A Twist for the SEC as College Football Begins: No New Head Coaches

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Like much of the sport, the Southeastern Conference churns through its football coaches. But for the first time in years, no SEC team has a new boss. Nobody expects that oddity to last.ImageFor the first time since 2006, all the head coaches in college football’s most powerful conference kept their jobs in the off-season.CreditCreditTed CrowPublished Aug. 29, 2019Updated Aug. 30, 2019, 1:04 p.m. ETHOOVER, Ala. — The first time Ed Orgeron, Louisiana State’s football coach, led a Southeastern Conference program, Steve Spurrier had a warning when all of the region’s gridiron gods kept their jobs from one season to the next.“Folks, look around,” Orgeron remembered Spurrier, then at South Carolina, saying at a 2006 meeting of the league’s coaches. “It ain’t going to be like this next year.”A similar grounded-in-history, watch-your-back admonition is in order this year as college football teams begin a new season. For the first time since 2006, every SEC football team has returned its head coach — perhaps as close as the notoriously demanding, overbearing and fickle conference can come to signaling some form of patience or contentedness.Yet no one seems quite certain how 14 of the South’s most scrutinized men together achieved a measure of group job security, tenuous as it might be, found in no other Power Five conference this past off-season.“It’s an enigma,” Phillip Fulmer, the athletic director at Tennessee, said in an interview 13 years after he was a member of the conference’s last stable head coaching corps. “I think it’s an aberration.”Certainly so. Between the 2012 season, when Missouri and Texas A&M first played in the conference, and 2017, the SEC averaged about two head coaching changes a year. Ahead of the 2018 season, five teams hired new leaders and

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