‘MTSU On the Record’ guest considers coaches’ opti...

‘MTSU On the Record’ guest considers coaches’ options in 4th-down conversion study

The relationship between a college football coach’s career and the likelihood that he’ll be aggressive on fourth downs was be the topic on a recent “MTSU On the Record” radio program.

Dr. Michael Roach, associate professor, Department of Economics and Finance

Dr. Michael Roach

Host Gina Logue’s interview with Dr. Michael Roach, an associate professor in the Department of Economics and Finance in the university’s Jones College of Business, first aired Jan. 21 on WMOT-FM Roots Radio 89.5 and online at You can hear their conversation above

Roach is co-author of an academic study that indicated college football coaches who are more likely to be fired attempt fewer fourth-down conversions, while coaches who are considered hot candidates for better coaching jobs are more aggressive on fourth down.

“Even accounting for distance and game score, … coaches tend to be too conservative relative to what would maximize their chances of winning the game,” Roach said.

“That’s started to change a little bit in recent years. You see coaches being a little bit more aggressive, but, generally speaking, even though it’s not a good thing to do all the time, coaches tend to be more conservative than they should be.”

WMOT Roots Radio-new logo-2017 web The study, “Decision-making on the hot seat and the short list: Evidence from college football fourth-down decisions,” was published in April 2018 in the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization; you can read it here.

To hear previous “MTSU On the Record” programs, visit the searchable “Audio Clips” archives at

For more information about “MTSU On the Record,” contact Logue at 615-898-5081 or WMOT-FM at 615-898-2800.