I recently received an outstanding question via email asking about what happens with recruiting in a coaching change. Just to give you a little background, the athlete received an offer before the end of the college season. Fast forward two weeks and the school that had offered the scholarship was firing their head coach.
Now the athlete wants to know exactly if there is still a scholarship on the table. Like I told him, it really depends on a case by case situation. I have seen situations where all athletes are still wanted at the school and others where the new coaches take all the offers off the table and start the evaluation process completely from scratch at the new school.
What usually happens when a head coach gets fired is that the majority of the staff also leaves. Because they have not been doing a good enough job on the field, they will spend their days at this time of year trying to find another job. In most situations, the athletic director will pick one assistant coach who is willing to stay on staff and keep recruiting. This coach knows that there are no guarantees for the job. What they basically do is continue recruiting athletes and hope to stay on staff when the new coach is named.
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In some cases, the new coach will keep this assistant on the staff. The reason is that they are familiar with the athletes that they have been recruiting and feel that they can use this coach as a resource to help them wrap things up in that class. There have also been other situations where the new coach comes in and fires everything. This happens when a coach wants to name their own coaches around them and not let the previously coaches have any say in the current staff.
There was a situation a few years back where I believe it was Brian Kelly (I hate to say that I am not 100% sure it was him but cannot find any information when researching this topic) took the Cincinnati job. Kelly had a great deal of success while at Central Michigan and was taking over a Cincinnati program that had struggled in the past (obviously he has done great at Notre Dame this year as well).
What he did in the first days of taking is something that was not very popular at all. Kelly told all recruits that their staff was pulling every single offer to recruits and would be basically restarting the recruiting process. Athletes who may have had offers/been committed needed to send in highlight video/game tapes to be re-evaluated by the new coaches.
The reason that Kelly did this is because the previous staff was fired partially for their struggles of landing talented players. If they weren’t good enough to win games for the previous coach, why would Kelly and his new staff want them? Again, this was not very popular but it appears that things have worked out in a great way for the Bearcats.
Again, each situation is unique. What athletes need to do is call their position coach that has been recruiting them. If their position coach has been fired, find another coach that you have met and know and try to figure out the situation. I have never heard a school fire an entire staff without keeping at least someone on staff to help recruit. It could happen but it would make little since for a school at the scholarship level (and especially the Division I-A football level).
And if this is a terrible situation where the administrators have cleared house and fired every single coach on staff, call and email the athletic director. This is the person who did the dirty work of the firing so they could possibly fill you in and give more information regarding the status of your offer.