As we have been reminded once again the past two months, coaches change jobs all the time. That's particularly true for assistants, whose contracts are often short in duration and subject to the whim or fate of their head coach, while the most successful ones usually move on to other opportunities.
So it's awfully difficult to keep the same staff together for a long time these days. In fact, CoachingSearch.com's Chris Vannini reports that only five FBS teams have a chance to enter the 2013 season with the same nine assistants for at least three years in a row. And how about this: four of those five teams are located in the Big Ten.
The five teams are:
The Wolverines have the same staff that Brady Hoke brought in when he took over in 2011, including two of the league's top paid assistants in defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and offensive coordinator Al Borges. Mark Dantonio has built a stable program in East Lansing, though we're surprised someone hasn't given defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi a head-coaching job yet. Many of the Gophers' assistants have worked with head coach Jerry Kill for a long time. And Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald has been extremely loyal to his assistants during his tenure.
Staff stability brings continuity to a program, as players don't have to learn new systems, new terminology or get used to new personalities. It can also foster trust within a staff and make things run more smoothly. Of course, you also want to avoid growing stale. But Oregon has had the same staff in place now for five straight years, and that has worked out pretty well for the Ducks.
How rare is this? According to the story, only 37 FBS teams enter 2013 with the same staff they had in 2012. Among those are Indiana, Nebraska and Ohio State.