Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Assistant to Head Coach, Does it Work?

When judging SEC football, maybe more than any conference in the country, the head coach matters a lot.  For schools like Vandy and UK to succeed, they have to have the right kind of coach.  UK’s last 2 coaches came from different backgrounds.  Rich Brooks was a grizzled veteran, a Division 1-A head coach for 18 years before coming to Lexington.  Joker Phillips, on the other hand, had no previous 1-A head coaching before taking the job.  It got me thinking if there might be something to that.  Do coaches who enter the SEC with previous head coaching experience do better than their couterparts with no experience?  I broke down the numbers here:


Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M)
before A&M: 35-17
during A&M: 11-2 (84.6 win%)

Nick Saban (Alabama)
before Bama: 91-40
during Bama: 68-13 (83.9 win%)

Les Miles (LSU)
before LSU: 28-21
during LSU: 85-21 (80.2 win%)

Steve Spurrier (South Carolina)
before USC: 142-40
during USC: 66-37 (64.1 win%)

Gary Pinkel (Missouri)
before Mizzou: 73-37
during Mizzou: 90-61 (59.6 win%)

Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss)
before Ole Miss: 10-2
during Ole Miss: 7-6 (53.8 win%)

Combined SEC record: 327-140 (70.0 win%)

Mark Richt (Georgia)
before UGA: None
during UGA: 118-40 (74.7 win%)

Will Muschamp (Florida)
before Florida: None
during Florida: 18-8 (69.2 win%)

James Franklin (Vanderbilt)
before Vandy: None
during Vandy: 15-11 (57.7 win%)

Dan Mullen (Mississippi State)
before MState: None
during MState: 29-22 (56.9 win%)

Combined SEC Record: 180-81 (69.0 win%)


Bret Bielema (Arkansas)
before Arkansas: 68-24
during Arkansas: TBD

Gus Malzahn (Auburn)
before Auburn: 9-3
during Auburn: TBD

Butch Jones (Tennessee)
before UT: 50-27
during UT: TBD

Mark Stoops (Kentucky)
before UK: None
during UK: TBD

My biggest concern coming into the season is the mix of inexperienced head coaching with a roster on the rebuild.  You just never know how a coach is going to respond at the helm for his first time.  Joker Phillips did not seem to handle it well.  Motivation techniques seemed to be lacking and it showed on the field, especially in that 3rd year.  But the reality of the situation is that coaches in the SEC have seen just as much success whether or not they had head coaching experience before coming into the league.  OK, over 100 games, they might lose 1 more.  But statistically, that is basically the same.

This year, 4 new coaches will start jobs in the SEC, and 3 of them have previous coaching experience.  All 4 take over rebuilding projects, so no excuses can be made about their starting points.  It will be interesting to see how Mark Stoops compares 5 years from now to the other 3 of his rookie mates.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

21 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Assistant to Head Coach, Does it Work?

  1. Tina Delgado is alive
    9:08 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    My good friend Kyle Wiltjer, buddy you need to consider the Sturdy Dan option. Redshirt and lock yourself in that weightroom with Sturdy Dan for the next year. Your body will be transformed. The BBN loves you!!

  2. Elite 11 Official
    9:10 am July 2, 2013 Permalink


    Elite 11 officials posted their QB rankings last night:
    1 Blough
    2 Allen
    3 White
    4 Watson
    5 Greir
    6 Carta-Samuels
    7 Chyrst
    8 Park
    9 Heard
    10 Wilkins
    11 Rubenzer

    Drew Barker is not listed.

  3. Bsquared01
    9:17 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    So what your saying is there is no correlation between coaches with head coach experience and those without…thanks for wasting my time

  4. DCS195
    9:28 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    The other point concerning the first year headcoaches in the SEC, is that Stoops comes in with the biggest rebuilding job by far of the four coaches given the talent level left by the previous programs.

  5. Michael F. Jox
    9:28 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    It’s kind of hard to believe that once you looked at the numbers you didn’t realize that this piece didn’t need to be written.

  6. Blue You
    9:31 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    2. Doesn’t surprise anyone that knows anything about football. Barker is a mediocre QB. The BBN thinks he’s the best ever, because most of the homers don’t know a thing about football.

  7. Please stop
    9:32 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    KSR please stop with the auto play videos, seriously its super annoying.

  8. Brad
    9:51 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    One of the worse analysis I have seen on the site in a long time. You can’t take the weighted average in something like this because unsuccessful coaches will be shown the door soon while those that succeed will be able to pile up more wins by virtue of being in the SEC longer and therefore give too much weight to their tenure rather than actual winning percentages. You should have done just a straight average which unfortunately doesn’t prove the point you wanted to make. Prior head coaching experience should reflect a winning percentage of 71.0% while those without have a winning percentage of 64.6% . Clearly not just a wash as is portrayed in this post, but I don’t think Stoops is an average guy. Only time will tell.

  9. Knightryder
    9:55 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    This is a terrible post. 1)Your sample size is way too small and should of included Joker Phillips in this. 2)Also should be noted that is matters more what program you go to. Prime example Spurrier has almost lost as many games at USC as he did the entire time he was at Forida. All the coaches with lesser winning percentages are all at schools that haven’t been football powerhouses.

  10. Real statistian
    9:59 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    Stop trying to be a statistician. You didn’t ‘block’ on the correct variables, which is school and previous record. For example, if Les Miles had a record of 28-21 before LSU and 85-21 while at LSU, maybe him being at LSU, rather than Missippi St. had an influence on his win rate. But your “analysis” ignores his record before going to the school and which school he went to.

    Your hypothesis test should look at the delta between previous win rate and current rate while blocking on school. As stated, your results have no reasonable interpretation.

    NotJerryTipton has better analytical skills.

  11. Michael F. Jox
    10:02 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    #6 – You are correct. Also, make what you will out of the whole Elite 11 thing. I happen to remember a Zeke Pike doing quite well in that competition. He must be ready to have a great yr as QB for the Auburn Tigers…oh wait, that’s right, the dude is a TE for Louisville now.

  12. Musehobo
    10:25 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    I have no knowledge about how good Barker is. But #2’s post is misleading. First Read this:

    “1 Regional Camps and 13 Nike Football Training Camps, the Elite 11 staff went through the film and on-field evaluations of hundreds of top high school quarterbacks to narrow the list down to the final group who’ll attend the prestigious Elite 11 Quarterback Competition which will take place in Beaverton, Ore. from June 28 to July 3.”…from

    Barker made this cut…which was down to 18. The worst conclusion that you could draw from this is that Barker is the 18th best QB in his class. And based on what I was reading, I’d say he was closer to 12-14.

    While I’m sure you’d like to blast UK fans for being football morons, maybe you should use that Google machine every now and then before you open your mouth.

  13. Elite 11
    10:29 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    12. How is that post misleading? It was put out by Elite 11 officials last night. Are you that much of a homer that you can’t believe the people that are running the competition?

  14. dshwildcats
    10:37 am July 2, 2013 Permalink


    Good point about the rebuilding job facing Stoops compared to the other coaches! Only time will tell how good of a HC Mark Stoops will be. Some guys are meant to be head coaches, some are not (i.e. Joker Phillips). I think we’ll have to give Coach Stoops 3 or 4 years before we can truly assess what kind of coach he is. There is some talent on this current team; but, not enough to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Florida, UGA, South Carolina, Alabama, etc., every week. As fans, we are going to have to be patient.

  15. Musehobo
    10:45 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    It’s misleading because you used it to act like Barker is overrated because he didn’t make the top 11. Common sense tells you that if they only select 18 of the best QB’s in the nation, that these 18 are the cream of the crop. Even if Barker is ranked 18th….he’s still one of the best quarterbacks in his class. It’s something to be proud of.

    I do my best when commenting on this site not to be a homer. I always try to think about how I would feel if this were any other team before I post. It seems you’re using partial information to trash Barker and UK fans at the same time. I’m not sure why pointing that out makes me a homer.

  16. dshwildcats
    10:53 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    Blue You,

    I seem to remember a certain “knowledgeable” football fan base spending an entire summer hyping their QB for the Heisman several years back. I believe that fan base’s school even had bobbleheads made for the guy. Needless to say, that particular Heisman hopeful got beat like a ragdoll in the very first game that season. Can’t remember right off hand what team administered the beating to that Heisman hopeful in 2002. Oh that’s right! It was that school whose fans don’t know a thing about football.

  17. Musehobo
    11:12 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    Elite 11…I apologize. My comments were not directed to you. They were meant for “Blue You”.

  18. hell cat
    11:28 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    All the people griping about the statistical analysis on here crack me up. He shows exactly what he claims he wants to show; the ‘statistics’ if you want to call them that, are fine. It’s a simple analysis, but it’s valid. Simple, yes, but done correctly based on his premise and hypothesis. Would blocking variables and such make it better – of course. If you want that, hire a statistician or pull out your old ECO 391 text; this is a fan site. You shouldn’t expect advanced econometrics.

  19. bung
    11:51 am July 2, 2013 Permalink

    bti analysis…pi r round, cornbread r square…a glass half empty cannot hear a tree fall…apples fall up when you stand on your head…with 80 years since Rupp started I bet there might be an interesting season or player or game to write about from a positive and supportive fan perspective without the need to over analyze…

  20. When someone writes an article he/she retains the image of a user in his/her
    mind that how a user can know it. So that’s why this paragraph is outstdanding. Thanks!

  21. Blueneck
    6:16 pm July 2, 2013 Permalink

    I won’t bother to read another sucky post and I assume other commenters have stated already, other than Jason Kidd aren’t all Head Coaches assistants before their first HC job?