The 14 SEC coaches voted unanimously Wednesday at the league’s spring meetings to recommend hiring a 10th full-time coach to each staff. Some reporters on the scene in Destin, Fla., speculated some coaches would be willing to place a cap on the number of off-the-field staff members to add another full-time assistant.
A few points are worth considering here. First, this is just a recommendation from SEC coaches to their athletics directors. There’s no telling whether or not the ADs would even adopt the recommendation themselves, and even then it still must be floated up the NCAA legislative totem pole for widespread adoption. There are budget considerations to weigh here as well. The average SEC assistant earns north of $200,000 a year and, with cost of attendance and unlimited training table proposals on the table, it seems less than likely that the majority of FBS rules-makers would sign off on adding another significant line item to the budget. A 10th full-time salary could be absorbed in the SEC, but the SEC doesn’t have autonomy in this case.
We reached out to a number of SEC personnel – no head coaches – and the initial feedback we got that a 10th full-time coach is not among the most pressing needs in the profession. Most people we spoke with believed a 10th coach would be used primarily (or perhaps exclusively) as a recruiter. The common thought was that every staff could use a 10th coach to take some special teams burden away from the rest of the staff but, again, it was not a pressing need.
Increasing the number from nine to 10, 12 or even 15 isn’t going to yield a noticeable return in a team’s performance. Every staff already essentially employs 15 coaches when adding graduate assistants and quality control assistants to the staff roster.