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Win or Go Home: Why College Football Coaches Get Fired

Author

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  • Paul Holmes

    (State University of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, NY, USA, paul.holmes@fredonia.edu)

Abstract

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, insider-ness, rivalries, and rules violations on retention.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Holmes, 2011. "Win or Go Home: Why College Football Coaches Get Fired," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 12(2), pages 157-178, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jospec:v:12:y:2011:i:2:p:157-178
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    Cited by:

    1. Avery, Christopher & Cadman, Brian & Cassar, Gavin, 2016. "Academics vs. Athletics: Career Concerns for NCAA Division I Coaches," Working Paper Series 16-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    2. 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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