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First-year SEC coaches average a losing record

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After reading Bryan the Intern’s post yesterday morning about first-year coaching success at Kentucky, it became evident that Mark Stoops does not have history working in his favor. Since 1927, first-year coaches at UK have posted a combined 52-97-4 record in their first season.

Of course, losing games in a head coach’s first year at the helm is to be expected. It takes time to implement a system, recruit players, and generally get a feel for who is a playmaker on your team. Add to the fact we’re talking about Kentucky football.

But it got me thinking… How does that translate to the entire Southeastern Conference? I researched first-year coaches since 1960 at every SEC school (excluding the two newest members, Missouri and Texas A&M) and recorded each coach’s first-year mark. Then I tallied it up with a total W-L record and win percentage. Take note that Arkansas and South Carolina entered the league in 1992.

Let’s see how the Kentucky football program stacks up against the rest of the powerhouse conference.

The results, summarized at the bottom, probably are not far off from what you expect.

Alabama

1983 (Ray Perkins) 8-4
1987 (Bill Curry) 7-5
1990 (Gene Stallings) 7-5
1997 (Mike DuBose) 4-7
2001 (Dennis Franchione) 7-5
2003 (Mike Shula) 4-9
2007 (Nick Saban) 7-6

TOTAL: 44-41 (.517)

Arkansas

1977 (Lou Holtz) 11-1 [SWC]
1984 (Ken Hatfield) 7-4-1 [SWC]
1990 (Jack Crowe) 3-8 [SWC]
1993 (Danny Ford) 5-5-1
1998 (Houston Nutt) 9-3
2008 (Bobby Petrino) 5-7
2012 (John L. Smith) 4-8

TOTAL: 44-36-2 (.536)

Auburn

1976 (Doug Barfield) 3-8
1981 (Pat Dye) 5-6
1993 (Terry Bowden) 11-0
1999 (Tommy Tuberville) 5-6
2009 (Gene Chizik) 8-5

TOTAL: 32-25 (.561)

Florida

1960 (Ray Graves) 4-5-1
1970 (Doug Dickey) 7-4
1979 (Charley Pell) 0-10-1
1985 (Galen Hall) 9-1-1
1990 (Steve Spurrier) 9-2
2002 (Ron Zook) 8-5
2005 (Urban Meyer) 9-3
2011 (Will Muschamp) 7-6

TOTAL: 53-36-3 (.576)

Georgia

1961 (Johnny Griffith) 3-7
1964 (Vince Dooley) 7-3-1
1989 (Ray Goff) 6-6
1996 (Jim Donnan) 5-6
2001 (Mark Richt) 8-4

TOTAL: 29-26-1 (.517)

Kentucky

1962 (Charley Bradshaw) 3-5-2
1969 (John Ray) 2-8
1973 (Fran Curci) 5-6
1982 (Jerry Claiborne) 0-10-1
1990 (Bll Curry) 4-7
1997 (Hal Mumme) 5-6
2001 (Guy Morriss) 2-9
2003 (Rich Brooks) 4-8
2010 (Joker Phillips) 6-7

TOTAL: 31-66-3 (.310)

LSU

1962 (Charles McClendon) 9-1-1
1980 (Jerry Stovall) 7-4
1984 (Bill Arnsparger) 8-3-1
1987 (Mike Archer) 10-1-1
1991 (Curley Hallman) 5-6
1996 (Gerry DiNardo) 7-4-1
2000 (Nick Saban) 8-4
2005 (Les Miles) 11-2

TOTAL: 65-25-4 (.691)

Mississippi State

1962 (Paul Davis) 3-6
1967 (Charles Shira) 1-9
1973 (Bob Tyler) 4-5-2
1979 (Emory Bellard) 3-8
1986 (Rockey Felker) 6-5
1991 (Jackie Sherrill) 7-5
2004 (Sylvester Croom) 3-8
2009 (Dan Mullen) 5-7

TOTAL: 32-53-2 (.367)

Ole Miss

1971 (Billy Kinard) 10-2
1974 (Ken Cooper) 3-8
1978 (Steve Sloan) 5-6
1983 (Billy Brewer) 6-6
1994 (Joe Lee Dunn) 4-7
1995 (Tommy Tuberville) 6-5
1999 (David Cutcliffe) 8-4
2005 (Ed Orgeron) 3-8
2008 (Houston Nutt) 9-4
2012 (Hugh Freeze) 7-6

TOTAL: 51-54 (.485)

South Carolina

1961 (Marvin Bass) 4-6 [ACC]
1966 (Paul Dietzel) 1-9 [ACC]
1975 (Jim Carlen) 7-5 [Ind]
1982 (Richard Bell) 4-7 [Ind]
1983 (Joe Morrison) 5-6 [Ind]
1989 (Sparky Woods) 6-4-1 [Ind]
1994 (Brad Scott) 7-5
1999 (Lou Holtz) 0-11
2005 (Steve Spurrier) 7-5

TOTAL: 41-58-1 (.410)

Tennessee

1963 (Jim McDonald) 5-5
1964 (Doug Dickey) 4-5-1
1970 (Bill Battle) 11-1
1977 (Johnny Majors) 4-7
1993 (Philip Fulmer) 9-2-1
2009 (Lane Kiffin) 7-6
2010 (Derek Dooley) 6-7

TOTAL: 46-33-2 (.567)

Vanderbilt

1963 (Jack Green) 1-7-2
1967 (Bill Pace) 2-7-1
1973 (Steve Sloan) 5-6
1975 (Fred Pancoast) 7-4
1979 (George MacIntyre) 1-10
1986 (Watson Brown) 1-10
1991 (Gerry DiNardo) 5-6
1995 (Ron Dowhower) 2-9
1997 (Woody Widenhofer) 3-8
2002 (Bobby Johnson) 2-10
2010 (Robbie Caldwell) 2-10
2011 (James Franklin) 6-7

TOTAL: 37-94-3 (.276)

*********************************

SUMMARY

LSU (.691)
Florida (.576)
Tennessee (.567)
Auburn (.561)
Arkansas (.536)
Alabama (.517)
Georgia (.517)
South Carolina (.410)
Mississippi State (.367)
Kentucky (.310)
Vanderbilt (.276)

The total record for all first-year coaches in the SEC since 1960 is 505-547 (.480). What does all this mean? Mark Stoops has a lot of work to do to break a serious bad-luck trend for first-year Kentucky coaches, and first-year coaches in general. Even in the mighty SEC, some of the best coaches in the game started off without sterling records. To make matters worse, the history at UK since 1960 shows an average W-L of 3.4-7.3.

While a four-win season for Stoops might not please much of the Big Blue Nation that would be out-performing his predecessors. Taking baby steps to success isn’t such a bad thing.

Article written by Stuart Hammer

B.S. Broadcast Journalism from the University of Kentucky. @StuartHammerKSR

15 Comments for First-year SEC coaches average a losing record



  1. Fun with numbers!!!
    2:07 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Stuart Hammer, you fancy yourself a numbers guy, so I’m sure (hope?) you’ve heard the phrase “correlation does not mean causation.” Interesting you write a massive post without mentioning the fact the majority of new coaches take over when the last coach was just fired. Generally, coaches aren’t fired for winning too many games. Wouldn’t a better analysis be comparative records to a coach who has just been fired? Or would that be too much work? This isn’t a matter of breaking a “serious bad-luck trend,” its about the relative improvement between two different coaches.

    Homework assigned little boy.



  2. RUPPS_rhetoric
    2:15 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Technically Guy Moriss’ 2-9 record was as an interim coach after Mumme was fired. His first official season as Head Coach was 7-5. Not saying you’re wrong, just a technicality.



  3. Terrible
    2:23 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    They wouldn’t be sub 500 if Crappy programs like Vandy and Kentucky weren’t pulling the average down so much. 7 schools are above average. Only 4 are below. Expect to suck next year and forever after.



  4. dahc
    2:27 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Wow! A detailed post on a fan site detailing how UK Football will not be very good again. I’m going to go out on a limb and say Stuart didn’t pick this assignment.



  5. Kyle
    2:27 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    So what the heck it going on at LSU?



  6. El Pollo Loco
    2:29 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Look at that record – bring back Joker!

    /sarcasm



  7. Numbers guy
    2:32 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Alabama actually has a .46 win pecertage. I don’t know how you got above .5 from 44-51



  8. Hollahollaholla
    2:35 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    4 wins is not enough!

    We should have easily had 3-4 in 2012 with those young guys and terrible coaching, now a year older/better and better coaching 4 wins doesn’t show enough improvement. 5 wins is the minimum to show he knows what he’s doing during the games.

    I think Stoops may surprise some people and get to 6 wins this year and a bowl even with this schedule. He obviously has these young men pumped up.

    Let’s expect more! Geez. Look at the class he’s bringing in. Stop trying to lower our expectations KSR! Expect to win and be a winner! Stoops has “it”. It’ll be shocking if it doesn’t translate to the field. Those kids quit on Joker and still should have won 3-4, why would they equal that? They gave up because Joker was clueless and not a leader, Stoops is better and they want to fight for him and prove something.



  9. Numbers guy
    2:38 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Oh it’s not 44-51. Anyways a numbers guy should be precise with accurate figures.



  10. Just look at 44-51
    2:39 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    44 divided by 51 = 0.86274509803921568627450980392157



  11. Blue Gray
    2:41 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Looks like Alabama should be 44-41.



  12. 1fan
    2:59 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    44+41=85
    44/85= .518



  13. 1fan
    2:59 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    #typo



  14. JDH
    3:37 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    Well said Number 8.



  15. Stuart Hammer
    3:49 pm May 31, 2013 Permalink

    To all those who caught my typo… Alabama’s record is 44-41. That is a .517 win percentage. If you added up the figures in the breakdown you would have seen that.

    The error was simply in the total column, I accidentally made it 44-51 instead of 44-41. A one-number error.