New NCAA recruiting rule aims at head coaches in waiting

If upheld in its current form, a new NCAA rule will effectively put an end to the practice of schools designating a head-coach-in-waiting.

A new NCAA rule treats Texas head-coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp (L) just like actual head coach Mack Brown in terms of recruiting contact. (UT Photography)

A new NCAA rule treats Texas head-coach-in-waiting Will Muschamp (L) just like actual head coach Mack Brown in terms of recruiting contact. (UT Photography)

At its convention in Atlanta last month, the NCAA passed to little fanfare a new bylaw that treats a head-coach-in-waiting like an actual head coach in terms of recruiting contact. A head coach is allowed only a single visit per recruit and cannot leave campus during the the critical spring evaluation period from April 15-May 31. Same now for a head-coach-designate.

There are only two head-coaches in waiting in America: Georgia alum and Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp and Ralph Friedgen’s offensive coordinator at Maryland, James Franklin.

Proposed by the Big East last June and approved last month, the rule was supported by the football issues committee was because it felt it gave schools such as Texas a competitive advantage at a time it is trying to curb off-campus recruiting by head coaches. Muschamp and Franklin actually had to adhere to the new restrictions two weeks before national signing day.

Not surprisingly, Texas and Maryland believe they have been “singled out” and placed at a competitive disadvantage as a result. Muschamp is considered one of the Longhorns’ most aggressive and successful recruiters.

“Obviously, since this legislation impacts only two programs in the country, we feel we are being singled out,” Texas athletics director DeLoss Dodds said in a prepared statement. “We are exploring our options for legislative relief within the NCAA process, since we believe this places our program at a direct disadvantage. Will [Muschamp] is our head coach-in-waiting but he is also our defensive coordinator, and this legislation restricts his ability to perform his current job duties.”

Maryland is joining Texas in its efforts to have the rule overturned at the NCAA’s next meeting in April in Indianapolis.

At least in the Longhorns’ case, the new rule hasn’t seemed to have much of a negative impact. Texas’ 2010 recruiting class was ranked 2, 3 and 3 by ESPN, Rivals and Scout, respectively. And after holding its annual junior day this past weekend already has 13 commitments for 2011.

33 comments Add your comment

Gator Nation

February 15th, 2010
6:05 am

Coaches in waiting=Gator Bait.1st?

Red Dog 77

February 15th, 2010
6:28 am

I never liked the idea of coaches in waiting in the first place, so I dont have much simpathy for Maryland and Texas…………Was I second? wouldnt you know it, dadgum gators again !…..GO DOGS !!!


February 15th, 2010
6:48 am

That will be the end of the title…”Head Coach-in-waiting”….

….maybe it will change to “Assistant with the first right of refusal”.

Kirby "The Weasal" Smart

February 15th, 2010
6:56 am

You guys are trying to make it hard for me to take over Alabama.
Don’t worry puppy fans…we’ll still kick your *** again in 2010, 2011,2012….
UGA can’t compete with Bama!

Alabamadawg...who's never going back to the Outback Restaurant again !!!

February 15th, 2010
7:01 am

So now schools may have an unofficial coach-in-waiting ??? Like, oh I dunno…Kirby???

Davey Boy Smith

February 15th, 2010
7:14 am

There is a really easy way around this for the schools.

BTW, how pathetic is Maryland? The last thing I would want to do is name a successor from the tire fire that has been the Jabba the Hut era.

What are they thinking?

Typical NCAA. Joker Phillips and Jimbo Fisher were the guys that this should have been targeting, as Brooks and Bowden were too old to recruit anymore and the H-C-I-W was much more important for those two schools.

hit and run dawg

February 15th, 2010
7:21 am

At UGA we only have convicts-in-waiting. They are called our recruits.


February 15th, 2010
7:31 am

Makes sense. If someone is designated head coach for a future date the rules for head coaches should apply.


February 15th, 2010
7:40 am

Classy hit and run – NOT!!!



February 15th, 2010
7:56 am


Stupid Rule

February 15th, 2010
8:05 am

The NCAA really has its priorities in line, huh? This is a big deal? How long until Texas drops the title Head-Coach-in-Waiting from Muschamp’s title? I would have immediately drawn up a new contract for him ommitting that title. Not that they won’t hire him the instant Macvk Brown retires anyway. He’s not the head coach yet, so why can’t he recruit like every other Defensive Coordinator in the country?


February 15th, 2010
8:08 am

SimpleDawg, good call there.

Alabamadawg, why not the Outback again?


February 15th, 2010
8:18 am


Dropping the title in a contract will not nullify the rule or the contract of which is the issue.

A school would have to completely drop the contract and in affect, the aforementioned “Head Coach in Waiting” would no longer have the security of the future job or money (a buyout) included.

Won’t work!


February 15th, 2010
8:20 am

Wow Frank……are you aware that it’s 2010? I haven’t heard anyone use “NOT!” in 10 years or so.

Oh, if you have Alzheimer’s, I apologize.

Vick=Dog killing thug

February 15th, 2010
8:25 am

Good morning everybody


February 15th, 2010
8:27 am

Well I see the “POP WORD AND POP PHRASE” police is at work. Nice job NULL; or do you not understand sarcasm.


February 15th, 2010
8:53 am

rick, are you policing the “POP WORD AND POP PHRASE” police?

Alabamadawg...who's never going back to the Outback Restaurant again !!!

February 15th, 2010
9:07 am

gdawginkalmazoo…because they do-doed on the dawgs and tne vols by inviting the warchickens to their bowl this year. It was wrong, it was a slap in the face to both the dawgs and the vols. They were suppose to invite an SEC East team, and they bypassed that to invite a lesser team from the west. My wife and I love their restaurant ( especially the blooming onion ), but NO more !!!

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February 15th, 2010
9:38 am


February 15th, 2010
9:53 am

Ok, so they did everything they could to gain an advantage and now they are upset that the NCAA is closing off that advantage. Cry me a river.

It only truely matters for Texas. Maryland isn’t really doing anything anyway.


February 15th, 2010
10:59 am

Look wnat it did for Kentucky. Oh, we got the head coach of the offense’s109th ranked a year ago and the 92th listed offense this year to lead our program. Who says we aren’t taking football seriously in Lexington?
He brought home the 11th ranked recruiting class in the SEC!


February 15th, 2010
12:25 pm

Singled out!!!!!!!! Texas just got 10 verbals in one day this Saturday. And they have the gall to say it is a competitive disadvantage for them?? I guess they are dissappointed they were hoping for 18 verbals. PLEASE, give us a break. They sound like mortgage bankers at the pig pen.


February 15th, 2010
2:02 pm

Alabamadawg, they might have done you a favor. Those Bloomin’ Onions are supposedly one of the absolute worst things to eat. With dressing a single serving contains about 2,200 calories and 130 grams of fat.

But if you wash it down with enough Foster’s it won’t matter.


February 15th, 2010
2:07 pm

I would say that the title “Head Coach in Waiting” lends an air of stability to a program that a lot of recruits would consider important. In the case of Texas that would be doubly so for defensive recruits.

You could say that every other team has the right to name a Head Coach in Waiting if they so desired. Undoubtedly you would have to pay this guy more to keep him from entertaining other offers. Some schools (like Tech) could not afford it while others (Georgia) could.

Bottom Line: Unfair to everyone else.

redeployed dawg

February 15th, 2010
2:32 pm

A rose by any other name. . . the title will go away but the job will remain the same. Schools may be forced to prove their serious intentions towards their top assistants with money. Of course, maybe if we had this title twenty years ago, Erk could have done with UGA what he instead did with GA Southern.


February 15th, 2010
7:18 pm

It gave FSU a Big advantage this past year and JImbo(Dumbo) bragged about it the Tallahassee Democrat that he was able to make a lot visit in December multiple times becasue he was assistant before being offically head coach on Jnaury 5, 2010.


February 16th, 2010
6:54 am

Yep….and why is the NCAA taking so long to punish USC for cheating with Reggie Bush? They seem to look the other way when their favorites — USC and Notre Dame — cheat.


February 16th, 2010
10:05 am

I wish they had done this a year earlier; we might have had a coaching search at UK as opposed to hiring a guy who’s great “recruiting advantage” brought us the 11th ranked SEC recruiting class; and who’s bad play calling cost a chance to beat Tennesee for the first time since 84′.


February 16th, 2010
10:26 am


Now that the USC program was down last year, you may see action from the NCAA on Reggie, and maybe even O. J. Mayo – notice how Pete Carroll ran off to Seattle and the NFL, where they can’t touch him??. The NCAA is famous for not doing anything against their cash cows like Texas, USC, Notre Dame, etc. Notice how long it took them to get around to Florida State? Now that Bowden is gone, and they had an off year, they let loose the punishment.


February 16th, 2010
9:08 pm

Any competent attorney should be able to nullify this action by the NCAA. Maryland and Texas both legally established head coaches in waiting prior to the NCAA subjecting such a position to almost identical restrictions in recruiting activities. Retroactively applying new regulations, laws, …… is obviously unfair to ANYONE affected.


February 17th, 2010
1:02 pm

NCAA needs to get a girl friend!!


March 11th, 2010
11:55 am

Ah! This is great! Thanks for dispelling many
misconceptions I had seen regarding this recently.