Amendment could push back 10th assistant coach to 2018

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday February 14, 2017


The addition of a 10th full-time assistant coach in FBS will be a massive change in the college coaching world, but a new amendment could push it back a season.

According to an NCAA report released today, there is an amendment to move the effective date of the 10th assistant coach from April (immediate upon vote) to Jan. 9, 2018. The Football Oversight Committee is the source of the amendment, and another form lists the Mid-American Conference.

The rationale is related to timing in the calendar, the budget and the job market.

“There are many concerns with the timing of the current immediate effective date,” the amendment reads. “An April effective date is in the middle of the budget year for the membership and is late in the hiring period for a football staff. If the effective date is amended to occur to the conclusion of the 2017 football season, member institutions will have the opportunity to budget for the addition of a full-time countable coach and associated costs related to recruiting.

“In addition, a delayed effective date will better fit the hiring timeline for a football staff and will not require readjustments following the spring practice period.”

A Group of 5 athletic director told CoachingSearch that there is widespread support for a 10th assistant, but also quite a bit of support to push this date back. Teams will be in spring practice, and schools without large budgets would like time to fit it into their budget. Not just salary, but additional recruiting travel.

Based on conversations CoachingSearch has had with coaches, some smaller programs have looked at cutting off-field positions in order to fit the 10th assistant into the budget this season.

Some schools with those big budgets have already made hires with plans to make them a 10th assistant in April. Tommy Rees joined the Notre Dame staff as quarterbacks coach recently. He’s technically a graduate assistant right now, but Brian Kelly says the plan is to promote him to full-time when it’s allowed. Bret Bielema said on Signing Day he had been expecting the 10th assistant to happen right away, but was now operating with the assumption he'd only be allowed 9 in the fall.

It’s unknown how likely this amendment is to pass or fail. It’s expected to be voted on in April by the Division I Council, ahead of the final vote for the addition of a 10th assistant.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.