While there are still two weeks left on the college football calendar, there have been 12 FBS-level head coach layoffs and more are expected. But what motivated this rapid recycling of coaches? Mississippi State Coach Mike Leach thinks he has the answer.
On the SEC coaching conference call Wednesday, Leach, who was himself fired by Texas Tech after the 2009 season, blamed it on trends and mental illness.
âBecause people are crazy,â Leach said, via Football Scoop. âFirst of all, I think things are going in the trends. General societal mental illness, I think, and I think the other thing that contributes to it, and the same has happened with (athletic directors), it’s almost like there’s been a premium over AD. too much.
âI think to me it seemed like when people were all stuck at home with COVID (in 2020) they had all this nervous energy, and you saw a bunch of DAs and fired coaches who didn’t ‘had not coached a match since this season. [Like people said] âWell, we’re not doing anything, so let’s fire someone. “
Leach also believes that too many decisions are made in a hurry. We live in an age of instant gratification and it has caught on through the ranks of football.
âI don’t think it’s productive,â Leach said. “If you’re a farmer and you go out and say, ‘I want to grow corn,’ and it grows six inches, and you say, ‘Well, it hasn’t grown fast enough,’ then shoot it off the groundâ¦ There’s coach after coach in the NFL Hall of Fame who, back then, if they were held to that standard (to win immediately), they wouldn’t be there.
In terms of quick shots, Leach is right. Consistency is essential in all aspects of life, but especially within a football program – college, professional or otherwise.
There is also the problem of communication and the growing lack of interpersonal skills due to technology, says Leach. With all that is done digitally, the human element has been lost.
âI think machine addiction is one of them. Then instead of people, one communicating with each other, two making their decisions based on some sort of independent thinking, I think a lot of times machines and social networks think for people, and I don’t think that’s very healthy, âLeach added.
Leach blaming the layoffs on mental illness may be hyperbolic, but there is some truth to the perceived demand for instant success. There is also a level of truth in the degradation of communication. Both have apparently factored in the carousel of coaches across multiple levels of the sport.