Football was never intended to be a beauty pageant. A study led by economics professor Brad Humphreys backs it up. In fact, if you’re a handsome heartthrob coaching an NCAA Division I team, you might get a penalty flag when it comes to pay.
Using a face recognition and machine learning approach, researchers found that head coaches with a more aggressive appearance earned a salary premium. More attractive football coaches, on the other hand, faced a salary discount.
And, because you’re probably already wondering, Neal Brown ranked among the top quarter of attractive coaches.
Former WVU football coach Dana Holgorsen was ranked “substantially less attractive.”
“One explanation for the attractiveness discount and aggressiveness premium may stem from that fact that American football is a very aggressive sport, and an unattractive face might signal mental and physical toughness, viewed as a desirable characteristic in this market,” Humphreys said. Tackle more at go.wvu.edu/footballbeauty.