New Blood in SEC

Thirty-six years of collective Southeastern Conference head coaching experience has gone out the window this season with the ouster of two veteran coaches and one relative newcomer: Tennessee's Phillip Fulmer, Auburn's Tommy Tuberville, and Mississippi State's Sylvester Croom.

These coaching moves leave Georgia's Mark Richt as the "Dean of Coaches" in the SEC; a term that is frequently used to describe the coach who has been in charge the longest at his current school. Fulmer had held the title before being bounced at Tennessee.

Fulmer coached at Tennessee for 17 seasons before being let go earlier this year. He has been replaced by Lane Kiffin, who before coming to Tennessee had a cup of tea as head coach of the NFL's Oakland Raiders and was previously USC's offensive coordinator.

Tommy Tuberville coached Auburn for ten seasons before being ousted (or resigning, if you believe the official line) yesterday, and had four years experience at Ole Miss for a total of 14 SEC head-coaching seasons.

The other coaching move in the SEC this season - at least so far - was Sylvester Croom leaving Mississippi State. Croom served five years at Mississippi State before his departure.

The chart below lists coaches in the order of longest tenure at one's current school. Also listed are the total number of years coached in the SEC; three current coaches - South Carolina's Steve Spurrier, Alabama's Nick Saban, and Ole Miss's Houston Nutt (and formerly Tuberville of Auburn - had previous stops in the SEC prior to the current job.

Team Coach Seasons at School Seasons in SEC
Georgia Mark Richt 8 8
Vanderbilt Bobby Johnson 7 7
Kentucky Rich Brooks 6 6
South Carolina Steve Spurrier 4 16 (Florida)
LSU Les Miles 4 4
Florida Urban Meyer 4 4
Alabama Nick Saban 2 7 (LSU)
Ole Miss Houston Nutt 1 11 (Arkansas)
Arkansas Bobby Petrino 1 1
Tennessee Lane Kiffin 0 0
Mississippi State vacant - -
Auburn vacant - -

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