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What the Heck is a Quality Control Coach?

The University of Kentucky has officially entered the college football arms race. Proof lies within Commonwealth Stadium and surrounding properties. However, I’d argue that adding quality control analysts to the Kentucky Football support staff is more of an indication of entrance into the SEC Cold War than waterfalls in the new training center.

The NFL has employed quality control assistants for several years. A number of college football programs have followed suit. The majority of programs with QC’s are deep pocketed contenders. In the national championship game, the number of Alabama and Clemson QC’s neared double digits. On Sunday, the Courier Journal’s Jon Hale reported that Brian Landis and Louie Matzakis will join Tommy Mangino as quality control analysists. What will their jobs entail?

What is a Quality Control Analysist?

Current NCAA regulations don’t recognize the term Quality Control Analysist in their rule book. However, off-the-field support staff members are and are not allowed to identified as coaches. Confused yet? After research, I discovered that non-coaching support staff members have certain duties that the NCAA deems permissible as well as impermissible. Matter of fact, there are twenty-one “cans” compared to fourteen “cant’s”. Let’s take a closer look. For this purpose of this post, 10 of each have been selected.

Permissible-Participate in organized activities involving only the coaching staff or administrative duties.

-Be present at on-campus recruiting activities.

-Receive phone calls from prospects.

-Arrange travel.

-Splice game film.

-Analyze/evaluate videotape of team or opponent.

-Engage in permissible activities in coaches only meetings.

-Attend coaches-student athlete meetings.

-Set up offense/defense strategy.

-Coordinate film exchange

-Sit in dugout/on bench during competitions and be in “huddle” provided no coaching occurs.

Impermissible-Participate in activities that can be considered coaching in nature.

-Perform off-campus recruiting functions.

-Referee team practices.

-Participate in non-organized voluntary activities.

-Review game or practice film with student-athletes.

-Provide instructions to student-athletes at any time.

-Engage in coaching activities in coaches/student-athlete meetings.

Be identified as coaches.

-Signal in plays from sidelines during practices or games.

-Provide student-athletes an analysis of their practice session or competition.

-Participate in competition related warmup activities.

As you can read, the above regulations do not address modern technological advances. Splicing film refers to old school cut ups from 16mm tape and I’m fairly certain that film exchange does not involve physically trading videotapes which was also referenced.

At a minimum, three quality control analysists are necessary to meet today’s win now environment.  With the reported additions of Brian Landis (Defense Quality Control), Louie Matzakis (Special Teams), to already in-place Tommy Mangino (Offense), UK has met the minimal standard and should be commended.  Similar to coaching staff changes, Mark Stoops has identified areas of his program that required upgrading. Through administration support, Stoops has certainly provided alterations. Will coaching hires and support staff additions lead to wins? Certainly can’t hurt. We’ll see come September.

Article written by Freddie Maggard

Former University of Kentucky Quarterback and Andy Griffith Fan Club President

2 Comments for What the Heck is a Quality Control Coach?

  1. Bluebloodtoo
    1:48 pm February 24, 2016 Permalink

    It seems like those rules all correlate to contact/instruction directly with the student-athletes. Seems appropriate on a high level for the NCAA to be concerned with which staff members have direct contact and which don’t. I’m guessing the division there is tied to requirements on hiring similar to high schools. (examples: can’t have any violent crimes, no minor related issues, etc…)

  2. Wah Wah
    7:37 am February 27, 2016 Permalink

    The NCAA is byzantine. Too many darned rules. Outdated rules. Not keeping up with tech and culture. Just crazy. INSANE!

    Why can’t a Quality Control Coach go over vid with a student athlete?

    The NCAA treats Sports as if it is still intramural activities. Sports is BIG BUSINESS. It should be treated as such. Practice (football, basketball, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf) should be treated as if it is coursework. Many of these “students” are here to learn the PROFESSION of Sports. They’re not here for Horticulture or Pharmacy or Basketweaving. They’re here to learn how to excel on the field and, then, later, for those fortunate enough to be involved in the Sports Profession in a variety of capacities such as Coaching, Radio and Television, Representation, Administration, etc.

    The NCAA needs to update its model. Sports isn’t simply a bunch of kids playing for School Spirit and Colors.


    It is a viable profession. It is a huge business.

    These “students” should be learning the profession that is Big Time Sports.