Big 12 leads BCS leagues in average coaching tenure
Posted by: Josh Kendall on December 6, 2012
The Southeastern Conference has a reputation, and not an unfair one, for chewing up coaches and spitting them out, but when it comes to average tenure, the SEC is not the most dangerous place in the country to coach. Not even close really.
In fact, the Big East, Pac-12 and Big Ten all have shorter average tenures for coaches than the SEC's four years, according to a CoachingSearch.com analysis of BCS conferences. If not for Frank Beamer's 26 years at Virginia Tech, the ACC also would have a shorter average tenure than the SEC.
The most volatile conference is the Big East, where the current coaches have an average tenure of 1.9 years. Syracuse's Doug Marrone is the dean of the Big East with four years of service.
The Pac-12 is next on the list with an average tenure of 2.9 years. Oregon State's Mike Riley, with 10 years on the job, is the only reason the number is even that high. The number drops to 2.3 without Riley.
The average stay in the Big Ten is 3.4 years, and it's only that long thanks to the Legends Division. The only thing the Leaders Division is leading in right now is coaching turnover. Kevin Wilson's two years on the job at Indiana make him the dean of Leaders Division coaches. The average tenure in the division is .8 years. Pat Fitzgerald's seven years at Northwestern make him the conference's longest-serving coach.
Enter the relative picture of stability that is the SEC, where the current coaches have an average tenure of four years. Having a pair of coaches with 12 years on the job - Georgia's Mark Richt and Missouri's Gary Pinkel - helps boost that number and make up for the fact that four of the 14 schools in the league have or will replace head coaches this season.
The ACC's 5.3 years is the second-longest among BCS conferences. After Beamer, Wake Forest's Jim Grobe is the longest-tenured coach, which 12 years.
What's the safest BCS conference in the country in which to coach? The Big 12, where the average stay among current coaches is 6.9 years. Texas coach Mack Brown leads the way with 15 years on the job and is followed closely by Bob Stoops' 14 years at Oklahoma. The Big 12 holds another enviable distinction as well. It's the only conference that won't have a first-year head coach on the sideline in 2013 (unless something unforeseen happens between now and then).
Here's Beamer explaining the coaching philosophy that has gotten him through those 26 years:
Josh Kendall is a staff writer for CoachingSearch.com and has covered the SEC for more than 15 years for papers such as the Athens Banner-Herald, Macon Telegraph, and The State. He’s the father of two boys who he’s hoping don’t inherit his wide receiver frame and offensive guard feet. Follow @EyeOnCoaches on twitter and send your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org