Youth will be served.

The coaching ranks are getting younger.

The average FBS on-field coaching staff is 42.5 years old, with a clear gap between programs on the Group of Five and Power Five levels. For teams in the Group of Five, which tends to hire up-and-coming rather than established coaches, the average coaching staff is 40.6 years old. Among the Power Five, the average staff is 44.2 years old. The seven youngest coaching staffs are in the Group of Five; the nine oldest are in the Power Five. Including graduate assistants, who are typically recent college graduates, the average FBS coach is roughly 39 years old, according to the American Football Coaches Association.

Georgia is right there.

While not at the rate seen on the Group of Five, a similar hiring trend is beginning to emerge among the nation’s premier conferences. Six coaching staffs from the Power Five average 40 years old or under, led by Boston College (36.7) and its first-year coach, Jeff Hafley. The Eagles are followed by Duke (38.4), Minnesota (38.4), Oklahoma (39.9), Georgia (40) and Oregon State (40).

One major exception to the trend:

The coaching staff at LSU, the defending national champions, averages 55.2 years old, the oldest surveyed by a significant margin — next is Pittsburgh (50.1 years old) and Northwestern (49.9).

But maybe there’s a sweet spot, age-wise.

Many of the sport’s most successful programs are among the one-quarter of FBS coaching staffs over 45 years old: Alabama (45.4 years old), Michigan (46.2), Oregon (46.3), Clemson (46.8), Auburn (47.7) and Ohio State (48.1).

It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between average staff age and recruiting results.


Filed under College Football

4 responses to “Youth will be served.

  1. josh hancher

    I could do a chart…


  2. dawgtired

    “But maybe there’s a sweet spot, age-wise.” “It would be interesting to see if there is any correlation between average staff age and recruiting results.”

    You have to be old enough to have built a reputation that you can back up your talk, yet young enough to know how to connect. The culture seems to change a little with each generation.


    • Dawgoholic

      Maybe a recruiting correlation down the ranks, but with Bama, OSU, Clemson, Oregon, Michigan, and Auburn as the oldest, the top recruiting has to be weighted towards the older coaches. Would like to see if a correlation in rankings 10-70.