Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Experience, experience, experience | by Pat

When und.com announced the rest of Charlie Weis's coaching staff, the first thing that struck me was the incredible amount of experience in the group. Reading the first two paragraphs of the release, it's hard not to be impressed by the collective accomplishments of Notre Dame's new football coaches:

Twenty-five seasons of experience as a collegiate head coach. Twenty-nine seasons as an offensive or defensive coordinator (plus 21 more as a special teams or recruiting coordinator).

Twelve seasons as a National Football League assistant coach (including five playoff appearances).

Seventy-seven postseason bowl appearances. Forty-two bowl victories. Forty-five finishes in the final Associated Press top 25 rankings.

Digging a bit deeper, I thought it would be interesting to see just how much of that experience was at major (read: BCS) conferences. Obviously, being a coordinator or head coach at a school in the SEC or Big 10 is more impressive than a school in the MWC or some other smaller conference. Breaking it down by conference looks something like this:
  • ACC - 3 years as head coach; 15 years total experience
  • Big 10 - 10 years total experience
  • Big 12 - 9 years total experience
  • Big East - 13 years total experience
  • Pac 10 - 9 years total experience
  • SEC - 7 years as head coach; 19 years as coordinator; 58 years total experience
  • Notre Dame - 2 years as coordinator; 2 years total experience
The depth of experience across all of the BCS conferences is impressive. Much was made of the Pac 10-oriented nature of Willingham's staff, and it appears that Weis's guys, while SEC-heavy, have had jobs at all of the major conferences across the college landscape. Not only will this help in recruiting nationally, it should also alleviate concerns about Weis's relative inexperience in coaching college football.

And when the NFL experience of Lewis and Parmalee (to say nothing of Weis himself) is thrown in...well, that's just downright unfair.