Grading college football’s new coaching hires across the country
- College football reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
- Graduate of Northwestern University.
The theme of the 2021-22 college football coaching carousel has been speed.
Firings are happening quickly, and so are hirings. Three FBS programs hired their coaches for 2022 with weeks left in the 2021 season. The most recent hire, UMass announcing Don Brown on Monday, means it’s time to start giving out grades.
Like the carousel itself, the coaching grades are also coming in hot. Several factors go into the grades, namely how a certain coach fits the program he’s set to lead. A lot of talented coaches are being fired in this cycle, partly because they didn’t fit the job as well as their schools initially thought. Ask any administrator, agent or coach about the carousel and they will mention the fit factor.
Most coaching grades also trend toward the positive, which reflects the optimism surrounding every new coaching hire. You won’t see D or F grades here, unless a school’s hiring process is completely broken. I believe in giving every coach a fair chance, but some hires are questionable choices from the outset, and they will be reflected as such.
Grades will be updated throughout the coaching carousel as hires are finalized.
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