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#112 | SimCFB | 2024 Recruiting Update Pt. 2: Coaches and Legacy


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Hi everyone,

In today's final dev diary, I'm going to go over some further adjustments to the AI which I think will make things from both a recruiting perspective and an RP perspective. I'd like to introduce to you: AI Coaches

Starting this season, each AI team will be assigned an AI Coach. The AI Coach will be responsible for the team's behavior for both recruiting and long-term strategy. AI Coaches are unique outside of each school and will be the driving force for how a school will recruit during the duration of their tenure at their institution. AI Coaches can specialize in specific offensive schemes and defensive schemes and will have preferences in how they recruit and how they utilize the transfer portal (upcoming dev diary). 

Here is a high level overview on what to expect from AI Coaches at a gameplay level:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Team
  • Alma Mater
  • Previous Team (if Applicable)
  • IsFormerPlayer
  • Prestige (Level system)
  • Point Range (min & max)
  • Star Range (min & max)
  • Odd Modifiers (per Star Rating)
  • Specialty Positions
  • Offensive Scheme (Selected from one of the new offensive schemes)
  • Defensive Scheme (Selected from one of the new defensive schemes)
  • Teambuilding Preference (Recruiting vs Transfer Portal)
  • Promise Tendency
  • Portal Reputation
  • School Tenure (Number of years the Coach has had his current job)
  • Career Tenure (The number of years the Coach has been coaching
  • Contract Length
  • Years Remaining

Point Range & Star Range

The point range is essentially how many points a coach will likely place on a recruit during any given week. Star range is the range of recruits by Star rating that the coach will likely look at & add to their board. At a high level, a coach with a Star range of (1-3) will only look at recruits between 1 and 3 stars. They cannot add any four star or five star players to their recruiting board.

Odds by Star Rating

Each AI Coach will have five buckets, each representing a star rating from 1 through 5. Last season, certain schools had modifiers to certain players based on the player's star rating. This essentially meant that blue bloods had a higher chance of recruiting a four star and five-star player; whereas schools that were "G5" did not attain those boosts. Moving forward, these modifiers are now separated by star rating and are not part of the school -rather the coach instead. Some coaches will be able to recruit four stars and five stars, and some coaches will have higher modifiers than others at recruiting certain levels.

All these odds to is impact the chance the AI Coach will add a recruit to their board. This does not impact how many points they will place on a recruit during recruiting.



Prestige is the level system for AI coaches and is a way to measure out their legacy and how successful they are as a coach. When AI coaches are generated, the starting prestige for a coach can range from 1-7, depending on some variability I will cover later down below.

Prestige is not static and can fluctuate in-between seasons. For every six wins that a coach attains, they will net one prestige point. If the coach wins a conference championship, a bowl game, or makes a playoff appearance, they net an additional prestige point from that achievement alone. If an AI coach happens to win a national championship, they will net two additional prestige points.

For every prestige point gained, a coach can increase the odds in one of their Odds Buckets by 1%. Additionally, if a prestige point is lost, they will have to decrease the Odds in one of their buckets by 1%.

Additionally, for every six games that a coach loses, they will lose a prestige point. If a coach loses the Toilet Bowl (Very specific, I know...), they will lose an additional prestige point.

To put it on paper:

  • Every six games won gives an AI Coach one prestige point at the end of a season
  • Every six games lost takes away one prestige point from an AI Coach
  • If an AI Coach wins either a bowl game, a conference championship, or appears in a playoff game, they get one additional prestige point.
  • If an AI Coach wins a national championship, they will get two additional prestige points on top of the post-season points they make from bullet point #3
  • If an AI Coach loses the Toilet Bowl, they will lose an additional prestige point


Specialty Positions

Specialty Positions are essentially small modifiers that the coach will get towards adding a recruit to their board, if the recruit matches one of three positions that the coach specializes in coaching in. IRL where some coaches are known for either their defensive playmaking or linebacker coaching or receiving game; this is essentially a way within SimFBA that we can mimic that. If a coach has 'ILB' as a specialty position and finds a player of interest who is also a linebacker, the Coach will have a 5% increased chance to adding the recruit to their board.

Like Odds by Star rating, this does not impact how many points a Coach can place on a recruit. Only the odds on adding the croot to their board.


Offensive Scheme and Defensive Scheme

AI Coaches will have both an offensive and defensive scheme that will be their specialty schemes. If the coach comes across a player that would be a perfect fit in their scheme, the Coach has a 5% boost to adding that recruit to their board. If the Coach comes across a player that is a BAD fit to their scheme, the coach will avoid that recruit.

For the initial season, it is currently up to debate whether an AI Coach will also control the team's gameplan moving forward. We technically have the infrastructure to map this out now with this feature.

This is to ensure that teams over time will roster-build according to the Coach's designated scheme; and by the middle of the coach's contract, should be able to have a team that fits the mold of the Coach's desired scheme.


Teambuilding Preference

With the upcoming transfer portal feature, we wanted to provide behavioral options to AI Coaches on how they will build their teams. There are three accepted values for Teambuilding Preference: "Recruiting", "Transfer", and "Average". Average is normal behavior. Recruiting means that the coach will focus on recruiting high schoolers over using the transfer portal; it also means that recruits have a lower chance of entering the transfer portal. On the inverse side, a coach with a value of "Transfer" will focus on building their team in the transfer portal. This may mean that their HS recruiting classes will be slightly smaller, though it's because they will be more aggressive in the TP. Players with a coach with a value of "Transfer" will also have a higher chance of entering the transfer portal.


Career Preference

Career Preference is a high-level value dictating what the coach wants in the long term. These are the current available values:

  • Prefers to stay at current job (Coach will be less likely to leave for a different job)
  • Wants to coach at Alma-Mater (If an opportunity opens up at a Coach's alma mater, there is a high chance the coach will take the job)
  • Wants a more competitive job (If an opportunity opens up at a blue blood or at a school higher than the coach's school's quality, the coach will have a higher chance of leaving"
  • Average (Normal chance of leaving/staying)


Promise Tendency

This will be explained further in the transfer portal dev diary, but this controls the behavior on how an AI Coach will submit promises to players that are considering the TP and currently in the TP. A coach that "Under-Promises" will submit promises to transfer portal players that are lower-risk. A coach that "Over-Promises" will submit promises to portal players that are large promises that can make a player consider transferring to their team -- whether it be for starter snaps, making it to a bowl game, or even winning a national championship. These bigger promises, however, are higher risk. If a promise isn't fulfilled, the player will re-enter the transfer the portal at the end of the season.


Portal Reputation

Portal Reputation is a value that will be towards both an AI coach AND user coaches. Portal Reputation is the coach's reputation and behavior within the transfer portal.

The idea is this: If a coach makes promises to transfer players, and the promises are fulfilled by next season, the coach will have a high portal reputation. If the coach makes a lot of promises that inevitably fall through, the coach's Portal Reputation will tank. One example of this would be: If a coach promises a player that they will get starter snaps all of next season but leaves the player on the bench all season; not only will the player re-enter the transfer portal, but the coach's reputation also will be hit for not fulfilling the promise.

So, what happens if a coach's Portal Reputation is impacted and lowered? It means that the next promises and points submitted in the transfer portal will not weigh out the same as before. Players enter the portal for various reasons -- wanting to be closer to home, being on a championship level team, becoming a starter. This is a check to make sure that the transfer portal and promise feature isn't abused by both user coaches and AI coaches. AI Coaches will use the portal to the best of their ability; but even they won't be perfect.


AI Coach Generation

To generate the first class of AI coaches, we will be using the Recruiting Profile information at a team level in a new way. Each school has an AI Behavior and Quality which previously controlled how a school added players to their board and how many points they would apply. Moving forward, these values will be used at an institutional level as the school's expectations for the coach they are hiring. AI Quality will be used as 'School Quality' (Blue Blood, P4/5, G5, Doormat/FCS), and AI Behavior will be seen as 'Admin Behavior'. Schools that were aggressive and conservative in the points placed on recruits last season will now be aggressive / conservative in their pursuit of a good coach.

To start off, not every hire will be the same. Some schools will make a 'good hire' while some will make a 'bad hire'. A school has a base chance of 40% for making a good hire. If the school is a blue blood or is normally aggressive in recruiting, the school gets a 15% bonus to making a good hire. Inversely, a school that's conservative or a 'doormat', will have a 15% malus to hiring a good coach.

If a school manages to make a good hire, the star range for the coach will ideally match that based on the school's quality. If it's a bad hire, it the range will be smaller and lower.

For point range, the minimum and maximum range of points across the board will be smaller from the start.

Here's a table below that will showcase the potential ranges and chances, based on whether the hire is good or bad:



School Tenure & Career Tenure

These are two values signifying how many years the coach is at a school, and how many years the coach has in their coaching career. That's right, not every coach will have their entire career at one school. That means...

Schools can extend a Coach's contract, fire coaches, and hire away coaches

Let's begin a quick FAQ...


What happens at the end of a coach's contract? What happens when years remaining is 0?

When a contract hits zero, the school will pull the current record for the coach in question. They will look at wins, losses, how many times a team went to a bowl, didn't go bowling, made the playoffs, etc.

Based on the school's School Quality and Behavior, a baseline will be set in terms of the expectations for a coach. A high level example would be, a coach at Ohio State who goes 0-12 will likely be fired.

The baseline will be a set number of wins during the coach's tenure on average. A blue blood's will be somewhere near the 8-9 win mark per season, while the average P5 school will be around 7 wins, whereas G5 schools will be 4-5 wins. Depending on whether a school is aggressive or conservative in their approach will fluctuate this baseline by at least one win.

If a coach doesn't meet that win total, the school will not re-sign the coach. The coach will need to seek another opportunity at a different school.

If a school decides to re-sign a coach, they will be re-signed on a five year contract, and will get a selection between one of the following options:

  • Raise the star minimum / star maximum in their Star range
  • Raise the point minimum / point maximum in their point range

This is the only time where coaches will be able to change their star and point range at any point during their career outside of being hired by a better school.


What happens when a school attempts to hire a coach away?

A school will curate a list of current college coaches and put together a shortlist based on two criteria:

  • The Coach's Alma Mater
  • The Coach's Current Prestige Level, based on the school's expectations (varies by School Quality)

Once the list is put together, it will iterate over the list of coaches by prestige level and take into account the coach's preference as a modifier. Coaches will have a 33% chance of taking a job if selected by a school; but the number will increase and decrease depending on the Coach's Career Preference.

If a coach is hired from the list, then that school will begin a coaching search at the end of the season as well.

If a coach is NOT hired from the list, a new coach will be generated for the school based on their School Quality and Behavior. We can consider this an outside hire or an internal hire.


What happens when a User takes over an AI School?

The AI coach is "turned off" and the contract is put on pause. The user will have full control of the program and go about recruiting however they wish.


What happens if a user leaves a school?

if the school has an AI coach already, but was inactive, the coach's contract will be re-activated. If the school does NOT have an AI coach, a coach will be generated for them.


Can former players be a College Coach?

Yes. In the initial generation, there will be a 5% chance that the coach hired will be a retired player. Their offensive scheme/defensive scheme will likely be influenced by the player's former position and archetype. The only criteria is that they have to be over the age of 29.


So, in theory, Matt Howard can retire and become a College Coach?

........yes. So can David Ross.


Can coaches retire?

Yes. Once a coach is at least 60+ years and older, a dice roll will be made. The higher the age, the higher the chance a coach retires.


How impactful are the Odds Buckets by Star Rating?

Each point in the odds bucket equates to a single percentage. These are very small modifiers, considering that the affinities add a 33% chance to adding a recruit to a team's board. The only chance that one of these buckets becomes impactful is if an AI coach manages to be the next Nick Saban. It can happen, but it's very rare. All of the odds right now are less than 10%.


Will any of this change over time?

It is likely. Career Preference may change between each coach's contract based on their current circumstance. Ideally, Coach's that are already coaching at their alma-mater will have a higher chance of staying there than normal.


Are there any additional recruiting updates planned?

Yes, but it depends on how much time I have. This is not including the Transfer Portal update. There is one more potential feature I can implement that would be very dynamic and would be complimentary with the new signing-day feature. I'm going to be focusing on the Draft Page for the foreseeable future since we have ~10 weeks. If I finish that page early, I will try and fit in time towards implementing this feature.


Where can we see the list of AI Coaches?

I'll upload a CSV to the discord server shortly for those curious. You can also view some of their info through the roster page.


What about recruits?

Oh, they're up on the interface already. Have fun.


That's all I have for now. This is a big feature that I think will add some roleplaying and lore for SimFBA, and should make recruiting interesting moving forward.



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  • TuscanSota changed the title to #112 | SimCFB | 2024 Recruiting Update Pt. 2: Coaches and Legacy
19 hours ago, kwheele said:

so with prestige points how will that equate against human coaches? bias either way? 


Prestige is only related to increasing the odds an AI coach adds a player to their board by a single percent, by whichever star rating the bucket represents. The other scenario is it being used as a benchmark for AI schools looking to recruit a coach with a specific minimum prestige.

The point range for each AI coach is significantly smaller than the allowed range for users.

if a user wanted to recruit a player, all they have to do is click the add button and input any number of points they want to put on the recruit.

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