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The importance of an off the field staff

An interesting ESPN article pointed out that Alabama has an impressive 146 off the field positions that make up the Tide's athletic program. Included in those 146 positions are everything ranging from secretaries to player development and recruiting assistants to help ensure that the athletic program runs like a well oiled machine.

When offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier walked into the football building for the first time, he couldn't help but be impressed with Saban's "organizational structure".

"He's so detailed in preparation. To have that structure in place and be able to come into a situation where you're able to integrate into the system and not create the system, it's been a huge advantage for me." Nussmeier explained.

The off the field staff are the ones breaking down film and tendencies weeks in advance, and gathering information and game film on potential recruits. Essentially, they're making the coaches jobs much, much easier so that they can concentrate on coaching.

When athletic director Mal Moore is asked about their investment in the support staff he simply points to the Tide's record to justify it. Two national championships in three seasons has other programs taking note of how things are done in Tuscaloosa.

Georgia is one of those programs with a similar approach. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham explains that there's no way he could do it all himself. "Let's say that Week 1 we're playing Buffalo, while we're doing that game plan, [the support staff is] working on the next opponent. That way when I come in on Sunday, I have a book in front of me that has the depth chart, their favorite formations by personnel, what kind of personnel they run, has their runs drawn up, their passes drawn up, has a tendency section. I can have the identity of this team within 25-30 minutes."

Grantham credits the NFL for much of how college programs now operate.

"People mimic each other, The game has gotten so precise and so detailed that it forces people to do those things to stay up with everybody."

At North Texas, Dan McCarney uses voluntary interns as members of his support staff, drawing inspiration from environment that Urban Meyer had created during their time together at Florida. The Mean Green don't have the budget that some of the major college programs do, so McCarney highlights the personal impact it has as the major benefit of lending a hand in areas as important as football operations and recruiting.

"That's one thing that you can't help but impact you from a positive way by getting more young people, more young guys involved and give them a chance. And then it's really neat to see them mature and flourish."

Plenty more quality content can be found in the original article which can be read here.