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The difference between head coaches at the college and NFL level

The Los Angeles Times came out with an interesting article yesterday detailing the differences between being a head coach in the NFL, and being a college head coach.

I'll break down some of the more interesting angles and quotes below, but I highly recommend taking a look at the full piece here. Just reading the stories from some of Jerry Glanville's recruiting trips in the article are well worth your time.

- Pete Carroll on players getting in trouble: "When kids get in trouble and screw up in college, everybody feels the responsibility for it. Here, it's more on the player. You don't feel so terrible because the players are grownups. They're getting paid, they're professional. They're supposed to take care of their own world."

"In college, they make everybody feel responsible for it. The [athletic director], the president, the head coach, everybody feels responsible."

- Agent Bob LaMonte on what it takes to succeed at the college level: "What you have to have in a college coach is somebody who can absolutely bust his butt recruiting. I don't mean a little bit of the time. I mean 24/7, 365. The coach will sell his soul to the devil for time. He will not make it if he doesn't give his life over to recruiting."

"There's no end to the time you'll spend. If you don't do that, I guarantee you will fail as a head coach in college."

- Chip Kelly on the very different schedules: "My schedule [at Oregon], the day the season was over was a lot worse than my schedule here, because, you know, you're planes, trains and automobiles recruiting from Sunday night until Friday afternoon and hustling back and practicing, getting a practice in Friday afternoon, practice Saturday, practice Sunday, get back on a plane and fly around the country chasing down recruits.

"Maybe a misconception is when you're a college coach and the last game is done and then the bowl game comes, you don't have a month off. I would argue my schedule was more hectic from a recruiting standpoint than it was here. So I'm looking forward to being in the office every day and watching tape. That is the fun part of our job."

- Jim Mora on the different relationships with the players at both levels: "The relationships with players, it's different. They are younger. They are more impressionable. They need you more in their lives. You're dealing with mothers and fathers rather than wives and agents. It's much bigger than football."

"In the NFL, you are judged on one thing: Did you win or did you lose? In college football, you're judged on did you win or did you lose, but you're also judged on, are your students doing well academically? Are you helping them become responsible citizens? Are you introducing them to things in terms of community services, and things outside the realm of football? They don't do that in the NFL."

- Pete Carroll on why the NFL makes more sense, but college football is special: "Everything makes more sense in the NFL, it's more logical, more sensible, more understandable. The way they scrutinize makes more sense. The NCAA, in my opinion, doesn't look at the right things. They're trying to catch people doing things wrong, and you don't feel like they're trying to protect the university and the player as much as the league does."

"Representing the university and everything, that's really special in college. That's different here. There's more longevity, there's more history in the college game than there is [in the NFL]. We're in a more temporary world here."

- Barry Switzer on the very different goals of head coaches at each level: "The job of a professional coach is to win football games with 53 players, and his only goal is the Super Bowl. He doesn't need to know what the goals and ambitions of these young men are. He doesn't need to know [a player's] mother. He doesn't need to know if he had a father in the home, or if he had any siblings. All those things are irrelevant. That player might be in camp one day and on the waiver wire the next one, and the coach will never speak to him or see him again the rest of his life.

"A college coach sees every player — when you recruit a player, you've got him for life. You can wrap that up with one sentence."

Again, take a look at the full article here. You'll be glad that you did.

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