If you’re a college football coach, it can be said that you’ve truly made it; the majority of coaches make northwards of $1,000,000 a year, and in some cases that number goes above $7,000,000! If you’re looking to get into this field of business, then you’re in luck, because 13 colleges currently have football coaching vacancies! Yet it goes without saying that some of these positions are more desirable than others; I recently came across an article that analyzes the pros and cons of these coaching positions, listed below:
1. USC: The pay is good, the team is great, and you’re part of a storied tradition with a strong fan base. This one seems like a touchdown. Yet this isn’t one for the faint of heart; whoever the coach is needs to be a strong leader who will need to earn the trust of players who have seen two head coaches and two different interim coaches.
2. Virginia Tech: Even if the Hokies aren’t a powerhouse, they’ve got a world of potential, as evidenced by 22 consecutive bowl appearances. Yet despite such a track record, the pay here isn’t terribly good; ex-coach Beamer was only the 37th-highest paid coach in the country.
3. South Carolina: Fan support for the Gamecocks is astounding, meaning that the pay will be handsome, yet they won’t be too demanding too quickly, partly because this is one of the worst teams on the fabled SEC. Yet thanks to winning more games than any other coach in the school’s history, Steve Spurrier left some big shoes to fill, especially when playing in the same division as names like Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.
4. Missouri: Despite not having a good season, Missouri has built a winning culture based on success, with an obscene amount of revenue that will most likely trickle down into a generous salary for any coach. But the team’s current roster isn’t much to look at, and taking a leaf out of former coach Pinkel’s book and winning the SEC twice in four years will be difficult at best. And even if there’s plenty of talent within driving distance of Missouri, competing with some of the other SEC teams will be tough.
5. Miami (Fla): The tradition here is hard to match, which is only helped by this school being located in the middle of some of the best recruiting ground in the country. Even outside of southern Florida, selling potential stars on going to play for a place like Miami isn’t hard at all. Yet this team’s fans are just as fair-weather as Miami itself, and the school doesn’t spend money like the programs it wants to rejoin.
6. Maryland: Even if this is a job that requires patience, a steady flow of cash from a deal with Under Armour and an ideal location for recruitment gives Maryland a great edge against many of its competitors. Nonetheless, the odds seem stacked up against Maryland when it comes to actually winning, especially when going up against Ohio State, Michigan State, Michigan and Penn State.
7. Illinois: Being located in the Big Ten West gives Illinois a much better chance of winning than in the East Division. With a history of losing, expectations are also much more reasonable here, unlike the school’s basketball team. Yet this losing history creates the appearance of an awfully low ceiling.
8. UCF: In regards to recruitment, you can’t do much better than UCF. Even after other places such as Florida, FSU and Miami have had their pick of talent, there are still plenty of great choices left. The challenge here is to sell the geographical advantage over the out-of-state schools. Not only that, but a new coach isn’t inheriting the necessary talent to compete in the AAC. The Knights have been winless this season, and the recruiting start-over that comes from coaching changes means that improvement might not come for a couple years.
9. Iowa State: Expectations here are going to be reasonable, with bowl appearances being more of an indicator than actual championships, so that this would be an ideal place for a newer coach to establish himself. However, Iowa State is seriously lacking in regards to tradition and recruitment appeal, making competition for a Big 12 championship nearly impossible.
10. Syracuse: Due to its distance from other schools in the ACC, a head coach here wouldn’t have nearly as much regional competition for recruits. Like Iowa State, this isn’t a job where the fanbase is demanding of championships. But if you’re coaching Syracuse, you can’t forget that this is a basketball school first and foremost, so that you’ll always be secondary.
11. Hawaii: Its location and a lack of pressure to win makes Hawaii one of the most stress-free coaching jobs in the business, and nothing more than the occasional bowl appearance will stop you from getting replaced. But this is also one of the lowest-paying jobs in the FBS; the recruiting base is laughable, and the athletic department has been struggling for years.
12. North Texas: While this isn’t a good position for any established coach, it’s a great start for any up-and-coming coach. But there’s also no winning history to speak of, and with so many big names in-state, competition for talent is huge.
13. Louisiana-Monroe: Like North Texas, this is a great place for a younger coach to earn his stripes, and there’s a solid in-state talent base for recruiting. But at $360,000 a year, this is also the lowest-paying head coaching job in the entire FBS. This means that assistants aren’t terribly well-paid either, making it tough for a new coach to hire a strong staff.