With Kirby Smart eclipsing the most wins through his first 100 games as an SEC head coach, the question that came to my mind was, has being a head coach in college football ever been harder than it is today?
Throughout all the years of this sport, being a head coach of a football program comes with major responsibilities but now it seems as if there is more of a challenge considering all of the changes that have come to fruition in the past few years. There has not been a sport that has had to endure this many changes in such a short amount of time as college football is doing now.
Whether it is the process of conference realignment, the transfer portal, or NIL, you name it. Times now are more different than they ever have been.
Has being a head coach in college football ever been harder than it is today?
Creating a Winning Culture
Put yourself in the shoes of a new head football coach at a program that has been known for winning championships, but as of late the tradition of winning has not been present. Expectations for the new coach are sky-high through the roof.
Why is that? People are impatient. Money is being poured into the program with high hopes that they can once again bring that tradition of winning back, but money is not everything. That has been more than proven. Look at Texas A&M and all of the money they have spent on Jimbo Fisher and how has that turned out so far? Not what they had hoped to say the least.
Creating a winning culture is hard enough, but imagine doing it under the immense pressure of short lived time. Rebuilds are no longer a thing for College Football programs, it is more like reloading.
Coaches now do not have enough time to bring in their own cycle of recruits and are expected to win right from year 1 and if not, then the pressure for the athletic director brought on by the fan base to fire the coach you just brought in is bursting at the scene.
The keys to a winning culture are a lot more than bringing in 4 and 5 star recruits, but more of developing these young men and most importantly creating a relationship with each and every one of these guys. You have over 100 different players, and each one of them has a different personality that you have to manage.
Now, throw NIL into the mix. If coaching was not hard enough now try having to manage young student athletes that have a significant amount of money. The challenging part about this, is trying to keep these young student athletes focused on why they are there in the first place.
This is to not even mention the transfer portal on top of all this and having to strategically manage that.
On top of all of this, coaches now have more personnel than they have ever had. From the top of the coaching staff all the way down to graduate assistants and everything in between, coaching personnel is at an all time high. Just look at how many people are standing along the sideline of your favorite team as you’re watching the game on Saturday’s and you will see what I am talking about.
To answer the question that was presented earlier, “Has being a head coach in College Football ever been harder than it is today?” The answer is without a doubt, yes.