Congratulations, Butch Jones and Jim McElwain.

If you’re a head coach in the SEC, and you want job security, the University of Tennessee and the University of Florida are great places to take jobs.

We looked at the average tenure for head coaches at every SEC school, and Florida holds a slight edge, by mere hundredths. But in addition to recent short stays by Derek Dooley and Lane Kiffin, the Vols hired their first football coach in 1899, while Florida didn’t launch the football program until 1906.

Coaches at the turn of the 20th century rarely retained the position for more than one or two seasons, so overall, the modern-era hire can expect an additional half-year or so on average.

If you’ve got options — and a family with kids who want to stay in the same school system — Oxford, Miss., and Lexington, Ky., shouldn’t be your choice. Coaches there barely survive three years, on average.

Interestingly, the Gators have hired just 21 coaches in history, while the Wildcats have hired a whopping 38.

Alabama, which hired a string of Mikes before Nick Saban — DuBose, Price and Shula — has burned through head coaches in rapid succession at a few points in history and ranks in the middle of the pack. That’s despite Saban heading into his ninth season with the Tide.


Team Total # Of Coaches Total # Of Seasons Average Tenure
1. Florida 21 108 5.1*
2. Tennessee 23 118 5.1*
3. Auburn 25 123 4.9
4. Georgia 25 121 4.8
5. Vanderbilt 28 125 4.5
6. Alabama 27 120 4.4
7. Texas A&M 28 120 4.3
8. Missouri 31 124 4.0
9. LSU 31 122 3.9
10. Arkansas 32 121 3.8
11. South Carolina 33 121 3.7
12. Mississippi State 32 115 3.6
13. Ole Miss 36 120 3.3*
14. Kentucky 38 124 3.3*

*Numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth, but these are not ties.

Another interesting study: How many wins has every SEC team accumulated per season, on average?

Again, the early days of college football water down the averages here, as it was rare for even an unbeaten team to win more than six games for the first several decades of the sport’s existence.

But it does give us a good indication of how to rank the 14 current SEC members when considering the breadth of each team’s history, regardless of previous conference affiliation or how the program has performed in the last decade.

Not surprisingly, Alabama is the winningest program, averaging more than seven victories per season, really separating from Tennessee during the Saban era.

We also didn’t exclude wins that have been vacated or forfeited due to NCAA sanctions — technically, those cost the Tide 21 victories.

This bodes well for Derek Mason: the Commodores win 4.7 games per year, on average, next-to-last in the SEC. But Vanderbilt head coaches get about 4.5 years to hold the best football office in the athletic building, ranking fifth in the SEC. In other words, losing on the field at Vandy doesn’t equate to losing your job as a head coach right away.

LSU may be the most impatient program, which shouldn’t surprise you if you listened to sports talk radio anywhere near Baton Rouge last season. (Fans were calling for Les Miles, one of the best coaches in the country, to get fired.) The Tigers have won 6.2 games per season on average, behind only four football programs with some of the most respected traditions in the country. Yet LSU hires a new coach in less than four years, on average.


Team Total # Of Wins Total # Of Seasons Average Wins
1. Alabama 850 120 7.1
2. Tennessee 811 118 6.9
3. Georgia 777 121 6.4*
4. Florida 691 108 6.4*
5. LSU 761 122 6.2
6. Auburn 734 123 6.0
7. Texas A&M 709 120 5.9
8. Arkansas 694 121 5.7
9. Ole Miss 645 120 5.4
10. Missouri 653 124 5.3
11. South Carolina 584 121 4.8
12. Kentucky 587 124 4.7*
13. Vanderbilt 585 125 4.7*
14. Mississippi State 531 115 4.6

*Numbers are rounded to the nearest tenth, but these are not ties.