Offseason fun thread: What’s the difference between a great Head Coach and a decent/bad one

#1
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#1
I was thinking about this and wanted VNs take.

What differentiates a Phil Fulmer from a Cutcliffe?
Nick Saban from a Will Muschamp?
Dabo from Dana Holgerson?

Guys at the top of their craft and guys falling anywhere from the bottom to the mid tier.

Is it a product of their location? Luck? Curious to hear VN’s take.
 
#2

tnutater

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#2
Recruiting is the difference. Coaches have to get top tier talent every year AND develop and keep it.
To be a great (championship winning) coach is a product of facilities, support from the university, bagmen, assistant coaches, luck and dozens of other things. Only wins count. Being the best X and O coach does not make a coach great without everything else in place. No one would say CPF was even a decent game day coach when he took over from CJM but he enjoyed a lot of the intangibles and had a great run. When they went away, so did he.
 
#4

GTBATV

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#4
I don't think it is unique to coaching. Some people are better as managers and some are better as a support role. It doesn't make a coach more important than a coordinator. Each needs the other. But someone has to be the final say, someone has to be the one to take the responsibility. Just like in a business, relationship, etc.
 
#5

tnutater

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#5
I don't think the Fulmer/Cutcliffe comparison fits the argument. I personally feel that the majority of Fulmer's success revolved around when Cutcliffe was the OC. I also think Cutcliffe was a better coach.
Cut and Chief are still in the profession and have made mucho bucks, you have to say they are great coaches if you keep score in dollars.
 
#7

jackaro

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#7
Knowing how manage people and get the most out of them. Being able to effectively run a program. Making good decisions on the fly under intense pressure. Knowlege of the game and willingness to change. Being able to relate to teenagers as well as their parents. Ability to appease athletic directors and big doners. Never outwardly showing your contempt with the press.
 
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#9
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#9
Successful head coaches aren't necessarily great at coaching. Head coaching success is more management, assembling a great staff, identifying talented players and getting them on the team, dealing with off field issues, knowing when to cut dead weight staff/players, etc.
Definitely agree here. Plenty of guys who are great X’s and O’s guys are average at best HCs. I just wonder how much control a head coach really had over his success.
 
#10
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#10
I don't think the Fulmer/Cutcliffe comparison fits the argument. I personally feel that the majority of Fulmer's success revolved around when Cutcliffe was the OC. I also think Cutcliffe was a better coach.
I’m not talking about position coaches, I’m talking head coaching success, and when you look at that, the 2 have had very different levels of success.
 
#12

njvols

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#12
I was thinking about this and wanted VNs take.

What differentiates a Phil Fulmer from a Cutcliffe?
Nick Saban from a Will Muschamp?
Dabo from Dana Holgerson?

Guys at the top of their craft and guys falling anywhere from the bottom to the mid tier.

Is it a product of their location? Luck? Curious to hear VN’s take.
First off, though he wasn't desired after Fulmer firing because of health concerns, if we'd have hired Cut, we'd probably be trying to run him off about right now because he's only been winning 10 games a year.

In reality, to the question, it's both...timing, luck and ability. Over a period of time, ability to recruit, develop and coach wins out. If Clemson fired Dabo after first few years lackluster record, they'd have never been rewarded with their historic success. That's the rub...AD's get paid to be able to decipher if they've got a "Dabo in the rough", or a Dooley/Jones... Am starting to think we've got an upper tier type coach w/ Pruitt, but the W's need to come, in order to prove it.
 
#14

SaintLouisVol

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#14
Everything that has been mentioned is important, but I think that, if you asked coaches, they would say culture.

Yes, some are better at X's and O's than others. And, some are better recruiters. But, the ability to create, instill and sustain an environment where very nearly everyone is fully committed, fully accountable and giving max effort every time, all the time, is the key to being a great coach. Those kinds of cultures are self-cleansing. The few who don't buy in, get pushed out pretty quickly.
 
#15

livefaith

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#15
1. Player Development
2. Game day management and decision making.

Recruiting helps but it isnt more important than those two things.
Errrrm.
Without elite recruiting, then #1 will not be enough to become a Title contender.
Without elite recruiting, then #2 will be limited to winning vs scrubs, hoping for wins vs mid-low tier conference teams, and managing the pain vs elite teams
#1 and #2 need to go hand in hand with excellent recruiting if Titles are to be won IMO.

The most successful guys are the ones who are capable of pushing "all the buttons" IMO, in an above average way. Organizational management, staff recruiting and relations, fan marketing, recruiting, player development, team chemistry, discipline, financial management, and that game day coaching thing. Being great at one of them won't cut it. But, being able to multiply vision in others to excel at all or most can bring Championships.

A lot of similarities in business, marriage, and family IMO.
 
#21

J C Higgins

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#21
I was thinking about this and wanted VNs take.

What differentiates a Phil Fulmer from a Cutcliffe?
Nick Saban from a Will Muschamp?
Dabo from Dana Holgerson?

Guys at the top of their craft and guys falling anywhere from the bottom to the mid tier.

Is it a product of their location? Luck? Curious to hear VN’s take.
Depends on what you mean by a great coach. To me a great coach is one who gets the most from which he has to work. In other words a coach with little player talent that goes 6-5 may be a much better coach than one with loads of talent and goes 9-2.
 
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#23

nomads-11

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#23
I think a great coach improves a program to a competitive level and is always in the conversation to win the division/conference. And does so ..... that is he wins it, more than once. Lastly, he does it consistently and may do so regardless of where he is. Not too many of those.

Fulmer was good for the most part, Richt as well. HC at Oklahoma, OSU, ND, PSU are good IMO, but haven't figured out how to hit the next level. Couple may not have had the time as yet. (HC @ LSU.....has to show he actually had his eyes open when he hit one out of the park).

Unfortunately we know bad so no reason to rehash 2012-2017. That's just a history project at this point.
 
#25

DougVol

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#25
I was thinking about this and wanted VNs take.

What differentiates a Phil Fulmer from a Cutcliffe?
Nick Saban from a Will Muschamp?
Dabo from Dana Holgerson?

Guys at the top of their craft and guys falling anywhere from the bottom to the mid tier.

Is it a product of their location? Luck? Curious to hear VN’s take.
They knew Spurrier would outsmart em every time.
 

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