The Washington Times - November 4, 2008, 10:50AM

While running down the fallout of Phil Fulmer‘s dismissal at Tennessee yesterday, I wondered aloud just how odd it was that the fifth-longest tenured BCS coaches (sans Fulmer and Purdue’s Joe Tiller, who will be done after this season) had only been on the job for 12 years.

So I figured why not look at the state of things in 1988, a nice 20-year jump back to the days before the Bowl Coalition/Alliance/BCS. Included in this mix are all current BCS schools plus the other teams from the old Southwest Conference. This seems like a reasonable net to cast.


Turns out, there were more than twice as many guys who had been at their school a dozen or more years at that juncture. To be precise, 11, and it is a group with some impressive credentials.

(This also answers the question of when exactly Joe Paterno became the dean of the program patriarchs; it was in 1989, since Vince Dooley retired after the ‘88 season.)

So here’s the full list of guys from ‘88 who were working at least their 10th season at a major college school:

25: Vince Dooley, Georgia

23: Joe Paterno, Penn State

20: Bo Schembechler, Michigan

17: Grant Teaff, Baylor

16: Tom Osborne, Nebraska; Barry Switzer, Oklahoma

14: Don James, Washington

13: Bobby Bowden, Florida State; Terry Donahue, UCLA

12: Rich Brooks, Oregon, Johnny Majors, Tennessee

10: Danny Ford, Clemson; Hayden Fry, Iowa

The conclusion? It’s not that coaches stayed on the job longer back in the day. It’s that MORE of them stuck around in one place than in the past.

—- Patrick Stevens