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Post NCAA untangles recruiting rules: the rise of Daryl Jones?

Monday January 28, 2013

The title of “recruiting coordinator” is coveted by certain assistants. It’s a way to earn extra visibility on a staff, and it usually comes with a nice salary bump. Many assistants of varying coaching ability have carved out relatively stable careers for themselves as recruiting coordinators, and the best enjoy a status on a staff comparable to offensive or defensive coordinators.

This specialty position developed because the NCAA required that many essential recruiting functions be performed by a coach, and the NCAA is very clear about who may or may not be considered a coach. For all of the support staff a school can hire, no football program may have more than 7 assistant coaches. But new NCAA rules meant to untangle and streamline the current rulebook will allow programs to move these recruiting functions away from coaches and onto staffers. Specifically,

(Proposal) 11-2, which will eliminate the rules defining recruiting coordination functions that must be performed only by a head or assistant coach.

There are a whole lot of rules changes involved in this batch (all of which will take effect on August 1st), but they more or less add up to the decoupling of the coaching staff and the recruiting process. Your recruiting coordinator needn’t be a coach now, and schools are free to build up departments dedicated to interacting with prospects in any medium from printed material to social media. Certainly these changes allow for big advantages for those schools with the resources to staff these departments. Hopefully Georgia will be among those taking full advantage of the new rules.

These rules changes also give an insight to Georgia all but shrugging off the title of recruiting coordinator following Rodney Garner’s departure. Sure, there are several worthwhile candidates on staff, and a couple have even held the recruiting coordinator position before. But under the new rules there’s just no need to bother an assistant coach with the administrative details of the coordinator role. Those tasks can now fall to someone who can focus on recruiting rather than split time between coordinating visits and trying to come up with a defensive line rotation for next week’s game. The coaches of course will remain the primary recruiters and evaluators of talent, but this non-coaching position is about to get a big boost in both visibility and importance.

For Georgia, that person might already be in the program. Daryl Jones was hired in May of last year as the team’s Director of On-Campus Recruiting. In that role, he’s already involved in recruiting strategy, coordinating visits, and acting as a liason between the program and high schools. Jones spent 17 years involved in Georgia high school football, rising from an assistant coach to athletic director. He also has experience managing and coaching in Under Armour camps and the Under Armour All-America game.

After the new rules take effect in August, it will be interesting to see what role Jones has in the allocation of recruiting duties that had previously been limited to coaches. In hindsight, it’s good fortune (or good planning if this rules change was already under consideration) that Georgia chose someone with Jones’s administrative background rather than one of the inexperienced recruiting analysts who were reportedly under consideration for the position.

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