Coaching Shuffle The New Norm For College Football Staffs


Chattanooga-(WDEF-TV) Remember when John Chavis used to be an assistant on the Vols football coaching staff for nearly 20 years? Now it seems assistants barely stay for 20 minutes. These days it’s almost unheard for an entire college coaching staff to stick together after one season. Mocs head coach Rusty Wright and Charlotte head coach Will Healy help explain the coaching shuffle.

Said Healy:”Obviously I would love to keep some continuity, but I know that coaching changes are just part of this profession.”
The reason for the coaching assistant scramble is simple according to Rusty Wright
Said Wright:”Well the first factor is money. Money is a lot better now than it used to be even ten years ago. The avenues assistant coaches have to get their name out there is more than they used to.”
Said Healy:”You know that’s probably one of the hardest parts that I go through at Charlotte. There’s always somebody you can pay those guys a little bit more. We lost our offensive coordinator to Florida State. Great opportunity. Obviously money changing and life changing type of opportunity.”
And there are more coaching opportunities available today.
Said Wright:”We have the DFO (Director of Football Operations) We have a recruiting coordinator. We have other aspects of it that have grown since then. Coaching staffs have gotten larger. We have two GA’s (grad assistants). Some places have four. You have Power 5 folks that have analysts. They may have defensive analysts. Offensive analysts. Special teams analysts. Assistants to the head coach.”
Back in the day, the NFL rarely dipped into the college coaching ranks. Now there appear to be no barriers between levels of football.
Said Wright:”A lot of things have changed. I think people realize there are good football coaches at every level. Just because you are a high school coach. There are good high school coaches out there. There are good pro coaches out there. There’s some you probably couldn’t tell the difference if you put them in a room together.
Relationships also play a role in grabbing assistants.
Said Healy:”I look at where we are in our situation right now. We have seven of ten that I have either worked with or played for. It’s a crazy profession. There’s a lot of guys that want your job, and loyalty is extremely important. I think that surrounding yourself with people who have your back outside of the game of football is extremely important.”

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Rick Nyman grew up in Anniston, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama. His television career started at WJSU-TV in Anniston where he had the opportunity to cover SEC football with Alabama and Auburn. Anniston is just 20 minutes from the Talladega Speedway, so NASCAR was a big part of his sports coverage. Due to this he was able to interview Davey Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, and several other top-name NASCAR drivers. Rick's next television job was in Savannah, Georgia, where he covered basketball player Kwame Brown (now with the Washington Wizards), who later became the first ever high school player selected as the top pick in the NBA draft. He covered the PGA Tour's annual swing thru Hilton Head and also had the opportunity of covering the Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl appearance in 1999 in Miami. Rick especially enjoys all the atmosphere, tradition and drama of college football. He also likes profiling sports personalities and learning what drives them both on and off the field. If he's not covering sports, he's either watching Seinfield or David Letterman, playing golf, reading, or working out. What he enjoys about Chattanooga is the passion people have for sports. The mountainous region of Chattanooga reminds him of his hometown of Anniston, which also has big, beautiful trees and plenty of hills. You can contact Rick at