Coach in waiting - who wins and who loses?
Potential Winners -
1) The coach in waiting - Obviously a larger paycheck and a public coronation while the head coach keeps your headset warm for you has no downside. Further, nothing says "I'm ready to be a head coach" like this title, which makes you that much more attractive to potential suitors who might offer you even more money and potentially a better job (Does the coach in waiting have a buyout clause?).
2) The current head coach - The ability to retain the person who is your most loyal, trusted and theoretically talented assistant coach for the foreseeable future is a tremendous benefit for the success of your program. Further, there is nothing like having a hand picked successor to help further cement your coaching legacy.
3) The athletic director - Having a succession plan in place before a vacancy ever develops is part of what a good athletic director does, and this clearly says "I've got a plan - Coach Waiting is the best coach in the country". Otherwise, why would you do it.
4) Agents - As they increasingly infiltrate college athletics, this new title has just opened up a whole new rationale for assistant coaches to use an agent. Agents can further justify their services and associated fees to offensive and defensive coordinators as well as head coaches up and down the pay scale.
1) Diversity - The Black Coaches Association, Dr. Richard Lapchick, and many other organizations and individuals have frequently cited the lack of diversity in college football. Each year the BCA releases a report card of hiring practices in five categories - Communication, Hiring and Search Committee, Candidates Interviewed, Reasonable Time, and Affirmative Action Procedures. Time will tell if the coach in waiting is one that enhances or diminishes the diversity of college football in head coaching positions, but I would assume that none of the five criteria that the BCA has identified to promote diversity in the coaching ranks will be met in any situation where a coach in waiting exists.
2) The current program - Life can be unpredictable. What if the coach in waiting commits a crime or is arrested for a DWI? What if the coach commits NCAA recruiting violations? What if the coach in waiting falls out of favor for reasons related to the sport? Coaching changes are complicated enough. Already having named your future coach makes them that much more tricky.
3) Other members of the staff - The reality is that coach in waiting title is a signal to the other coordinator that he has no shot at the head coaching position should it open. While that may have been understood anyway, since you can only have one coach in waiting he should start considering his options for advancement elsewhere and take those calls that come his way.While there have long been designations like associate head coach to signal who is the second in command in a program, this move is an escalation of that concept and is a very public statement that no one else need apply or hold their breath in anticipation of an opening. And while the rationale for such a move will vary from institution to institution, there are no guarantees that what looks like a wise move today, will appear so thoughtful and visionary three, five or ten years down the road despite what are the best intentions behind that choice today.
-ultimate sports insider