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Elite College Football Programs Should Abandon the "Coach-In-Waiting" Tag

Former Texas "CIW"- Will Muschamp
Former Texas "CIW"- Will MuschampSam Greenwood/Getty Images
Kris HughesCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2010

From time to time, a new phrase will come along which catches fire and becomes a part of the sports lexicon.

Glue guy. Slump buster. WAG. Coach-in-waiting.

Ah, coach-in-waiting. This one has been batted around lately in almost anything which is written about or spoken regarding college football.

Inexplicably over the past few seasons, elite collegiate programs have felt it necessary to slap this manufactured tag on talented assistant coaches in an effort to appease them short-term into staying put.

The theory goes that applying this tag will allow the program to pay the talented assistant like a head coach, and, therefore, prevent them from jumping ship to a coveted head coaching opportunity as soon as it becomes available. 

Two of the most visible, and recent, coaches-in-waiting are former Texas Longhorns defensive coordinator, Will Muschamp and current West Virginia offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.

As we all know by now, the tag did nothing whatsoever to prevent Muschamp from jumping ship to take over for Urban Meyer at Florida.

Odds are nothing will prevent Holgorsen from doing the same when the time comes. 

In reality, all the coach-in-waiting tag does is alert those who were already unaware, to the following: "Hey everyone, if you need a talented young head coach, look over here! We think this guy is the next great leader! He's our coach-in-waiting, please take him from us!"

If this tag actually ever does work, and a "CIW" does eventually become a head coach before departing, then great. For now, it just looks like a silly concept that has an effect exactly opposite of what is intended.

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