Fired College Football Coaches: Numbers Surge


College football is big time business at quite a few schools, a cash generator that brings in enough money to fund most of the other money losing athletic programs out there. Only men’s and women’s college basketball programs seem to be able to hold their own, doing their part to contribute funds to aid as many as twenty other low or no revenue varsity sport programs.

college footballBut when it comes down to it, selling out an 80,000 seat or larger stadium for six or seven home games annually easily beats the upwards of twenty home games on a hoops court.

There is something about seeing Notre Dame Stadium filled to the brim to root on the Fighting Irish, but beginning next fall, Charlie Weis will no longer be at the helm. Weis was axed on Monday following a tumultuous five year tenure in South Bend, one of many major college football coaches dismissed within the past week.

Indeed, before the college bowl pairings are announced next week, expect that one or two more high profile programs will dump their million dollar coaches too. But one question remains: will these canned coaches be replaced with guys who earn even more than their overpaid predecessors? Unfortunately, as trends go this one shows no sign in slowing down.

Let’s take a look at schools who have head coaching jobs available due to recent firings. Polish up your resume and be prepared to apply; judging by some of the recent jobholders your suspect background may not disqualify you from snagging a plum job:

Louisville – Once thought to be the Beast of the East – Big East, that is – the Cardinals are vying with Syracuse for conference door mat status. Steve Kragthorpe is gone, having posted a 15-21 record over three years. In some ways Kragthorpe was doomed from the beginning: Louisville had just come off of a convincing Orange Bowl win over Wake Forest with many of its best players moving on to the NFL as former coach Rick Petrino took over as coach for the Atlanta Falcons.

Notre Dame – Irish alumni are tough and they demand results. Under Charlie Weis, the Irish got off to a very good start, heading to the Fiesta and Sugar bowls the first two years, which were losses by the way. After that, there wasn’t much for the Irish faithful to hang their hats on. Worse, a loss to Navy in 2007, a shocking upset by Syracuse in 2008, and another Navy loss in 2009 spelled the end for Coach Weis. Still, he managed a 35-27 record; that isn’t good enough for the Irish who will pay $18 million to buy out his contract.

Virginia – Not exactly a bastion of college football prowess, nevertheless even the University of Virginia seems to know when a change is needed. Al Groh managed to post a 59-53 record in nine seasons at Virginia, but this year’s 3-9 mark was his worst one ever with the Cavaliers. The state of Virginia is getting a new governor; now they’ll be shopping for a new coach for the state university.

Check The List

Other schools with vacancies include Marshall, Akron, and UNLV. Western Kentucky and Memphis have already announced their replacements while long time San Jose State coach, Dick Tomey, will retire following this Saturday’s game at Louisiana Tech.

One more thought: the last college football games of the regular season will be played this Saturday followed by the Army/Navy Classic on December 12th. Key games this weekend include Oregon State at Oregon; Cincinnati at Pittsburgh; Florida v. Alabama; Texas v. Nebraska; and Georgia Tech v. Clemson.

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