There were 105 head-coaching changes among GHSA schools this offseason, which is a state record, per research by the GHSFHA and Loren Maxwell. The previous high took place in 2008, when 97 schools hired new coaches. One might assume that schools are quicker to fire coaches these days, but Maxwell’s research doesn’t bear that out. The 2017 turnover rate of 25.1 percent is ahead of the historical average of 22.6 percent, but a year ago, the rate was only 18.8 percent. The most turbulent time for coaching changes was the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when the turnover rate was about 25 percent. It has been about 20 percent since 1980. It’s not clear why that’s the case. One theory is that head coaches earn better money now, making it a more practical long-term profession. Decades ago, head football coaches’ careers were shorter because they often sought out administrative jobs to make more money or left coaching because their pay didn’t justify the years of toil. There also were more school openings, closings and consolidations. Here are the turnover rates by decade:
Sources: Loren Maxwell, GHSFHA
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