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College Football Coaches as Sales Reps

Let's be honest, getting recruits to come play for your college team is just like sales:


  • coaches signing recruits at the last minute on signing day
  • long sales cycles (recruiting in 8th grade to NSD) vs. short sales cycles (picking up JUCO, transfer portal)
  • incentives/discounting --- aka bagmen that offer some pay to play


All that said, who in your totally unqualified and biased opinion are the top 5 coaches who would make excellent sales reps? You can go off their track record of wins, crazy personalities, public speaking disposition, or general recruitment tactics.

🐱 Off-Topic
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CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Lane KiffinΒ 
Telehealth_2the_Moon
Notable Contributor
+13
Director of Business Development
He's definitely done a good job selling himself into jobs he wasn't qualified for!
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
Probably qualified for a coordinator position given his success at BAMA. Track record isn't great as a HC. Guess we'll see how he pans out at OM.Β 

I think he also may have just jumped ship too early to the HC jobs when he wasn't that mature.
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
Interesting...Oakland Raiders Lane Kiffin, USC Lane Kiffin, Tenn Kiffin, FL ATL Kiff or OM Kiffin?

Why?
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+13
Senior Account Executive
Ole Miss. He's come a long way since his younger days. And his personality is fun to watch, especially on Twitter 😎
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HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
My 5 (this is fiction/stream of consciousness):

1. Nick Saban (Enterprise rep) - name brand enterprise rep here, like selling Oracle / SAP and has built the brand up from dregs of late 90s and early aught disappointments (note: I am not a fan of Alabama but realize the power of the process that's been installed here in terms of recruiting, good assistants, and winning).Β 

Saban doesn't lose sales deals often. When he does, their rare, mid-market deals. Think Al Pacino in Glengarry Glenross / Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday. Also, will work for your competitor if they give him a better deal. He definitely doesn't use the CRM correctly. Probably doesn't even know what SSO means unless it's related to a new defensive scheme to outbox his competitors.

2. Dabo Swinney (Mid-Market rep) - huckster with natural cornpone methods that somehow result in a few Mid-Market wins originally and then some Enterprise deals start to trickle in with a natty or two. He came from Oracle but was probably let go because he said something inappropriate at some point during a sales meeting or slack convo. Now works for a good startup that's likely to get acquired soon.He wants to be the Enterprise rep that trained him but isn't quite there yet...

Will post my others later.
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
3. Dan Mullen - he somehow finds middling level success and has definitely utilized his career path as a stepping stone to get to 60 - 70% of quota consistently but will likely never get 100% of quota. If he gets to prez club, will likely be the guy that brings his Star Wars outfit to the awards night because he thinks it's a costume party.

4. Coach O - God, I know so many reps like him. They think that because they're from X territory, they can sell any product to anyone because they're just a relatable guy. Doesn't really ever seem to understand the target profile of who is a fit. Probably hates sales training but is really fun to do a cocktail Friday with and for sure crushes Red Bulls every day at standup. Classic SMB guy here whose pitches are probably somewhere between Tommy Boy brake pad car on fire or a really fun crawfish boil.

5. Brian Kelly - easily your most dependable rep here who can sell into the Mid-Market and Enterprise. He's a classy guy that always where's a suit or a button down to work every day and will sweat through it when he makes 3 (quality) calls per day that will close 6 to 9 months later. He's also loyal to you and can easily be coached to rep your brand. He's a culture hero too.

Honorable mentions:
Ryan Day, Kirby Smart, Lincoln Riley, Jimbo Fisher, Gus Malzahn, & Mike Leach (somehow always on a PIP)
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
LMAO Leach is ALWAYS on PIP
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
No particular order:

Mike Leach- He's the insane sales rep who doesn't seem to know what's going on half of the time but keeps closing business. You don't understand how but every year he's going to President's Club at 200%+ of number. Succeeds regardless of location

Nick Saban- Which, ugh but he's here. The man is a recruiting god and also a kingmaker. He's the Fortune 100 rep whose SCs and BDRs keep getting promoted (to various levels of success).Β 

Dave Doeren- He won at Northern Illinois! Now that he's at NC State, he's managed to not get fired and continue to impress (that's a tough job). Think of him as the guy who crushed it at Enterprise before getting the tough job

Urban Meyer- Yes, I know he's with the Jags now but come on, he's a college guy. He wins no matter where he goes but he makes HR and Finance deeply nervous with some of his tactics to do so. But the money looks oh SO GOOD so everyone is willing to turn a blind eye.

Lincoln Riley- Everyone who works with him swears by him. Imagine that kind of loyalty in a sales org.
HoldemCaulfield
Politicker
+8
Sales Training & Enablement
I think Urban may do fairly well with the Jags. Would he do well if Trevor wasn't there, eh, not so sure?
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
I actually think Fields is going to turn out to be the best QB in the draft.
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