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Fitz talks up staff continuity

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald was the first to step to the podium at Big Ten media days. And as coaches are allowed (or expected) to do, he went off on a few tangents in an attempt to paint his program in a positive light. One was about the consistency on his coaching staff.

"We're very proud of the staff stability that we have. It's really interesting to see that we're one of only a handful of programs that have had the same offensive and defensive coordinator for six years or more, and we're the only program in the country to keep our nine assistants for four straight years. To have that kind of staff stability has been terrific for the way that we've wanted to build our program from a foundational standpoint, with the continuity and for our student athletes to be able to experience a lot of consistency in the way that they're being coached, and the way that the expectations are for them on a daily basis."

It's not exactly the substance of the quote that is interesting, but the idea behind it. Staff continuity could be viewed as either a positive or a negative. On the plus side, as Fitz said, it can be important for college athletes -- or should we say "young men" -- to have coaches who are continuously leading them in the same manner. Consistency can be huge for them, not just on the field, but off it. This stability and familiarity could also help the program, because coaches are accustomed to how their fellow staff members work at practice and during games.

It could also be seen as a negative. Sometimes, it's important for athletes to see multiple viewpoints; to be exposed to multiple developmental techniques, or different ways of going about things. It could also hinder the making of adjustments by a staff, because the coaches could be set in their ways without the influx of new ideas that would come with a new coordinator.

However, a survey conducted by ESPN recently suggests that a major positive influence comes out of this continuity. It could be a major aide in recruiting. As the survey shows, many recruits said that a position coach recruited them more than anybody else. To know that that position coach isn't going to bolt for another job could be a deciding factor.