Hi NCAA Football fans, NCAA Football 12 designer Jordan Peterson here, and it is my privilege to provide you with a more in-depth view of one of the new features in Dynasty, Coach Carousel. Coach Carousel has been one of the top requested features each year from the community and the new addition of coaches, and contracts, will add even more depth to Dynasty.
When starting an Online, or Offline Dynasty, you will be able to create a new coach or use an existing coach. There are three coach positions available: Head Coach, Offensive Coordinator and Defensive Coordinator. As the Head Coach, you will be in control of the entire team and held accountable for completing contract goals both on and off the field. Coordinators, however, are only responsible for their side of the ball, and the CPU coaches will run the other half. Only controlling one side of the ball creates additional drama to your Dynasty games as you watch each play of your CPU controlled offense attempting to march down the field for a game-winning drive. This can keep you on the edge of your seat, cheering your team to pull out the victory.
In addition to the appearance options available when creating a new coach, there are a few that will affect the path your coach takes while climbing the coaching ladder. In particular, along with your coach’s playbooks, your coach’s Alma Mater may come into play later on during the Coach Carousel, so be certain you have it set correctly. Without getting into too many details, when considering potential candidates, schools will take a closer look at a coaching candidate who went to their school.
I know the commissioners out there are wondering what type of setting options there will be in Online Dynasty for Coach Carousel. First, commissioners will be able to determine the starting Prestige and Coach Position for the Dynasty. Meaning the commissioner can set the Dynasty to start from the bottom of the barrel as a One Star Coordinator and climb their way to the top as a 6 Star Head Coach. The ability to move teams around via Custom Conferences provides even more flexibility, challenge and depth.
Whether in Online or Offline Dynasty, you will be able to preview each contract before signing with a particular team, as well as that school’s current roster. Each contract displays the goals the school is requiring for a particular position, their positive and negative impact, and your starting Job Security. As a Head Coach, schools will offer contracts that require efficiency in recruiting and often have a focus upon overall number of total wins, bowl game appearances, and team rankings. Coordinators should expect contracts that focus on their area of expertise, but will also be on the hook to ensure that their side of the ball is excelling on the field.
Each goal in the contract is important, as both Coach Prestige and Job Security are impacted by passing and failing these goals. The arrow indication next to each goal highlights how important that goal is for that particular contract. Job Security determines if you are at risk of being fired based upon your completion or failure of your goals. The lower a Coach’s Job Security percentage is, the greater the risk of being fired.
There are three varying types of rewards for the goals. Required, but expected goals, will display as more red arrows than green. This is a base requirement for this contract for the school and it is expected that the coach must pass this goal. Then there are balanced goals, with both red and green arrows, that the school considers as something the coach should pass and is less challenging. Finally, the bonus goals are the goals with only green arrows. The school considers these stretch goals for the contract.
In addition to goal types varying by coaching position, goals are also tuned by prestige. A Head Coach at Akron will not have the same objectives as a Head Coach at Alabama. As the Alabama Head Coach, you may be penalized for not making it to a bowl game. However, as the Akron Head Coach, your contract may provide a bonus for making it to a bowl game. There are also unexpected goals that may not appear on the contract, but can provide a boost for overachieving coaches.
The type of goals for a Head Coach will differ from Coordinators rather significantly. As a Head Coach, there are goals for bowl wins, total number of wins, rival wins, recruiting, final conference ranking and even recruit visits. Coordinators, however, are focused entirely on their half of the game. Their goals will largely focus upon their on-the-field achievements, such as sacks, interceptions, passing touchdowns, etc. They will also focus upon total number of wins. Keeping these goals in mind as you are playing will, in turn, affect your play style.
For example, if you’ve failed a few goals already and you’re on the hot seat, plus you have a goal to reach 1000 yards in a single season, you may change the way you play knowing that you must pass this goal in order to help keep your job. In this scenario, the coach goals add a significant amount of pressure to the game.
Coach Prestige rating impacts several areas of the game including Recruiting, Player Progression, and the quality of the teams that could potentially be interested during the Carousel Stage. You will also notice that during a recruiting phone call a Coach’s Prestige rating is dynamic. Given all the areas it may impact, including potential job offers during the Carousel, Coach Prestige becomes a vitally important rating. Completing goals within a contract is just one way to improve Coach Prestige.
Another method to influence Coach Prestige during the season is by either beating a higher ranked team to gain a small bonus, or alternatively, losing a game to a lower ranked team, which will slightly decrease your Coach Prestige.
At any point during the regular season, the Coach Central hub is available to view more information about your Coach’s progress on his goals, edit your Coach Philosophy, or to track the progress of other coaches around the NCAA.
During the regular season, the Contract Feedback screen will display direct feedback from the Athletic Director on the latest events impacting your goals. It will also display updated Job Security percentage and Passing, Failing and In Progress goals. Also, any weekly penalty or bonus for beating a better team, or losing to a worse team will be displayed here.
The Job Security screen will display the current Head Coach and Coordinators for every school, along with the number of years remaining in the contract and their current rating. In an Online Dynasty, you will be able to see how the other human-controlled teams are faring in the Dynasty. From here, you can start to track how you think the Carousel may play out during the off-season. If your dream job is to be the Head Coach of Michigan, this is where you can track how hot the seat is getting in Ann Arbor.
The Coach Philosophy screen is where you can edit all of the Sim information for your Coach. This is particularly useful if you plan on simming ahead a few seasons since these settings have a significant impact upon simulations. Finally, in Coach Info you will be able to create new additional User Coaches or edit any existing coach, including physical appearance and both offensive and defensive styles.
Recruiting has also seen some changes due to the addition of coaches. While any of the coach positions can recruit, only the Head Coach will have recruiting-related goals in their contracts. Coordinators can handle the recruiting as well, but they will not be held accountable to do so via contracts.
As the Head Coach, the impact you have on your team’s recruiting is evident through the dynamic Coach Loyalty and Coach Prestige ratings. Now, Coach Loyalty will be impacted by how long a Coach is at a particular school, if they have met their goals and if they have signed any contract extensions. During a phone call with a recruit, you can now expect to see the Coach’s ratings dynamically update, potentially helping (or hindering) your weekly phone calls.
The Coach Carousel screen is the first option available in the off-season portion of Online Dynasty. The Carousel will display any job openings that may occur as a result of a contract expiring, coaches being fired, leaving for a better job offer or even retiring. In an Online Dynasty, the carousel will jump from one player offer to the next player’s offer. If there is any one member that is slowing the Carousel down, the commissioner can always step in and advance the Carousel.
Several characteristics are taken into consideration when a School offers a new job or even an extension to a coach, including their Prestige, Playbook Style, and Alma Mater. As you advance through the Carousel, schools will evaluate their current coaches, determine if it is necessary to take any action on their contract, and consider other coaches that may be considering job offers.
Schools will only offer a Coordinator contract to a coach that has experience on that side of the ball. For example, if Tulsa is looking for an Offensive Coordinator, they will not consider Defensive Coordinators. However, schools may also decide to promote a current Coordinator to a Head Coach. Should the unthinkable happen, and a Head Coach is fired, their expertise in a particular side of the field will be considered when they are offered a Coordinator position.
Occasionally, coaches will accept a job offer even if they are mid-contract if it’s a better job, or if it’s their Alma Mater. This will cause unexpected jobs to be added to the Carousel, which can mix up subsequent coach maneuvers. Essentially, even just one coach’s decision has ramifications across the NCAA. The domino effect from one six star school changing its coach can potentially have ramifications all the way down to offensive coordinators of a one star school.
For example, let’s say it’s year 10 of a Dynasty and Michigan hires South Carolina’s Head Coach because he’s an alumus. South Carolina then hires USC’s Offensive Coordinator because of his offensive style. USC then hires San Diego State’s Head Coach to be their Offensive Coordinator, because of his coach prestige. San Diego State then promotes their Defensive Coordinator to Head Coach because he’s also an alumnus, and so on.
After the Carousel has been completed, advancing to the next week will expose the Carousel summary, which will provide a detailed overview of changes that occurred during the Carousel.
That wraps up this blog for Coach Carousel, be sure to check back this week for more NCAA Football 12 information.