Do you want to know which teams will be down in 2009? If you’re playing the odds, you’ll look for a winning team with a new head coach.
In 2008, there were 17 coaches who inherited programs that had won eight or more games the previous season. None of the 17 won more games than his predecessor. Only two – Coffee’s Ken Eldridge and Harrison’s David Hines – matched the win total of their predecessors.
The other 15 won fewer games, and it most cases, it wasn’t close. New coaches of teams with eight or more victories in 2007 won nearly four victories fewer on average in 2008.
Here are the 15:
Bainbridge (9-4 to 6-4 under Ed Pilcher)
Cedar Shoals (9-2 to 7-5 under Xarvia Smith)
Chamblee (12-2 to 6-5 under Michael Collins)
Coffee (9-3 to 9-4 under Ken Eldridge)
Dalton (9-2 to 7-3 under Adam Winegraden)
Dodge County (9-3 to 2-8 under Lee Campbell)
Douglass (8-4 to 3-7 under Kenny Barrow)
East Coweta (10-2 to 7-4 under Clint Wade)
Fellowship Christian (10-2 to 7-4 under Terry Luck)
GAC (9-4 to 4-7 under Ken Robinson)
Harrison (9-3 to 9-3 under David Hines)
Macon County (8-4 to 5-6 under Matthew Lester)
Pacelli (9-2 to 4-6 under Bryan Eason)
Roswell (10-3 to 5-5 under Leo Barker)
Swainsboro (8-3 to 5-5 under Scott Roberts)
Thomas County Central (13-1 to 8-3 under Bill Shaver)
Ware County (12-2 to 6-6 under John Stephens)
Why did none of the 17 coaches win more games than his predecessor?
There are several proven coaches on that list, so we’re not calling anyone out. In fact, two on the list – Campbell and Pilcher – have won multiple state championships.
The lesson is that that doing better than a successful coach in the first season is more difficult than most imagine, as 0-for-17 speaks for itself.
Here are five reasons the GHSF Daily staff thinks a new coach at a winning program might do worse initially than his predecessor:
Statistics 101: Most teams that win eight or more games will win fewer the next season. It’s simply regression to the mean.
Leaving the cupboard bare: Coaches are more likely to leave winning programs when they believe they are facing a down season.
Replacement cost: A team that wins eight or more games probably has a good coach. A good coach is hard to replace.
Experience: Winning teams typically replace head coaches with assistants. Even when they hire from the outside, they are getting a less experienced coach most of the time.
New system: A new coach often means a new style of offense or defense and a new routine to practice and games. It often takes a season for players to adjust.
So what does that mean for 2009? Only eight teams that won eight or more games in 2008 hired new coaches.
Be patient with these guys and know that they’re trying to beat the odds:
Dunwoody (12-1) hired Michael Youngblood
Jefferson (11-1) hired T. McFerrin
Jonesboro (8-5) hired Timothy Floyd
Mount Zion of Jonesboro (8-5) hired Jamie Aull
Newnan (13-1) hired Mike McDonald
Sequoyah (10-2) hired James Teter
Walton (9-2) hired Rocky Hidalgo
Westside of Macon (12-1) hired Sheddrick Risper
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