Thursday, January 15, 2009
It has become routine that with each season that passes in college football there are more firing and hiring of coaches throughout the country and among any level of competition. Now some coaches are fired because they have not been very successful while other coaches, move on to other programs to advance their careers, however a recent epidemic around the nation has consistently shown a lack of support that a coach has from the administration in the school.
When discussing the lack of support among coaches I think it is important to understand that running a college football program takes the support and dedication of everyone involved in the program. Every person that is involved in the program no matter if this person is the head coach or a student assistant should understand the goals of the program and the standards expected of them. Everyone must be on the same page and loyal to one another in order for the program to be successful. The most important relationship in a college football program is the relationship that the head coach has with the athletic director of the school and the rest of the administration.
A shining example of a program that displays loyalty between the administration and the coaches in regards to understanding of the goals of the program is the University of Buffalo and what the coaches and administers had been able to accomplish in such a short period of time. Turner Gil is the head coach at UB and has in three years turned a very young division one program who had only had a handful of wins into a program that won their conference and gained a post season bowl game invitation.
Unfortunately a positive relationship between the administration at a school and their coaches does not exist everywhere. The most recent firing of the coach at Boston College is the most recent example of such a relationship. This coach led his team to two consecutive ACC championship games and post season play in the two years he was the head coach of the program. With his recent success some NFL teams showed interest in the possibility of interviewing the coach for a job opening. Instead of supporting the coach the athletic director told him if he interviewed with the NFL teams he was going to be fired. The coach interviewed and the athletic director kept his promise.
There is no one set blueprint for success in college football in building and maintaining a successful program, different people have their own methods. However the principles of loyalty and support combined with a shared vision among coaches and the administration at the school will in my opinion ultimately result in success.