Every school undergoes changes on their coaching staff–maybe not every year, but more often than one might think.
More often than not, it occurs for two different reasons: a coach will either take a new job or be let go. So far in this quasi-postseason, we’ve seen an excellent example of both. Florida State Seminoles defensive coordinator Mark Stoops left his current post to take the head coach position at the University of Kentucky. While it’s technically considered an upgrade, one might argue that point considering how tough of a job it will be turning around that downtrodden program. The other example is Monte Kiffin being released of his coordinating duties with the Southern Cal Trojans due to lack of production.
So now two prominent defensive coordinator positions at two of the most prestigious football programs in the country are vacant. How does this affect the recruiting in Los Angeles and Tallahassee? It doesn’t.
At schools as high and mighty as FSU and SC, the school practically recruits itself. Those two programs have excellent campuses and academics, a history of winning (games, conference titles, National Championships, Heisman Trophies, etc.), superb facilities and funding and are surrounded by elite high school talent. That alone will get recruits on campus.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want readers to think that coaches at elite schools are hacks at recruiting, because that’s far from the case. There are a lot of premium brands in college football all vying for the same elite players and having a well known coach with some bling on his fingers certainly helps.
Coaching changes affect recruiting mostly when it involves the head coach. If Jimbo Fisher were leaving FSU, there would be major recruiting implications. Same goes with ‘Lame Duck Lane’ Kiffin at SC.
Yes, these prospects do develop relationships with the assistant coaches. After all, those coaches are the ones in contact with the kids the most. But the program doesn’t shift or change when one or two of the assistants leave. The kids being recruited still know what they’re going to get by going to that school. Rarely does a kid go to a school strictly based on a single assistant coach.
It may be disheartening to some SC or FSU recruits to hear of Kiffin and Stoops leaving and some may even change their mind about attending school there. But for the most part, there won’t be major ramifications from a assistant coaching changeup. The biggest threat would probably be that coach going back after the prospects he was recruiting at his previous school. I don’t think FSU fans have to worry about Kentucky (even with Stoops) taking away their recruits in the near future.