There’s an old saying that says coaches are hired to get fired.
Coaches usually don’t have long shelf-lives, changing jobs frequently. Guys like Bobby Bowden who stay at place for decades are anomalous.
As the coaching carousel spins, there are five coaches who are particularly in danger of falling off the ride.
Underwhelming seasons would spell doom for the following program leaders.
From CBS Sports:
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Kelly called out his quarterback for going to the NFL, had to replace both coordinators and, oh yeah, went 4-8. Even worse, Kelly was actually disappointed he got a vote of confidence from athletic director Jack Swarbrick. In the same season Kelly had his highest-drafted quarterback (Deshone Kizer, second round), he also posted the worst record of his career.
For whatever reason, it’s not working right now at ND. I’m not sure 6-6 saves Kelly at this point, especially with an expensive Notre Dame Stadium renovation set to come online.
Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Wash, rinse, repeat 8-5. Sumlin has posted that mark three years in a row. Worse, his teams always start fast and finish slow. The Ags are a combined 16-0 to start since 2014, 8-15 the rest of the way.
With a newly renovated Kyle Field and its 100,000-plus seats needing to be filled, the pressure is on.
Todd Graham, Arizona State
Athletic director Ray Anderson sent a clear message by not extending Graham’s contract. Coming off consecutive losing seasons, Graham cannot tell his 2018 recruiting class he will be their coach when they are seniors in 2021. Both coordinators have been replaced, too.
Rich Rodriguez, Arizona
It’s never a sign combination when the guy who hired you leaves for Alabama. Such is the case for Rich Rod, who watched AD Greg Byrne depart for Tuscaloosa. Yes, there was irony in that move. Rodriguez reportedly took the Alabama job in late 2006 before getting cold feet. Bama’s “second choice” is still running the show.
Never thought I’d see this: Rodriguez, one of the godfathers of the modern spread offense, needs some help at quarterback.
Kliff Kingsbury, Texas Tech
Kingsbury is runway model handsome, but as a head coach? Well, it’s been ugly lately. The dichotomy is maddening. Kingsbury’s offense lead the country. His defense is the worst in the country. Or at least that’s the way it was in 2016.
Overall, Kingsbury is 24-26. He hasn’t lived up to the hype that followed him from Texas A&M and Houston.
In college, there’s a belief that a good coach can turn around a program in 2-3 years. These coaches have had plenty of time to show results, but they’ve all stagnated, or regressed.
Another coach whose seat is ablaze is UCLA’s Jim Mora. He’s been up-and-down, and thus far he’s wasted the development of superstar quarterback recruit Josh Rosen.
Rosen projects to be a top 5 pick in the draft after the season (or after next season if he chooses to stay for his senior year), but UCLA has only been able to muster 8-5 and 4-8 seasons.
Rosen was banged up a lot of last year, but the team didn’t perform well even when he was in the lineup.
To make matters worse for Mora, UCLA has lost 9 games in a row to Stanford.
The 2017 season will be crucial for these coaches. Their honeymoon phases are long gone. Fans want results. Now.