College Football coaches should not be disposable, yet they are



This is a bit of a rhetorical question but its something for the life of me I don't understand: Why would anyone willingly become a major college football coach?


Yes, I know the first answer that people will spit out, "Because of the money". And yeah, maybe for some there's a financial stake in all of this....


But...I find it really hard to believe for most coaches, that's the reason they take high profile jobs.


Yeah, I know, we now live in a world where people churn through jobs, moving on to the next adventure when the spirit moves them. But for most of us, those jobs don't come with quite the same pressure.


Think about it. Unless you're Nick Saban, the current version, nothing about being a big-time college football coach screams security. You are literally only as good as your current season.


Think about Dan Mullen. A year ago, he was the toast of the SEC, if not the college football world. His Gators vanquished the Georgia Bulldogs, making it to the SEC Championship game and nearly winning the game and a berth in the College Football Playoff.


There's a really good chance Mullen will not be coaching the Gators come December as this years team is 5-5 and will barely qualify for a bowl game.


In 2019, Ed Orgeron won a national title at LSU. In a weird twist, Orgeron is now a lame-duck head coach at the university, playing out the season before he is officially fired.


I could go on for days about coaches fired shortly after signing a lucrative extension and getting paid to not be the coach at their schools. And you know what, yeah, if you're a coach who's in it for the money or someone on the outside looking in, you'd love to get paid to do nothing.


Except that's not how coaches are wired. And while there's a percentage of the population who'd gladly get paid $10 million for the next couple of years to do nothing, there's less of those people than you actually think.


Most people who become coaches do it because they want to teach young men the game and how to grow up or be an adult. I'd be willing to bet that a majority feel this way. It's the type of thing that gets in your blood and a passion for most. They don't need to have a $10 million contract to have the desire to coach. They'd do it for a fraction of that in the right place.


That's all just the financial part of things.


Imagine being hired to run a department at your work place. And every single decision you make on the behalf of your team is questioned on a daily basis by thousands upon thousands of people. Sure, you've spent your entire life running departments effectively and for the most part are pretty good at your job. Then think about the fact that almost every single person questioning you does it publicly for the world to see even if they have no idea how to do your job.


That's what a coach deals with. On a daily basis.


For some coaches, losing brings threats. Death threats, threats to the family and to themselves.


Seriously, there are people who call themselves fans who do that. And they don't get locked up in jail for it.


At some schools, no coach is ever good enough. At Texas, they've gone through six coaches in 10-years. There is no way to be successful as an operation or business by doing that. There should be an assumption if you are hired for a job, you know how to do it.


In the current social media laden world in which we live, people have learned they can literally complain about anything, whether it is true or not and get a reaction. In some cases that momentum or thought rolls down the hill gaining momentum and steam, all of a sudden we get a coach who goes 8-4 fired.


Does this all simplify the hiring and firing of a football coach? No, it does not. It was never intended to. This whole exercise was a rhetorical question.


That question still remains, why put yourself through this? With all of the money college football now generates, it's operates like many other businesses with certain employees always deemed expendable or easily replaceable. I would argue that nothing could be further from that truth.


Like I said earlier. Look at the most successful or well run businesses and see what it is that they do to make things work. The most successful, well run businesses don't have constant turnover at any level because they take care of their people.


It matters. It matters much, much more than you think.


And it still leaves me with the question I started with, why would you take one of these jobs?