As SEC coaching carousel turns, Richt hangs around

semerson@macon.comNovember 26, 2012 

Auburn fired Gene Chizik on Sunday, making it four coaching openings in the SEC. Meanwhile, a man that many people had buried last year, Mark Richt, prepares to lead Georgia into the SEC championship game for a second straight year.

Richt will always have his critics, at least until he finally wins a national championship. But stability continues to be the hallmark at Georgia: In the 12 years since it hired Richt, the rest of the (pre-expansion) SEC schools have churned through a combined 33 coaches, not counting the four new ones to be hired, or interim coaches:

ALABAMA (3)
Dennis Franchione (2001-02)
Mike shula (2003-2006)
Nick Saban (2007-present)

ARKANSAS (3)
Houston Nutt (1998-2007)
Bobby Petrino (2008-2011)
John L. Smith (2012)

AUBURN (2)
Tommy Tuberville (1999-2008)
Gene Chizik (2009-2012)

FLORIDA (4)
Steve Spurrier (1990-2001)
Ron Zook (2002-2004)
Urban Meyer (2005-2010)
Will Muschamp (2011-present)

KENTUCKY (3)
Guy Morriss (2001-2002)
Rich Brooks (2003-2009)
Joker Phillips (2010-2012)

LSU (2)
Nick Saban (2000-2004)
Les Miles (2005-present)

OLE MISS (4)
David Cutcliff (1998-2004)
Ed Orgeron (2005-07)
Houston Nutt (2008-2011)
Hugh Freeze (2012-present)

MISSISSIPPI STATE (3)
Jackie Sherrill (1991-2003)
Sylvester Croom (2004-2008)
Dan Mullen (2009-present)

SOUTH CAROLINA (2)
Lou Holtz (1999-2004)
Steve Spurrier (2005-present)

TENNESSEE (3)
Phillip Fulmer (1992-2008)
Lane Kiffin (2009)
Derek Dooley (2010-2012)

VANDERBILT (4)
Woody Widenhofer (1997-2001)
Bobby Johnson (2002-2009)
Robbie Caldwell (2010)
James Franklin (2011-present)

If you included Missouri and Texas A&M, it would be 38 coaches since 2001: Missouri's Gary Pinkel, hired at the same time as Richt, would match Richt's longevity in one place. Texas A&M is on its fourth coach since 2001.

Obviously, what programs like Auburn, Florida, Alabama and LSU have over the past 12 years is a BCS title. Unlike Georgia.

Even so, Richt has consistency and stability: In fact during his 12 years Richt has had only three defensive coordinators (VanGorder, Martinez and Grantham), two offensive coordinators (himself, Bobo), and one special teams coordinator (Mr. Nobody).

Follow Seth Emerson at @sethemerson.

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