In college football, the success and longevity of head coaches often define programs. The best examples during my lifetime were Joe Paterno at Penn State and Bobby Bowden at Florida State. They were the head coaches at those schools both when my parents and I began college.
Head coaches who stay at one university for a long time can become the face of the entire school. In the case of Paterno at Penn State, we have learned that some head coaches seem to have more power over the program than do the universities themselves.
College football head coaches have much different responsibilities than those in the professional ranks. As I mentioned earlier, these men become intertwined with their universities’ cultures. Some, like Paterno, actually create the culture. For these reasons, I think it is much more difficult to fire head coaches in college football after a few underachieving seasons. In the NFL, where head coaches have different responsibilities, there are fewer strings attached.
This slideshow discusses FBS head coaches that should be on the hot seat. I have considered the time the coaches have spent at their respective universities, 2012 season projections for their respective teams, the on-field performances under their watch and off-the-field headlines their respective programs have made (when applicable).
In the wake of the Penn State situation, I have found this to be an interesting topic. As always, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below.
Let’s take a look at four of these head coaches.