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Study: Quarterbacks, defensive backs account for highest percentage of FBS head coaches

A new FootballScoop study found that quarterbacks, defensive backs and wide receivers account for the largest percentage of current FBS head coaches. 

Position   Total    Percentage  Notable names
Quarterback  39 30.5%  Kliff Kingsbury, Steve Spurrier, Chris Petersen
Defensive back 28 21.9%  Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Frank Beamer
Wide receiver 17 13.3%  David Shaw, Art Briles, Gus Malzahn
Linebacker 16 12.5% Brian Kelly, Pat Fitzgerald, Kevin Sumlin 
Offensive line 12 9.4% Les Miles, Gary Andersen, Kevin Wilson
Did not play 10 7.8%  Mike Leach, David Cutcliffe, Paul Johnson
Tight end 5 3.9%  Gary Pinkel, Dan Mullen, Al Golden
Defensive line 4 3.1%  Bret Bielema, Steve Addazio, Matt Campbell
Running back 3 2.3%  Frank Solich, Terry Bowden, Dino Babers

 

There are some fun trends to be found inside the study. For instance, all three former running backs turned FBS head coaches reside at MAC schools - Ohio's Frank Solich, Bowling Green's Dino Babers and Akron's Terry Bowden. But maybe there is something more substanial we can glean here, too.

First, we must acknowledge that this study is a mere snapshot in time and a servant to circumstances. It is a study of all 128 FBS head coaches, yes, the 128 men who happen to be head coaches at this moment. It is not a study of the best 128 coaches in college football, just the ones who happen to hold those 128 jobs. As the census of the group changes next year, and the year after that, and the year after that, the numbers will change accordingly.

With that out of the way, perhaps there is something to be learned here after all. It's not surprising to see quarterbacks lead the pack by a substanial margin. It is the ultimate leadership position, after all. Many leaders become quarterbacks, and many quarterbacks become leaders. Either way, they often end at the same destination. Nor is it surprising to see running backs and tight ends at the bottom of the list. Running back in particular is the closest thing the game has to a plug-and-play position, and both typically represent just 1 of the 22 players on the field. It's a numbers game. Another example of the circumstances that affect this list. One of the most prominent college coaches for the past two decades until his recent change in status - Mack Brown - was a running back in another life. However, the numbers also say that, if your end goal is to become a head coach at the highest level of college football, you're better off not playing entirely than playing tight end, defensive line or running back.

Next to quarterbacks, defensive backs, wide receivers and linebackers most consistently turned into head coaches. If we were to play armchair psychologists, perhaps there is something about those positions that breed head coaching candidates. Maybe the nature of their positions - on the perimeter of the play, with the ability to see how action at the first level affects the second and third levels, and vice versa - creates a coach with a global understanding of the game.

This, by the way, should make Kansas State's Bill Snyder and Louisiana-Lafayette's Mark Hudspeth extra prepared for the duties of the job. Each played quarterback and defensive back in college.

Three and Out: Are we too competitive?, Doug is speechless, and Colorado's Emmy

 


 

Zach: I thought Drew Magary of Deadspin wrote a great column about the overcompetitveness of modern parenting. As he puts it, you either feel like you're Marv Marinovich, or you're living in a commune. He argues that our obsession with competition places an overemphasis on the result (did you win?) and overlooks the process by which the result was achieved - finding something you want to pursue in life, and then doing it to the best of your ability. As with everything he writes, the language can be pretty R-rated, but it's worth your time.

Doug: I saw this yesterday, and still have no words to adequately explain it. Maybe you'll have better luck. Watch all of it, the end may be the best part.

Scott: I just wanted to congratulate the Colorado video staff for bringing home an Emmy (yes, the real deal). These guys (left to right: Jamie Guy, John Snelson, and Grayson Simon) are at the top of the heap when it comes to quality videos. The video for which they won the award is below the tweet.

Inside Lovie Smith's first 100 days as the Bucs' head coach

Lovie Smith's first 100 days as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers included a little bit of everything. Team building, mini-camps, personnel evaluation, setting the course with the media and the fan base, and a little bit of time to soak it all in with the family.

Much like a presidential administration, a head coach's first 100 days set the path on which the rest of his tenure will follow. Bucs' writer Scott Smith was alongside Smith for every step of his first 100 days. And by every step, I mean every single step. His piece on Buccaneers.com, broken into 22 chapters, will consume your entire day. But there's enough hear that breaking into bite-sized chunks will enlighten readers into the life of an NFL head coach. As the story opens, Smith is recalling on one of his days between jobs, serving as grandson Jackson's caregiver for the day. Then, he's in a team meeting, staring at the clock on the wall so he can start his team meeting at preciesly 8:00:00, and because anyone arriving at 8:00:01 is late. And next, he's flying his entire family into Tampa for the introductory press conference, and closing the day by sneaking into his office at 10 p.m. to watch film. 

It's an in-house piece, so lines of self-assured optimism like this are to be expected: "By targeting Smith, however, the Buccaneers did something more than make a change for change’s sake. In one fell swoop – in one inspired hire that was lauded across the national media platform – the Buccaneers harkened back to the success of their past and ensured an atmosphere of stability and trust."

Overall, the Buccaneers have produced a massive library of content for what it's take control of an NFL organization - and all that entails. 

Don't try to read it all in one sitting, again, it would consume your entire day, but bookmark it and read it one chapter at a time

Oh, and the photos are great.

Lovie stadium2

Lovie practice

Lovie FA

Lovie party2

Lovie refs2

Video: Dan Mullen does a solid Steve Spurrier impression

While Steve Spurrier entertained the media masses at Day 2 of SEC Media Day, Dan Mullen was asked to do his own impression of the Old Ball Coach on Sirius XM College Sports Nation.

And actually, it's pretty darn good.

All the best tweets from SEC Media Day: Day 2

Our coverage of all the quotes and nuggets worth knowing from SEC Media Day picks up on day two with Steve Spurrier (9am), Dan Mullen (10:30am), Kevin Sumlin (1pm), and Butch Jones (2:30pm). All times are Central Standard Time.

9:00am - South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier

10:30am - Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen

 

1:00pm - Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin

2:30pm - Tennessee head coach Butch Jones

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