Replacing Chan Gailey May Not Lead To Buffalo Bills Fans' Happiness

Joel Auerbach

Will replacing Chan Gailey make Buffalo Bills fans happy? Probably not - and there are studies that prove it.

Replacing Chan Gailey. Some Buffalo Bills fans have dreamed of this change since the day the unemployed former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator took over as the new head coach nearly three years ago. You think firing Gailey will make you happy, but it probably won't.

At the end of October, Social Science Quarterly published a study (via Freakonomics) featuring college football coaches and their replacements. This study came to some thought-provoking conclusions:

We find that for particularly poorly performing teams, coach replacements have little effect on team performance as measured against comparable teams that did not replace their coach. However, for teams with middling records - that is, teams where entry conditions for a new coach appear to be more favorable - replacing the head coach appears to result in worse performance over subsequent years than comparable teams who retained their coach.

To boil it down:

  • There is little difference in team performance if you replace the coach of a poorly performing team.
  • There is a negative effect of a new coach taking over a mediocre team.

Other studies of European soccer, NHL, and NBA coaches have proven similar results: replacing the head coach does little to improve the performance of a team.

Despite all of our talk on different philosophies, tendencies, and intensity levels of new coaches, they are all brought along in similar ways. They join a coaching staff as an entry-level assistant, study their superiors, and work their way up based on merit, attrition and opportunity. Head coaches aren't hired from other fields to come in with new ideas.

So the question becomes, would you like to buy out the rest of Chan Gailey's contract to throw more money at someone else for a statistically insignificant return? My guess is you still will, but at least you have something to think (or cry) about.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker