The Kingston Method for Finding a Head Coach

Mike Jinks is Fired

Sunday afternoon Bowling Green Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger made it official that Head Coach Mike Jinks had been released from his duties.  Mike Jinks took over for Dino Babers after he left for Syracuse.  Dino had been to the MAC championship game in both seasons he coached the Falcons.  Jinks inherited a healthy program.  In his two and a half seasons at BGSU he went 7-24 and 5-14 in conference.

The Falcons were hallmarked by high flying offenses lead by quarterback Matt Johnson who threw for 4946 yards, 46 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.  The Athletic Director at the time, Chris Kingston, did what any AD would do to when they need a new head coach, fire up the google machine.

It has been reported that Kingston wanted to continue the string of good offenses and google searched the best offense in the nation in 2015.  Then he contacted assistant coaches that he thought the athletic budget could afford and most importantly hire.  He seemingly disregarded everything else.  Who needs an experienced search firm in the age of the internet?  I’m capable of doing a google search, lets find the Falcons a new coach!

The Search

I’m going to start the same way that Kingston started his search.  Lets find the best offense in the nation.  I’m going to improve on the Kingston Method a little bit.  It’s important to get better over time.  I’m going to use a few metrics to find the best offenses in the nation this year and take the top two teams from each set.  Widen the net a little.

The three metrics that I’m going to search are yards per game, points per game, and S&P+.  I know S&P+ is probably more analytical than the Kingston Method allows for but I’m using it anyway.

By all three metrics Alabama finds themselves in the top two offenses as well as Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Utah State.

The Candidates

The next two limitations on the process are the salary and they must coach the offense.  Mike Jinks made $428k and Dino Babers made a base salary of $408k.  That’s the neighborhood that Bowling Green has to work with.  Coaches that are taking on a lot more responsibility also want a pay increase.  That doesn’t always happen at the G5 level.

The offensive staffs at each program vary quite a bit in pay scale.  Lets eliminate the coaches that are instantly not affordable.  The coaches off the board are Mike Locksley from Alabama ($1.2M), Bill Bedenbaugh from Oklahoma ($625k), and Kevin Wilson from Ohio State ($650k).  This leaves the entire staff at Utah State and the position coaches at the P5 schools.

Chris Kingston clearly would’ve picked one school and picked up the phone.  Lets do the same thing.  We wouldn’t want to end up at a great hire like Ryan Day (I think larger programs have their eye on Day) or a good one like David Yost from Utah State.  The obvious choice for the school to focus on is Alabama.

The Coach

The assistants that are available on the Alabama staff are:

  • Jeff Banks, special teams and tight ends
  • Dan Enos, assistant head coach and quarterbacks
  • Josh Gattis, co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers
  • Brent Key, offensive line
  • Joe Pannunzio, running backs

At Bowling Green someone with energy is needed to build a foundation and change the culture.  Joe Pannunzio is 61 and hiring a guy that could retire anytime seems like a questionable move.  I’m sure he’s a good coach but if he hasn’t been a head coach yet, he probably doesn’t want to be.

The coaching history for the rest of the group is worth looking into.  Jeff Banks worked with Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M for the last five years in the same role.  Dan Enos has head coach experience at Central Michigan but followed Brian Kelly and Butch Jones.  His 26-36 overall record was seen as a failure and he resigned in 2015.  Josh Gattis worked with James Franklin at Vanderbilt and Penn State for a total of 6 years as wide receivers coach.  Brent Key was at Central Florida until 2015, prior to Scott Frost.  Key was there for 11 years at various roles including his start at graduate assistant.

Out of that pool of candidates, there is one that sticks out.  He has MAC head coach experience and a contract that seems built to rehab him and let him get plucked to another job.  I am talking, of course, about Dan Enos.  Dan’s contract is currently end loaded but a 4 year deal for $450k would surpass his contract value at Alabama.  He’s been to Ohio before, recruited the area, and has hired assistants before.  He probably has an idea about who he would ask to be his assistants if he accepted a head coach position.

The Kingston Method Results

I’m sure that a coach search that lands on Dan Enos has Central Michigan fans laughing pretty hard.  This process repeated shows how poorly handled Bowling Green’s last coaching search was.  Especially since Dan Enos is a better fit and more qualified than Mike Jinks was.  The Kingston Method has produced another questionable (and fictional) hire.  Here you are Bowling Green, meet your new coach Dan Enos.

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