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.