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Dan Enos, Rob Ianello, Jeff Quinn: Do You Fire A Coach After Two Years?

I touched on this briefly yesterday but felt it needed some more examination:

Three of the worst teams in the MAC are Akron, Central Michigan and Buffalo. Their combined record since 2010 is 12-50. Rob Ianello (2-18), Dan Enos (6-15) and Jeff Quinn (4-17) are all coaches who came from accomplished schools but are really struggling to come into their own. Then again, it's been two years.

I've seen a lot of sentiment on Twitter that each of them should be fired. No, their teams are not doing well. And these three teams are in different situations. So it's not specifically about them, but it applies. It's a question in broader terms: why would you fire a coach after two years?

Maybe it's just snap-judgment fan sentiment. The team's not doing well. No real sign of progress since they became head coach, right? Get rid of 'em and see if someone else can do better.

Here's my you need to stick with them for at least a third year, almost always: it's imperative to look at the players they recruited and see if they're performing well. For Ianello, the obvious answer is Jawon Chisholm. He's on the fast-track to becoming the next All-MAC rusher. You can add Clayton Moore to the pile, just because he's the starting quarterback and it's his man. He's a spread quarterback trying to mold on-the-fly into a pro-style offense and ... look, he is improving. He's still probably in the bottom tercile of MAC quarterbacks, and that's why the Zips fans are getting restless.

Jeff Quinn doesn't have much going for them offenseively, and given that Jeff Quinn is an offensive-coordinator. And while Chazz Anderson hasn't led them to many wins, I think few can dissent that he's been the problem. That was a nice recruit snag — even if Anderson only transferred to UB for his fifth year just because he and Quinn had a history together. Branden Oliver and Khalil Mack are not his recruits but I think several are excited about their growth potential.

Dan Enos has a tough position himself: he's coaching in a nadir of a recent CMU dynasty. He's the Chippewas' Ron Zook, and maybe he won't last strictly because of wins and losses. But Central has been at best an inconsistent nuisance in the MAC West; they gave one up at home to EMU but also beat up Northern Illinois after an offensive explosion. Still, if all the other teams in the West are in better shape, then that's going to keep the Chips near the bottom of the division, perhaps sacrificing its coach to appease those used to success.

But to use a broad brush and paint them all: there's still time. If The Coach has only been there two years, then their recruits have that much time under their system. It's probably not what they were used to in high school or junior college. How many teams have won exclusively with players that new to the campus?

When you enter into a contract with a football coach, I think three years need to be the minimum, unless it's woefully evident that he's soiling himself on the sideline. None of these coaches seem to fit that description, and they have time to bring better results.