Blake Dowling: Riding the college football coaching Gravitron
Doak will be rocking for Black Friday.

Doak Campbell Stadium, home of Florida State University Football
Data is a game-changer, and access to that data gives a competitive advantage.

The college football coaching carousel has now turned into a coaching Gravitron — spinning furiously in recent years in the Sunshine State.

Miami, FSU and Florida are burning through coaches like Hunter S. Thompson on a pack of Dunhills before a Rolling Stone Magazine deadline circa the 1970s.

Looking back, Miami has had 25 coaches since 1926, with a new one announced this week.

There have been 29 head football coaches at UF in Gainesville since 1906 — or 10 since Steve Spurrier, if you include the interim coaches — and a new one starting this week, too.

In Tallahassee at Florida State, since it began in 1947, there have now been nine head coaches. Almost half of these were in recent years. Coaches Bobby Bowden (rest in peace, sir), Jimbo Fisher, Willie Taggart, Mike Norvell are on that list in order.

Around the nation, there have been over 20 coaching changes in college football so far this year, which stands to be a record.

As these new coaches get in place or get ready for bowl season, recruiting, etc., how do you think technology figures into their plans?

Football powerhouses are usually very quiet about techniques behind the scenes.

However, some programs are very open about their use of specific technology. One of those is the earlier mentioned program, Florida State football.

In 2013, the program invested in Catapult GPS technology which allows the coaching staff to monitor and track minute-by-minute exertion, speed, touches, hits, and other metrics. The pads have receptors in them to provide this level of monitoring.

This type of technology is incredible in every phase of coaching. It can be critical for helping players recover from injuries and making sure they are not coming back too soon. A specific case was FSU QB McKenzie Milton, who recovered from a catastrophic injury and was able to get back on the field this year, with the tech helping in the process.

FSU is not alone; the Jacksonville Jaguars also use this technology. You can check out more info here.

The bottom line is data is a game-changer, and access to that data gives a competitive advantage. Software platforms and the massive amounts of data they provide can also take away a lot of the guessing of coaching.

The pandemic showed us new ways to communicate using technology within organizations; this certainly included college football as Zoom meetings became the norm for coaches and players. Same with other chat functions and, of course, old faves like Twitter have been great tech tools for communication and recruiting from recruits and coaches.

In other areas of tech — have you heard about apps like Hudl? They take the film-watching aspect of coaching to the next level (and others), for example, having the film on your tablet with multiple angles and the ability to take notes.

You can explore the platform here if you are curious.

Data and metrics can help us all do our jobs better, and available tech is not just for coaches.

On the other side of the coin, potential players can streamline the recruiting process and ensure they are getting in front of prospective universities that could benefit from their talents.

Check out Rosterspot and Route if you are looking to get your family member (or yourself) into the right program.

Scouts and analysts can frequently miss the mark; these apps allow you to brand yourself and what you have to offer and not just wait for an offer to knock on your door.

Next up, bowl season. Then 2022 looms for our favorite Florida teams: UCF, FAMU, USF, Jaguars, Bucs, FSU and UF.

We all have the squads we root for, and I guarantee, despite all the tech available, there are still plenty of coaches out there with whiteboards and notepads telling players to run more laps.

Cheers to it, Merry Christmas, and enjoy Bowl Season.

___

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies, a long-time Gator Booster, host of the Biz & Tech Podcast and author of “Professionally Distanced.” You can reach Blake at [email protected].

Blake Dowling

Blake Dowling is CEO of Aegis Business Technologies. His technology columns are published by several organizations. Contact him at [email protected] or at www.aegisbiztech.com



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