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Win or Go Home: Why College Football Coaches Get Fired


Author Info

  • Paul Holmes

    (State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY, USA)


Models of dismissals of sports executives frequently ignore the development of expectations regarding performance. The author explores the interplay between these expectations and the coach's tenure by examining dismissals of college football head coaches from 1983 to 2006. Using a discrete-time hazard model, the author demonstrates that schools use prior performance in two ways: to evaluate the ability of the coach and to establish performance standards for retention. As recent performance is more relevant for estimating ability, the author shows that stronger recent performances decrease the chance of dismissal but stronger historic performances increase the chance of dismissal. Results describe a continual learning process on the part of schools. The author also considers the effects of race, insiderness, rivalries, and rules violations on retention.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by in its journal Journal of Sports Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 157-178

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:157-178

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Related research

Keywords: college football; coaches; dismissals; expectation formation; discrete-time hazard;


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Cited by:
  1. Humphreys, Brad & Paul, Rodney & Weinbach, Andrew, 2011. "CEO Turnover: More Evidence on the Role of Performance Expectations," Working Papers 2011-14, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.


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