MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Given how college sports have evolved and how players are a little like employees who get a couple weeks of vacation, is it odd that there are three NCAA football teams and six NCAA men's basketball teams without coaches?
Maybe not. These aren't great openings. One of the basketball jobs is for a Division I school and none of the football jobs are at a FBS school. The quality of the jobs isn't my concern. They have job descriptions, though, and that was all I was interested in finding.
Savannah State football, which made waves last season for historic point spreads and discussions about whether it had the worst team ever, unloaded its coach April 17 - three days before West Virginia played its spring game. Savannah State wants a coach who will actively try to increase attendance, but who also "develops student-athletes physically, mentally and emotionally for competition."
The new head coach at Grinnell College will also be an assistant coach for a second sport and teach physical education classes. The hire at Mooresville College will "be responsible for the daily management of the program, travel arrangements, scheduling, hiring and evaluating of assistant coaching staff, practice and game management planning and other operational areas," which isn't an unusual set of demands for a Division III shop.
University of St. Francis has a bizarre explanation for its basketball job: "Substantial time is spent working on a computer." The Fighting Saints are searching for someone to handle "sedentary work which requires the following physical activities: sitting, walking, bending, stooping, finger dexterity, repetitive motions, talking, hearing and visual acuity."
The University of Chattanooga, the sole Division I job, and UMass Lowell, which is transitioning from Division II to Division I, have normal descriptions, the sort of thing you'd expect a Bob Huggins to handle.
Here's the point, at long last: After reading through all of those descriptions, never once was a head coach's ultimate duty listed: Stay employed. From the moment you get a job, your biggest responsibility is to keep your job - though that could be difficult at Division III College of the Ozarks, which offers a nine-month contract and might lead its coach to bagging groceries at Harvest Food in the summer.
Now more than ever, as a new generation of innovative coaches rise through the ranks, as athletic directors work with higher profiles and more pressure than before, everything every coach does must go toward that goal.
Win games, compete for championships and win a title every so often. Recruit and develop talent. Keep players eligible and graduate them. Follow the rules and encourage players to obey laws. Pay heed to a budget.
At Carroll College, the next basketball coach must "retain student-athletes."
That's not always realistic, though. You only need to follow what's happened with Huggins' program this offseason. Gone are four players who were on the 2012-13 roster and could have been on the 2013-14 roster. Huggins has filled two of his three open scholarships with junior college players, one who has a court date next week to resolve a case that involves two felonies.