I've attended the AFCA Graduate Assistant Career Forum for the last six years, and for the last six years I've heard a variation of the same thought: the way to get a big-time coaching job is through the people you already work with, and the your interview for that job is in how you conduct yourself every day.
Let's take a look at the transcript from this month's edition:
James Franklin: Your résumé means nothing. I’ve never looked at a résumé, ever. Your references mean nothing. I’m not calling your references, I’m calling the people that I know. I’m not working with someone 16-to-17 hours a day if I don’t know them or someone that I trust knows them.
Mike London: Your biggest résumé to me is to watch you coach and interact, like at a camp. It’s important to see your temperament. Brand yourself not by pieces of paper but by what happens on the field. Like what Coach Franklin said, make sure you’re impressing the guys around you.
Houston outside linebackers coach Dan Carrel: The biggest thing you can do is write down the initials of every full-time coach on your staff. If he got a head job tomorrow, write a check mark or an X if he’d hire you, then ask why. When I was a defensive GA (at Houston), I sat my ass in the film room with Major Applewhite, so I would build a relationship with the coordinator on the other side of the ball. You’re networking within your building.
More Carrel: I don’t know where my résumé is. My résumé is every day. The guys in your building are going to be the guys who hire you. You interview with them every day. I’ve never interviewed for a job.
With that we transition to news from Tuesday, when Jerry Jones confirmed that Kellen Moore will be the Dallas Cowboys' quarterbacks coach.
Moore completed a rare transition of being a backup quarterback to now running the quarterback room. He was a backup for the Cowboys from 2015-17, and will now work to help Dak Prescott reach his potential as the Cowboys' franchise quarterback and to help the offense become, as Jones said Tuesday, "Dak friendly."
And, yes, this situation is a unique one. Not often do you go straight from sitting in a chair facing the whiteboard to being the guy standing in front of it with the dry erase marker in your hand. And, no, Moore isn't going to run the Cowboys' offense, not with a former Cowboys quarterback in Jason Garrett as head coach and a former NFL head coach in Scott Linehan as offensive coordinator.
But, still, the line forms to the left of coaches that would love to be the Cowboys' quarterbacks coach.
“I really think Kellen is going to be a star in this league. I really do. We’ve spent a lot of time with him and he’s got a lot of qualities of the guy that’s the head coach of this team right now," executive vice president Stephen Jones told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “He didn’t have all the skills and all the talent coming out, but he was able to make a place for himself in our league. He obviously has a tremendous football IQ and mind.”
How did the 29-year-old Moore get that job? He won over the people he's worked with every day for the past three years.