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FootballScoop Study: Why you want a coordinator in his early 40's

JeremyPruitt

We're nearly a month into the college football season, which means hiring season is closer than we're all ready to admit. When hiring a coordinator, are you better off seeking an experienced mind, or rolling the dice with a bright, young mind? While there are certainly a number of success stories on either end of the spectrum, the numbers we found indicate you're better off veering younger.

We looked at the coordinators for the top 10 scoring offenses and defenses over both the 2013 and (admittedly young) 2014 season, and our numbers indicate the target area for coordinator hiring is somewhere around the late 30's or early 40's.

The logic behind that makes sense. At 40, a coach is entering the sweet spot of his career. He's experienced enough to develop a firm idea in his identity and his scheme, but still young enough to stay on the cutting edge schematically and relate to players and recruits.

Offensive coordinators, 2013 top 10 scoring offenses

Coordinator

School

Age

Philip Montgomery

Baylor

42

Jimbo Fisher

Florida State

48

Tom Herman

Ohio State

39

Scott Frost

Oregon

39

Jake Spavital

Texas A&M

29

Dave Schramm

Fresno State

51

Bill Legg

Marshall

51

Chad Morris

Clemson

45

Lincoln Riley

East Carolina

31

Mike Norvell

Arizona State

32

Median age: 40.5

Offensive coordinators, 2014 top 10 scoring offenses

Coordinator

School

Age

Philip Montgomery

Baylor

42

Jake Spavital

Texas A&M

29

Jim Chaney

Arkansas

52

Mike Bobo

Georgia

40

Scott Frost

Oregon

39

Dave Warner

Michigan State

54*

Mike Norvell

Arizona State

32

Dave Christensen

Utah

53

Tyson Helton

Western Kentucky

37

Bill Legg

Marshall

51

Tim Beck

Nebraska

48

Median age: 41

Defensive coordinators, 2013 top 10 scoring defenses

Coordinator

School

Age

Jeremy Pruitt

Florida State

40

Vance Bedford

Louisville

56

Pat Narduzzi

Michigan State

48

Kirby Smart

Alabama

38

Mike Elko

Bowling Green

37

Dave Aranda

Wisconsin

37

Todd Orlando

Utah State

42*

John Skladany

North Texas

65

Phil Parker

Iowa

51

Derek Mason

Stanford

44

Median age: 43

Defensive coordinators, 2014 top 10 scoring defenses

Coordinator

School

Age

Lance Anderson

Stanford

40*

Phil Bennett

Baylor

58

Dave Wommack

Ole Miss

58

Brian VanGorder

Notre Dame

55

Dick Bumpas

TCU

64

Bob Shoop

Penn State

48

Jim Knowles

Duke

49*

Mark Snyder

Texas A&M

49

Phil Snow

Temple

58

Kirby Smart

Alabama

38

Median age: 52

* Estimated age

The median age jumps a decade, but this one needs to be chalked up to sample size issues. That is, unless you believe Duke, Texas A&M, Temple and others will end the season ranked around where they are now.

Let's check again in a couple months and see what the numbers say.