Few administrators in athletics receive as much attention, both positive and negative, as college football coaches.
This single individual is tasked with keeping tabs on his 85-plus players, managing their personalities and needs, and making sure that they adhere to their responsibilities both on the football field and off of it.
He also has to get his team prepared to play games in September, starting in late March.
To do so, a successful coach will drive his players to succeed. He'll work their tails off in the weight room and run them in the early hours of the morning.
He'll pick apart their flaws and mistakes and break players down to their lowest points.
Then, as the season nears, he'll build the players back up again in the most effective way possible.
With their confidence restored, and their bodies in the best shape of their lives, these players will finally be ready to hit the gridiron and play for the glory of their university.
If the coach did things the right way, his team should be the better conditioned and the more focused and disciplined unit on the field in each and every game.
The rest is up to game-planning, execution and luck regarding injuries.
Sometimes it takes a few years for a good college coach to get his program where he wants it to be.
Very seldom does a guy come in and take a program from nowhere to BCS contention right away. Just look at the steady build-up jobs that Jim Harbaugh did at Stanford and that Steve Spurrier has done at South Carolina.
What follows is a list of five coaches, each of whom have been at their schools for at least three seasons, and all of whom have their programs on the rise heading into the 2011 campaign.