Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Three Saturdays ago, Tennessee lost to Vanderbilt, 41-18, dropping the Volunteers to 4-7 on the season and 0-7 in the SEC. This pretty inconsequential game has led to a brief but wonderful domino effect, wherein:

  1. Derek Dooley was fired as head coach of Tennessee.
  2. Butch Jones, head coach at Cincinnati, was hired to replace him.
  3. Tommy Tuberville, head coach at Texas Tech, was hired to replace Jones at Cincinnati.

The head-coaching position at Texas Tech is a pretty plum job, and so the domino effect will likely continue in the next few weeks as the program looks to tap either Clemson's or Texas A&M's offensive coordinator. Then someone will have to be fired to fill that position. And someone will have to be hired to fill that position. You get the idea.

These coaching ladders reveal football's real hierarchy, turning the NCAA into a parody of 1950s corporate America, in which a vacancy on the board can lead, 30 steps down the line, to the assistant mail boy being promoted to head mail boy. While you await an announcement from Texas Tech, take a look at the sequence from 2010 at the top of the page. That's the longest NCAA coaching ladder we could find dating back to the 1998-1999 season.

Here's an extremely Midwestern coach-swap, from 2009-2010:


And finally a visually pleasing southeastern romp from 2007, which once again begins with poor Jim Mora being fired from the NFL:


Know of any longer ladders? Leave them in the comments. The rules are:

  1. All coaching changes must take place within the span of one year.
  2. The ladder must begin with a coach getting shitcanned, retiring, or dying.
  3. At least three NCAA Division I head-coaching jobs must change hands, although NFL coaching positions, coordinator positions, Division II & III positions, and even high school positions can also be included.
  4. The ladder ends when a program promotes from within, hires someone who did not coach the year before, or leaves the position vacant for a season.

Good luck!

See also: Infographic: Watch More Coaches Climb Up Football's Hierarchies

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