Rating The Coaches – What The Players Think

Mike at Braves & Birds found a fantastic site the other day. It’s a website that collects and reports ratings of college football, basketball and baseball coaches. The ratings are done exclusively by current and former players of those coaches. Talk about your interesting inside info!
The basketball ratings don’t seem to be very mature yet, so I’m most interested in the college football coaches. You can view the ratings here.

The way it works is that the people at this site get in contact with players and then somehow confirm their identity. The players can then rate their coach in several categories covering their coaching abilities, how they treat the player, how they value academics, etc. Until a coach gets 10 ratings, their numbers are considered “pending.”
The results are very interesting. As you might imagine, coaches with reputations as “players coaches” do well. Successful coaches generally do better as well, although it’s not a perfect correlation.
For example, Mack Brown scored a very high score (9.4, the third-highest overall score) while Bob Stoops only had a pretty good score (7.4).
I would expect coaches who are under heat for off-field problems to have shaky scores. These are guys who probably have ethical issues which would show up in the ratings. Contrary to my hypothesis, Gary Barnett of Colorado has a very respectable 8.1 while Jim Tressel has the highest overall score with a whopping 9.6.
At the other end is Bill Snyder at Kansas State. His program has always smelled fishy to me – a quick rise at a program with no history while relying heavily on transfers and partial-qualifiers. His score? An anemic 5.7 Even worse, 45% of the 20 players who rated him picked “Corrupt” as the best phrase describing him. 45%!
The lowest rating of any coach with at least 10 ratings is Arizona’s John Mackovic, with a sorry 4.9. Nearly 22% of his players characterized him as “Corrupt” and another 27% said he was “Troubled.” Ouch. You’d think an athletic director would be compelled to investigate those sorts of ratings.
Two related coaches that have interesting values are Tyrone Willingham and the man who almost replaced him, Urban Meyer. Willingham was supposedly a very-well respected coach, but maybe a bit rigid. You’d expect Meyer to have extremely high scores after building such a successful program out of a mid-major. Well, Willingham does have a very respectable 7.6 score, but 5.6% of his players picked each of “Corrupt” and “Troubled” to describe him. The “Troubled” comment could have had more to do with his situation at the school.
Meyer has a shockingly low score of 6.7. Nearly 10% of his players called him “Corrupt” and another 27% said he was a “Drill Sergeant”. Better hope he keeps winning, because it doesn’t sound like his players really like him. Maybe Notre Dame and Florida would have done better trying to get Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz who rated an impressive 9.6.
As for the ACC, only a few coaches have enough votes to really count. No players have rated Bobby Bowden, Tommy Bowden, Ralph Friedgen, Carl Franks or Larry Coker. Chuck Amato and Al Groh have votes, but not quite enough to fully count yet.
As you might expect, Jim Grobe has a very high rating. His 8.5 is the highest in the ACC. Chan Gailey of Georgia Tech has the lowest rating at 6.6. One quarter of the players surveyed called Gailey either “Troubled” or “Corrupt.”
One surprising ACC result is Al Groh at Virginia. Given his success, you’d expect him to have very positive numbers. His rating of 7.7 is pretty good, but I wasn’t expecting to see “Corrupt” votes. A little math will tell you that of nine voting players, two picked “Corrupt” for Groh. Not good news.
A summary of the ACC coaches who have votes:

Coach Rating Positives Negatives
Chuck Amato 8.5* 14.5 out of 15 in Recommendation category none
Frank Beamer 8.2 85% Well Respected 5% Troubled
John Bunting 7.4 58.9% Mentor/Role Model, Respected or Father Figure 11.8% Corrupt
Chan Gailey 6.6 62.5% Mentor/Role Model, Respected or Father Figure 25% Troubled or Corrupt
Jim Grobe 8.5 95.7% Mentor/Role Model, Respected or Father Figure none
Al Groh 7.7* 55.5% Mentor/Role Model or Respected 22.2% Corrupt

* = Not enough data yet.
It will be very interesting to keep an eye on this site and see what happens as more data flows in and we get better readings on all coaches.

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