(STATS) - It might be said college football players have changed so much that younger coaches relate to them better today, but the success of the longest-tenured coaches in the FCS punctuates their impact.
William & Mary's Jimmye Laycock leads the way as he enters his 38th season with the Tribe. It's a milestone year for the second-longest tenured coach as Wofford's Mike Ayers moves into his 30th season, while Kevin Callahan celebrates his 25th season as the only coach in Monmouth history.
A relative Who's Who list of coaches is among the longest-tenured FCS mentors, with countless wins, titles and All-Americans rolling off their production lines. After Laycock and Ayers, the top 10 rounds out with Marist's Jim Parady (26th season), Callahan, Harvard's Tim Murphy (24th), South Dakota State's John Stiegelmeier (21st), Brown's Phil Estes (20th), Northern Arizona's Jerome Souers (20th), New Hampshire's Sean McDonnell (19th) and Dartmouth's Buddy Teevens (18th).
The dean of the list, Laycock, has the second-most wins among active FCS coaches at 243 (one behind Ivy League legend Al Bagnoli). And all Laycock's wins have come at his alma mater, where he played quarterback under coaching legends Marv Levy and Lou Holtz.
"When you're in coaching, you have a chance to be significant," Holtz said. "Significance when you help other people be successful and that lasts many a lifetime. I don't know of any coach who's been more significant than Jimmy Laycock in influencing young men."
Longevity reflects particularly well in the Ivy League with Murphy, Estes and Teevens (over two stints at Dartmouth) among the most-tenured FCS coaches. There's also Bagnoli, who enters his 26th season as a head coach in the league - just his third at Columbia after coaching Penn for 23 years. Since 1990, one of those four coaches has won the league title in all but four seasons.
Longest-Tenured FCS Coaches
Jimmye Laycock (William & Mary), 38th season - 243-180-2 record
Mike Ayers (Wofford), 30th season - 197-136-1 at Wofford; 208-157-2 overall
Jim Parady (Marist), 26th season - 129-132-1
Kevin Callahan (Monmouth), 25th season - 135-115
Tim Murphy (Harvard), 24th season - 163-66 at Harvard; 195-111-1 overall
John Stiegelmeier (South Dakota State), 21st season - 137-94
Phil Estes (Brown), 20th season - 112-77
Jerome Souers (Northern Arizona), 20th season - 112-103
Sean McDonnell (New Hampshire), 19th season - 141-83
Buddy Teevens (Dartmouth), 18th season - 79-89-2 at Dartmouth; 113-166-2 overall