Power Ranking the Most Important Members of a College Football Coaching Staff
Every college football coaching staff is full of key members who serve major roles for their teams. There are 10 positions in particular that ensure a program is game-day ready, and this is the power ranking for those positions.
Head coaches are well known, but strength and conditioning staff and graduate assistants make a program's wheels turn. The recruiting coordinators ensure that the lineup reloads with top talent.
Here is a look at the members of a football coaching staff and how they impact the production of a program.
No. 10: Special Teams Coordinator
Special teams is one of the most important pieces of a successful football program. If a team has quality special teams units, it will win a lot of football games.
Field goals and punts are a big part of special teams, but coverage and return teams may be the most important piece of the unit. It is up to the special teams coordinator to put together effective units that can make plays on the return and smother opponents on kicks.
Watch special teams closely in the future. Below-par teams lose a lot of games they shouldn’t.
No. 9: Offensive Line Coach
Football is a game won in the trenches. Every coach knows that, and that is why the offensive line coach is such a major part of a football team's success.
The hogmollies have to be nasty, and to get nasty they have to have a leader who knows how to coach mean. Offensive line play is a technical skill that brings the most complex blocking schemes and footwork drills in the game.
Still, if your line isn’t mean, they won’t move a pile. An offensive line coach has to have a balance of teacher and motivator. It is an important skill, and one that few get right. This is as difficult of a job as any in football.
No. 8: Defensive Line Coach
The defensive line is as important as the offensive line. This coach has to be nasty. He has to understand how to coach a player to have technical skills and a mean streak that makes him believe he can blast through a brick wall at full sprint.
The trenches is a tough place to play, and a defensive line coach has to have his guys ready to play in the toughest place on the football field.
Defensive linemen are a different breed, and so are the coaches. This is a unique relationship, one that is an extremely important piece to the success of a program.
No. 7: Quarterbacks Coach
The quarterback is the leader of a team's offense. Some offenses rely on game managers, while others need playmakers.
A quarterbacks coach is crucial in helping develop a leader and help a player understand his role in the offensive design. Without a solid developer at this position, every offense will struggle.
A quality quarterback developer can take a player with modest skills and make him an effective weapon in an offense. This is a tight relationship, and a quarterbacks coach has to be a leader and confident in his team's signal-caller.
No. 6: Graduate Assistants
Grad assistants may be the most overlooked piece of a coaching staff.
These guys are the workhorses for a football team. They help tutor players during off-hours, ensure staff meetings are prepared and provide on-field instruction at a deeper level than most position coaches have the time to provide.
Grad assistants make the football program work. They also serve as big brothers to the young football team. Most grad assistants are close in age to the players and can relate to the daily grind these kids go through.
Without grad assistants, a program wouldn’t work.
No. 5: Strength and Conditioning Coach
Strength and conditioning coaches are major role players in a team’s success. They ensure that workouts are carried out, that punishments are levied for bone-headed decisions college kids make and they provide motivation to the team when players are winded and ready to quit.
Without a solid strength and conditioning staff, a team will lose big.
Looking across the college football landscape, it is easy to see the programs with solid strength and conditioning staffs. Alabama is a great example of how proper workouts and drive will make a team virtually unstoppable.
Preparation is 90 percent of the football battle.
No. 4: Defensive Coordinator
A solid defensive coordinator is key to winning championships. The defensive coordinator implements his scheme and coaches up his coaches on how to deliver that scheme to the players.
A defensive coordinator is an administrator, but good ones are also great on-field teachers.
The team's defensive coordinator is also crucial to the success on the recruiting trail. Recruits want to know what type of scheme they will play in and how a team’s defensive coordinator will fit them into their scheme.
Without a solid defensive mind, a team will struggle to win games consistently.
No. 3: Offensive Coordinator
The offensive coordinator is a major piece of a program's success. He has to ensure that his system fits the program's personnel while maximizing the weaknesses of the defenses the team faces on a regular basis.
Looking across the country, each region has a unique twist on how offenses are run.
The offensive coordinator is a teacher and typically will focus on quarterbacks during practices. Without a solid offensive mind, a team will struggle with consistency.
Defenses win championships but if a team can’t score, they won’t win.
No. 2: Recruiting Coordinator
Recruiting is the lifeblood of every college football program. Without a solid recruiting coordinator, a team will fall behind quickly in the talent pool.
A recruiting coordinator has to understand his region and how to fit players into a team’s scheme. The recruiting coordinator is the program’s connection to recruits and helps put together events that will bring players on campus.
The more creative a coach can get, the better off the results. Family fun days and weekends based on relationship-building have become the new norm in recruiting.
No telling what will come next but rest assured that a young and innovative recruiting coordinator will have a new spin shortly.
No. 1: Head Coach
Head coaches are obviously the most important piece of a program’s success. The head coach has a number of responsibilities that make his job the most difficult and the most rewarding of any coaching position.
The head coach is the head administrator of a program. He is the CEO of the team, ensuring that daily operations are running smoothly at a 30,000-foot level.
Head coaches also have a unique tie to their teams. They are on-field generals and are the grandfather of a program. Their players look up to them and aspire to be like them.
A team’s success or failure always falls on the head coach. He is in control of the staff and what schemes are run by his team. It is a glory-filled position that carries the weight of the football world on a daily basis.
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