We spend a lot of time in the off-season analyzing the head coaching hires, and with good reason. Nothing can change a program’s fortunes quicker or more sharply than hiring the right (or wrong) head coach.
But that tunnel vision of the top man ignores the essential work of finding the right coordinators. Consider the impact Tom Herman had as Ohio State’s offensive coordinator before landing a head coaching job at Houston. Or Kirby Smart’s legacy of staunch defenses that helped created Alabama’s dynasty. Or Brent Venables’s consistently elite work at Clemson that finally paved the way to the Tigers’ national title this season.
Even for the very best coaches in the country, like Urban Meyer, Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney, finding the right coordinators is a critical step to winning championships. Here are the 10 best coordinator hires of the 2016–17 off-season.