In response to the fans picking Georgia’s Mark Richt as the SEC’s head coach with the hottest seat heading into the 2011 season, I started thinking back to all of the coaching changes that have occurred in the league since Richt’s arrival in Athens.
Richt was hired on Dec. 26, 2000, by then-Georgia athletic director Vince Dooley.
Since that time, 21 head coaches at the other 11 SEC schools have come and gone, a few of those resurfacing at different spots in the league.
Here’s something else to chew on, further illustrating just how fleeting head-coaching careers are in the SEC these days: On Richt’s watch at Georgia, the number of other head coaches who’ve either coached in the league or been hired is up to 32, and seven of the other 11 schools have had at least three head coaches during that time.
Richt, who at 96-34 (.738) is the nation’s fourth-winningest active FBS coach with a minimum of 10 years, is entering his 11th season at Georgia.
Of his counterparts in the league, only Alabama’s Nick Saban, LSU’s Les Miles and South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier have been at their current schools for more than three seasons.
Here’s a snapshot of what the SEC head-coaching lineup looked like when Richt took the reins at Georgia in 2001:
Alabama: Dennis Franchione (1st season)
Arkansas: Houston Nutt (4th season)
Auburn: Tommy Tuberville (3rd season)
Florida: Steve Spurrier (12th and final season)
Kentucky: Guy Morriss (1st season)
LSU: Nick Saban (2nd season)
Mississippi State: Jackie Sherrill (11th season)
Ole Miss: David Cutcliffe (3rd season)
South Carolina: Lou Holtz (3rd season)
Tennessee: Phillip Fulmer (9th season)
Vanderbilt: Woody Widenhofer (5th and final season)
Now, here’s a team-by-team breakdown of the 32 head coaches in the SEC dating back to Richt’s arrival at Georgia:
Alabama: Dennis Franchione, Mike Price, Mike Shula, Nick Saban
Arkansas: Houston Nutt, Bobby Petrino
Auburn: Tommy Tuberville, Gene Chizik
Florida: Steve Spurrier, Ron Zook, Urban Meyer, Will Muschamp
Kentucky: Guy Morriss, Rich Brooks, Joker Phillips
LSU: Nick Saban, Les Miles
Mississippi State: Jackie Sherrill, Sylvester Croom, Dan Mullen
Ole Miss: David Cutcliffe, Ed Orgeron, Houston Nutt
South Carolina: Lou Holtz, Steve Spurrier
Tennessee: Phillip Fulmer, Lane Kiffin, Derek Dooley
Vanderbilt: Woody Widenhofer, Bobby Johnson, Robbie Caldwell, James Franklin