Most college football players will lose their head coach before their college playing career is over

Earlier this week, Tom Herman left the University of Houston to become the next head football coach at the University of Texas. While that is a move few coaches would turn down, it is also the latest example of a coach abandoning a lot of players who chose their school simply because they wanted to play for a specific coach.

It turns out, college players playing their entire career under one coach is not nearly as common most of these high-school kids realize.

In order for a player to complete his college career under the same coach that recruited him, the coach needs to stay at the school at least six years, the recruit's senior year of high school (presumably when the player is recruited) and five years of college eligibility. That rarely happens.

Of the 128 current FBS coaches, 99 (77%) have been at their current school fewer than six years, based on recent hires and other data collected by


Cork Gaines/Business Insider

In other words, at least 77% of fifth-year seniors are playing under a different coach than the one who recruited them — a number that is likely higher due to some recruits committing before their senior year of high school.

So when a coach promises a recruit that he will be there all five years, it is actually unlikely to be true.

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