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Sustainability

This is used to measure the likelihood that a coach can be fired/replaced and the program will experience the same amount or better success.

Understanding the data

To a head coach, the ideal “Sustainability” rating is somewhere from the middle to just above the bottom third.  Too high of a sustainability rating indicates that the coach can be replaced with little on-the-field consequences to the program.  Too low of a sustainability rating indicates that the recruiting ability is lower than it should be. This means one of two things. 1. The coach is either ineffective or lacks effort on the recruiting trail (a lot of older coaches have this issue) or 2. At a program where it’s hard to recruit and he may want to go elsewhere. A low Sustainability percentage means that the program can expect regression when that coach leaves.

To a program, the ideal “Sustainability” rating is in the middle of the pack or a 0% score. This means that talent level vs. expectations is not a factor. It is more likely that when the current coach leaves, the program will continue to be successful with another good hire.

Almost every “household name” coach falls between -5% and 5%. This includes Dabo Swinney, Brian Kelly, Jim Harbaugh, Mark Dantonio, Kirby Smart, Gus Malzahn, and Jimbo Fisher.

Between 0% and 2% is where you find legendary program builders, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.  If those guys left their respective programs, and Meyer just did, the new coaches would have full cupboards and be expected to contend for championships immediately. You already know that this will be the expectation of Ryan Day at Ohio State.


The top 10 in the table below are the underachievers delivering results well below the current team talent level.  These are the coaches in the danger zone where there is more incentive to give another coach a shot to get more out of the talent there. Any coach in the top 10 after their third season at a program will typically feel their seat warm up.

The Bottom 10 are the irreplaceable overachievers. When these coaches leave, their programs can expect regression. These programs will likely have to make a spectacular hire to continue their success.