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Coaches By The Numbers looks at the job Mike Stoops has done at Arizona.
In the book Wooden on Leadership, legendary basketball coach and leader John Wooden provides us his thoughts on what he terms "emotionalism":
"I prize intensity and fear emotionalism. Consistency in high performance and production is a trademark of effective and successful organizations and those who lead them. Emotionalism destroys consistency. A leader who is ruled by emotions, whose temperament is mercurial, produces a team whose trademark is the roller coaster---ups and downs in performance; unpredictability and undependability in effort and concentration; one day good, the next day bad."
If you are wondering what emotionalism looks like, all you need to do is take a Saturday afternoon or evening and flip on a University of Arizona football game. On display will be Mike Stoops and the extremely wide array of emotions he displays throughout a game. Some watching the games may label Coach Stoops "intense", but given his numbers and performance combined with what Coach Wooden had to say above, we believe it's best labeled emotionalism. It would be hard to come from a better coaching background than Mike Stoops. It seems like you can't turn on a college football game without hearing the name Stoops. Mike's brother Bob is the current head coach at Oklahoma and is the number one rated coach in our system. One of Mike's other brother's, Mark Stoops, is currently the defensive coordinator for the Florida State Seminoles. When the University of Arizona hired Mike Stoops prior to the 2004 season, it appeared that they had picked a real winner. Mike had been the defensive coordinator at Kansas State from 1996-1998, a period when the Wildcats went 31-6. In 1999, after his brother Bob was named the head coach of the then struggling Oklahoma Sooners, Mike became the defensive coordinator of the Sooners. He remained the defensive coordinator until he accepted the head coaching job at Arizona before the 2004 season. From 2001-2003, here is a quick glimpse at some of his numbers as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma:
|CBTN Stars||Overall WP%||Avg. Total Defense||Avg. Scoring Defense||Avg. Scoring Def. National Rank||Avg. Rushing TD's Allowed Per Year||Avg. Pass TD's Allowed Per Year|
|85.37%||271.87 ypg||14.85 ppg||5 (out of 120)||8.33||11.00|
To say the very least, these numbers are extremely impressive. So, on paper it appeared that Arizona was getting a defensive guru with an amazing pedigree and knowledge of how to build a winner. In the five years prior to Stoops taking the job at Arizona, the Wildcats had won a measly 37.93% of their games. Stoops was taking over an extremely poor program, but given the job he and his brother did at Oklahoma and his proven track record, Mike Stoops seemed to be the man with the plan for Arizona. So, let's fast forward to 2011 and see how the numbers look on Coach Stoops:
|Years||CBTN Stars||Overall WP%||Conf. WP%||Non.-Conf. WP%|
|2004-Present||46.07% (41-48)||42.86% (27-36)||53.85% (14-12)|
|Years||WP% Against Top 25||WP% Against Over .500 Teams||WP% Against Under .500 Teams||WP% in Close Games (4 pts. or less)|
|2004-Present||28.13% (9-25)||32.69% (17-35)||64.86% (24-13)||28.57% (6-15)|
Given his prowess as a defensive coordinator, we have to assume that his defenses are pretty solid, right? Let's see:
|Years||Avg. Total Def.||Avg. Scoring Def.||Avg. Scoring Def. Natl. Rank||Avg. Rush TD's Allowed Per Year||Avg. Pass TD's Allowed Per Year|
|2004-2010||351.78 ypg||23.67 ppg||48.57 (out of 120 teams)||16.28||15.85|
So, from the numbers, Mike Stoops isn't looking so hot. However, before we judge too quickly, let's consider some additional data. Mike Stoops has had a positive 8.14% impact on the Wildcat's winning percentage compared to the five years before he took the job. Since 1970, Arizona has only won 8 games or more ten times and Mike Stoops is responsible for two of these seasons. Additionally, he has had victories over every single Pac-10 team (he has however lost to every Pac-10 team as well). Finally, and before we make any conclusions, let's consider two more sets of numbers (coach ranking below is among active head coaches - first year coaches don't yet have a rating):
|Years||CBTN Coach Ranking||Avg. Recruiting Rank||Differential|
|2004-Present||45 (out of 104)||42.63 (out of 120)||-1.37|
To put the above another way, Mike Stoops is the 45th best coach out of 104 active coaches (first year coaches not yet rated) with an average talent of 42.63 out of 120 teams. Finally, let's see how Stoops has performed against opponents with varying levels of talent (based on recruiting class averages):
|Years||WP% w/Superior Talent||WP% w/Equivalent Talent||WP% w/Inferior Talent|
|2004-Present||47.06% (8-9)||43.75% (14-18)||37.50% (12-20)|
So, now that we have looked at the data, what can we conclude? Our conclusion is that, as usual, Coach Wooden was right. The emotionalism that defines Mike Stoops has led to a coach that rides the roller coaster. He has had his ups (3 bowl appearances, 2 eight-win seasons, and victories over every Pac-10 team). He has also had his downs (2 eight-loss seasons, mediocre defensive stats, and losses to every Pac-10 team). From our evaluation of the numbers, Coach Stoops is slightly underachieving given his talent level and is not winning nearly as often as he should when he has superior or equivalent as evidenced by his overall winning percentage of 44.89% in these games. Should Mike Stoops be on the hot seat? It really all depends on how much you like riding a roller coaster. Does the thrill of the highs make up for the nausea of the lows?
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