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Tag:Mack Brown
Posted on: January 31, 2011 7:10 pm
 

How important is a coach's age to winning titles?

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Virginia Tech-centric blog Gobbler Country posted an interested study today, examining the breakdown of championship-winning coaches' ages in the modern era of college football. The question raised is "how old is too old," and excepting some obvious outliers, the answer is "younger than you think."

For the champions, I used the BCS from 1998-present, the coaches' poll from 1982-1997 and the AP poll from 1960-1981.

Time span Avg. Age
1960-69 46.4
1970-79 51.0
1980-89 48.6
1990-99 55.6
2000-10 49.9
BCS Era 55.1
1960-2010 51.3

The ages of head coaches have fluctuated from mid 40s to mid 50s since 1960, but the average has been a little over 51 years of age. However, there has been one coach that has helped break the curve. Take away Bobby Bowden's two titles and the average in the 90's shrinks to 52.8 and the BCS era shrinks to 53.8.

What's even more unsettling to programs with older coaches is the breakdown of championships by age bracket:

Age Span Champs
< 40 5
40-44 9
45-49 9
50-54 14
55-59 9
60 + 5

Not only is there a precipitous dropoff from the early 50s to 60+, those five titles were won by just three coaches: The aforementioned Bowden with two, Bear Bryant with two, and Joe Paterno -- the three most celebrated coaches of the modern era of I-A football. What's more, Bryant had won his first title at the age of 50, while Paterno won his first at 56. Bowden didn't win his first until he was 64, but that was after six straight top-five finishes in the final poll for Florida State. In other words, each of those three coaches firmly established his national championship bona fides before his 60th birthday, while every other coach who ever hit 60 in the last 50 years was quite evidently past his prime.

It's not really surprising, then, to have seen Maryland jettison longtime head coach Ralph Friedgen, who was 63 at the end of the 2010 and who clearly wasn't about to win a title at such a mediocre football school (no offense, Terps, but let's be honest). Incoming coach Randy Edsall will have just turned 53 at the outset of the 2011 season, and while one might joke that Maryland's only got two seasons of Edsall in his prime before it all goes downhill, it's not as if he's got 15 years in front of him with the Terrapins.

So with all this in mind, here are a few more notable coaches and their ages as of the start of the 2011 season. It would be incorrect to say there's a "new generation" of coaches on the move (seven years or so doesn't really constitute a generational gap) but it's pretty clear that a few of these guys aren't lasting much more than five years -- especially if they're not winning 10 games a year anymore.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech, 64
Mack Brown, Texas, 60
Gene Chizik, Auburn, 49
Kirk Ferentz, Iowa, 56
Al Golden, Miami, 42
Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State, a man, 44
Brady Hoke, Michigan, 52
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame, 49
Chip Kelly, Oregon, 47
Lane Kiffin, USC, 36
Mike Leach, free agent, 50
Les Miles, LSU, 57
Dan Mullen, Mississippi St., 39
Will Muschamp, Florida, 40
Joe Paterno, Penn State, 84
Gary Patterson, TCU, 51
Bo Pelini, Nebraska, 43
Chris Petersen, Boise State, 46
Bobby Petrino, Arkansas, 50
Mark Richt, Georgia, 51
Nick Saban, Alabama, 59
Bob Stoops, Oklahoma, 50
Jim Tressel, Ohio State, 58
Kyle Whittingham, Utah, 51

Now obviously, not all of these schools are going to win national championships in the next 5-10 years. But by and large, most of these schools do pay their coaches a gigantic salary -- to the point that the expectation of competing on a national level is inevitable. If a coach is struggling in his fourth or fifth year with a program, is an athletic director going to be more apt to fire the coach if he's 57 instead of 47? Is that age discrimination, or common sense?

Posted on: January 31, 2011 5:47 pm
 

Mack Brown wanted Charlie Weis in Austin

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Texas Longhorns have had a lot of turnover on their coaching staff this offseason. Some changes were made by choice (Greg Davis for Brian Harsin) and others by necessity (Will Muschamp leaving for Florida). Ironically, the one change that Mack Brown wanted to make was altered dramatically thanks to the change he didn't want.

According to Kirk Bohls in The Statesman, Mack Brown's initial choice to replace Greg Davis as offensive coordinator was Charlie Weis, but then Muschamp left for Gainesville and things got complicated.
Mack Brown's first choice for offensive coordinator, I am told by two sources, was Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Charlie Weis, and the Texas head coach all but considered it a done deal that the former Notre Dame head coach would join his staff in Austin. However, Weis' high school senior son bonded with Longhorns defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and had planned to learn under him at Texas, until Muschamp bolted for Florida and the entire Weis family followed.
Texas would then move on to Brian Harsin, who isn't exactly a terrible consolation prize given the success of the offenses he ran at Boise State. Still, the fact that Brown thought he had Weis locked up, and then lost him and Muschamp to Florida is somewhat of an apt description for Texas football in 2010 overall. The only thing missing from the equation was a Garrett Gilbert interception.
Posted on: January 30, 2011 7:17 pm
 

Texas assistants raking in the dough

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A public records request has resulted in the release of salary information for Texas's nine assistant coaches , and to sum that information up in two words: they're buying.

Only 27 assistants nationwide earned $400,000 or more in 2010, but in 2011 more than half of Texas's staff -- co-offensive coordinators Major Applewhite and Bryan Harsin, defensive coordinator Manny Diaz, offensive line coach Stacy Searels, and defensive backs coach Jerry Gray -- will meet that benchmark. Harsin's, Diaz's, and Applewhite's salaries would all rank in the top 15 among assistants nationwide last season. Searels' $425,000 per-year contract would have tied with him with Alabama's (since-retired) Joe Pendry as the FBS's highest-paid offensive line coach.

You get the point: the Longhorns are sparing no expense in the wake of last year's 5-7 disaster and the surprise departure of supposed head coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp. Depending on how well Harsin, Diaz, and the other new assistants perform, it's possible Muschamp's decision to leave for the Florida head coaching job could be a financial blessing in disguise; as the nation's highest-paid assistant a year ago with a salary of better than $900,000, Muschamp bidding Texas goodbye helped free up some of the cash that led the new assistants to sign with the 'Horns.

However you slice it, though, this kind of financial commitment shows that Mack Brown is not planning on meekly fading away after his 2010 catastrophe. He wanted a new, top-dollar staff to whisk away the stench of last year, and he convinced those in charge of the Texas purse-strings to give him that staff. No one can accuse him of shrugging his shoulders at last season, nor the Longhorns of being cheap.

Now Brown just needs to make sure no one can accuse him of wasting that money on another losing season, lest the catcalls continue that his salary is the money the 'Horns ought to be saving.

Posted on: January 21, 2011 11:17 am
 

Mack Brown declares Texas QB race 'wide open'

Posted by Tom Fornelli

We already know that there will be plenty of changes with the Texas football program in 2011. It's hard to keep things at the status quo when you hire roughly 87 new coaches during the offseason, and Mack Brown knows that he can't afford another 5-7 season in Austin.  Which means Brown has to be willing to shake things up, and it seems as though he's ready to do just that.

Brown was on ESPN's College Football Live on Thursday and he made an announcement that may come as a surprise to many. According to Brown, the race to be Texas' starting quarterback in 2011 is "wide open."

"Garrett [Gilbert's] got two great years of experience under his belt and we've got some other great quarterbacks as well," said Brown. "That competition, like all the other positions on our team, will be wide open this spring." 

Considering that Garrett Gilbert's 2010 season was, let's just say, less than good, it would only make sense that he wasn't guaranteed anything in 2011. Throw in the fact that new offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin comes to Austin with no connection to any of his new quarterbacks, and it is conceivable that either Connor Wood or Case McCoy could win the job from Gilbert in 2011.

That being said, I don't see it happening. Not only does Gilbert have the edge in experience, but it also says a lot that even with his and the team's struggles in 2010, McCoy and Wood never saw the field. You would think that if either of them were ready to take Gilbert's job that the coaching staff would have given them a shot last season.

Of course, there is a reason none of those coaches are returning, so I suppose anything is possible.
Posted on: January 20, 2011 11:50 am
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:19 pm
 

Report: UGa's Searels headed to Austin

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The overhaul of the Texas coaching staff continues, and it looks like Mack Brown has found another new member for his Longhorns staff.  Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels was in Austin on Wednesday afternoon, and according to a report he'll be accepting the job of offensive line coach at Texas.
Georgia offensive line coach Stacy Searels traveled Wednesday afternoon to Austin, Texas, where a website covering University of Texas athletics, Orangebloods.com, reported Wednesday night that he accepted an offer to become the Longhorns’ offensive line coach.
Texas has not yet announced a hire.
Texas head coach Mack Brown has been seeking an offensive line coach since the December retirement of Mac McWhorter. Auburn O-line coach Jeff Grimes last week turned down the position.
Searels and Georgia have not released a comment on the story either.  Searels has been in Athens since 2007 as an offensive line coach, and has made previous stops at LSU, Cincinnati and Appalachian State.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 12:05 am
 

Headset Reset: Reviewing new SEC and ACC hires

Posted by Chip Patterson

"Headset Reset" is the College Football Blog's series reviewing the 22 new head coaches in the FBS and what they'll need to accomplish in their new jobs to succeed. In this edition: the four new head coaches in the SEC and the ACC.


WILL MUSCHAMP, Florida

Why him? Urban Meyer blindsided the college football community by stepping away from his gig as the head coach at one of the biggest football programs in the nation. So naturally, Florida poached the highest profile assistant coach from right under Mack Brown to lead the Gators into the new decade. For 2011, Muschamp needs to: Win the SEC East. By bringing in Charlie Weis as the new offensive coordinator, Gators fans will expect that many of the offensive woes that plagued them in 2010 will be eliminated immediately. But despite all their downfalls, Florida still came one game from winning the division. There will be no excuse not to reclaim the East in 2014. By 2014, Muschamp needs to have: Won the SEC Championship. Urban Meyer won two national championships in his first four seasons at Florida. Muschamp needs to at least win the SEC crown by 2014, presumably meaning the Gators are also in the national title discussion. Chances Muschamp gets what he needs?: There is no reason to think that Muschamp, a coach who carries a strong reputation in several major recruiting hotbeds, cannot continue to bring in the talent to Gainesville to build his own dynasty. I'd say chances are pretty good.

JAMES FRANKLIN, Vanderbilt

Why him? After Bobby Johnson retired less than two months before the start of the season, Vanderbilt scrambled to promote offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell to head coach. After Caldwell's 2-10 record in 2010, he stepped down as well. For 2011, Franklin needs to: Beat Elon and win at least one conference game. After two straight 2-10 seasons Franklin at least needs to equal that win total, even with a difficult non-conference schedule. The bar isn't too high, but the Commodores need to find at least one non-conference and one conference win in 2011. By 2014, Franklin needs to have: Made the postseason. Again, the bar is not too high (Vanderbilt has only 2 bowl appearances since 1980), but Franklin would likely land himself a long-term contract and cement his own place in Vanderbilt history by adding a postseason win to the school's resume. Chances Franklin gets what he needs?: Have you seen the SEC? Not great.

RANDY EDSALL, Maryland

Why him? New athletic director Kevin Anderson clearly had plans to get rid of Ralph Friedgen before he went on to win 8 games and be named ACC Coach of the Year. Despite the biggest turnaround in school history, the coach was removed in favor of Randy Edsall, the perennial coaching search smoke-screen. For 2011, Edsall needs to: Equal or improve from Friedgen's 8-win regular season in 2010. With many Terps fans and players sad to see Fridge shoved out the door, Edsall will immediately be compared to his predecessor. Fortunately, Edsall inherits a young and talented team led by ACC Rookie of the Year Danny O'Brien. By 2014, Edsall needs to have: Won the ACC Atlantic. Anderson's main reason for buying out Friedgen's contract was to take the Maryland football program from "good to great." After coming one game from winning the division in 2010, the only way to improve would be an appearance in the ACC Championship Game. Chances Edsall gets what he needs?: Not very good. The ACC Atlantic is getting stronger with Jimbo Fisher bringing Florida State back to national relevance, Dabo Swinney beefing up his coaching staff, and Tom O'Brien turning N.C. State into a perennial threat in the conference. Thinking that Edsall will be able to take the Terps to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014 is a tall order. But if it happens, it will be because of the play of O'Brien.

AL GOLDEN, Miami

Why him? After another year of poor attendance from a disinterested fan base, not to mention the failure to compete within their own division, Miami decided it was time for a change. For 2011, Golden needs to: While Shannon failed collect any hardware on the field, he certainly did his part recruiting during the offseason. Golden realizes the importance of recruiting in-state, and has hit the trail running. With only two weeks left until signing day, Golden is in the middle of his 45 scheduled visits for the month of January to solidify his 2011 class. Many recruits, including ones in-state, have expressed how impressed they were with Golden and his new staff. Golden won't be expected to win the division in 2011, but Hurricanes fans will be far less forgiving if they see a drop-off on national signing day. By 2014, Golden needs to have: Won the ACC Coastal. After years of dominating the Big East, Miami boosters have been disappointed to see Miami fall out of the conference race each year since joining the ACC. Golden needs to take the Hurricanes to their first ACC Championship Game by 2014, or else an occasionally unstable administration may get trigger happy once again. Chances Golden gets what he needs?: Golden faces an uphill battle as a coach with no experience south of Charlottesville, VA, but what progress he has made so far has been pleasantly surprising. He still is competing against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech, who have combined for every ACC Coastal crown since the division formation in 2004. I'd put the chances of Golden taking Miami to the ACC Championship game right at 50-50.
Posted on: January 19, 2011 11:10 am
 

"Longhorn Network" to be unveiled today

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Hey, remember when Notre Dame's exclusive deal with NBC was seen as an earth-shaking development in the world of college football? Those days seem so carefree and innocent now, what with the Sports Business Daily reporting that Texas will officially unveil the new "Longhorn Network" today , a partnership with ESPN that will create the first 24-hour channel devoted exclusively to a single university's athletics.

Per the SBD, the network will be ...
the first-of-its-kind channel to broadcast live UT athletic events, shoulder programming and non-sports university content. The Longhorn Network will launch in the fall and will be owned by ESPN, which will pay the school a rights fee that averages $15M a year, sources said. In addition, ESPN has committed close to $400M in production value to the channel over the 20-year term.
Total amount of money flowing directly into Texas's coffers over the next 20 years? $300 million.

But even that's chump change compared to the prestige and influence the 'Horns promise to wield with their own network to flout. There's still plenty of questions to be asked and answered of the new enterprise -- How many homes can the WWL force the channel into? Will it actually broadcast any live football games? Can it turn a profit? How many people will tune in for "Mack Brown Live, And We Mean Live Right Now: 30 Minutes of Mack Brown Doing His Taxes"? -- but it's hard to see how it isn't a major, major feather in the Longhorns' media cap.

The story might be most substantial, though, as a simple milestone. Analysts have long predicted that in the distant future, we'd be capable of watching only our favorite teams all the time. So 20 years from now, when you're checking out "Cardinalvision: Your 24/7 Television Home for Ball State Athletics," remember that it all got started today.
Posted on: January 17, 2011 11:42 am
 

Report: Texas loses DBs coach Akina to Arizona

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Mack Brown must have known that after the staggering disappointment of his Texas team's 5-7 2010 season, it was going to take a lot of work to get the Longhorns back on track. But even he might not have known how much work there was really going to be.

First there was the defection of coach-in-not-waiting-any-longer Will Muschamp to Florida. Then came the departure of four other coaches who were not asked to return to the Longhorn staff by Brown. And now multiple outlets are reporting that longtime secondary coach Duane Akina will be leaving Austin after 10 seasons to take the same position at Arizona.

This report from the Houston Chronicle cites sources claiming that the deal had not been finalized just yet, but added that Brown was "not shocked" Akina might bolt to a school where he spent 14 seasons in the '80s and '90s. (CBS's own Bryan Fischer also reported that Akina was the only Texas assistant not wearing a Longhorn t-shirt at the recent American Football Coaches Association convention.) At this stage, all signs point towards Akina making the departure official ... oh, any minute now.

It's just one more headache for Brown as he tries to piece together his new staff. Four coaches have already been hired, including an impressive new pair of coordinators in Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz, but the Longhorns still have no offensive line coach after both Auburn's Jeff Grimes and Oklahoma State's Bob Wickline told Brown "thanks, but no thanks." With Signing Day only days away and key recruits hanging in the balance (behind Grimes, Auburn has made a late charge for five-star tackle Christian Westerman), Brown now has to worry about finding not one but two coaches with most of the quality candidates already locked up.

Brown's handled worse, and with Harsin and Diaz in the fold, his most critical hires have already been completed in optimism-inspiring fashion. But until the last of the six new faces on staff are in place and their impact on the 'Horns 2011 recruiting class is decided, Brown's not going to sleep easy, and neither will Texas fans.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com