when the SEC’s coaches averaged 5.8 years of experience, to find a year with head coaching resumes this short. That was Vince Dooley’s rookie year as coach at Georgia. Sound familiar in 2016, Georgia fans?

This is pretty amazing:  during the regular season, Georgia doesn’t face a single SEC head coach with a decade of experience in that role.  Six of Smart’s conference peers he’ll see don’t even have five years’ worth.



Filed under Georgia Football

19 responses to ““This is my first Media Days, but I am no stranger to the SEC…”

  1. hailtogeorgia

    ‘No rookie head coach has eventually taken his school to the SEC Championship Game at any point in his career since Phillip Fulmer, who debuted at Tennessee during the 1992 season.’

    Unless I’m missing something (and I read the article to check and make sure I wasn’t), he’s completely omitting Mark Richt from these numbers (both this particular sentence and the actual list of first time head coaches in the SEC since ’96).


    • Richt wasn’t a rookie head coach in 2002.


      • hailtogeorgia

        Then I’m misreading what he means by ‘at any point in his career’…


        • ACM

          I don’t think you’re misreading. He’s clearly (“eventually” and “at any point in career”) saying that no first time coach ever reached the championship except Fulmer.


        • KornDawg

          Same here. Fulmer didn’t take Tennessee to the SECCG until 97, so he was no rookie, either.


        • Connor

          I’m confused too. Was Richt ever a head coach before he came to UGA? I thought that he was only an assistant up to that point. Why wouldn’t he be on that list of “Coaches who’s first top job came in the SEC since 1996” and would he then not be the most recent to eventually take his team to the SEC Championship at some point in his career?


      • hailtogeorgia

        He doesn’t even list Richt in his list of coaches who have gotten their first head coaching job in the SEC since 1996. I really think he just had a bonehead moment.


      • Blake

        He overlooked Richt. By that measure, Fulmer didn’t have UT in the championship in 1992.


      • WorkingTitle

        Where did he coach as a head coach before? I can’t find anywhere he did. The writer appears to just be wrong unless I am missing something obvious


    • Rival

      Yep. Richt should be listed there starting in 2001.


    • Go Dawgs!

      Yeah, that’s a weird sentence. Fulmer didn’t take Tennessee to the SEC Championship Game in 1992. The point that Fulmer was still in his first job as a head coach when he eventually took Tennessee to an SEC Championship Game appearance seems like an odd thing to point out. And Mark Richt also took his first team as a head coach to the SEC Championship Game. And he also did it more recently than Fulmer did. All in all, I think there’s got to be some better way to express the idea that there haven’t been a lot of coaches who took their first head coaching jobs in the SEC and lived to tell about it.

      That said, looking at the fact that the conference is now Saban, Les Miles, and a whole bunch of new guys you really have to marvel at how many itchy trigger fingers there are in our league.


  2. Shameless plug, but I do think there’s ample evidence that the SEC is going to slide a bit in the coming years.



  3. AthensHomerDawg

    Sony injury is a hell of alot worse than we initially knew.
    Chubbs start would be rare even among the greatest of college RB’S recoveries.
    Depth at D line.
    O line performs?
    WR talent
    QB growth and development,

    CKS…9-3 with a little luck.

    I see where Crowell expressed himself on instagram yesterday.


    • 69Dawg

      He’s already trying to apologize but his butt is in trouble. He has one good season and goes back to thinking he’s bullet proof. The NFL is not going to put up with his shit. They are a PR driven league and Crowell will be sacking groceries for what he Tweeted.


  4. lakedawg

    Think we would have been better off in the long term if someone else had won the recruiting battle for Crowell.



    Fulmer played at UT..his team…..