When asked for a coaching contemporary he admires, Dan McFarland will often reach for the name of Bill Belichick.
In the NFL, where the turnover of head honchos is so regular that the day after the final game of the season is dubbed 'Black Monday', Belichick is the outlier having led the New England Patriots since the year 2000.
With the signing of a contract extension at Ulster this week, McFarland has proven to be something of an outlier himself.
Inking new terms that intend to keep him in the Kingspan Stadium hotseat until at least the summer of 2023, seeing out the deal would make McFarland Ulster's longest-serving chief of the pro era, a distinction presently held by South African Alan Solomons who led the side between 2001 and 2004 before departing for the Northampton Saints.
In the years since, those entering through Ravenhill's revolving door will have been wiser to rent than buy in the BT6 area.
The reasons for so many hirings and firings since soon-to-be three-time Heineken Cup winner Mark McCall's acrimonious departure a year and a half on from delivering the 2006 Celtic League are well documented but, when McFarland arrived three years ago, we were long past the point of the habit reflecting upon the individuals involved rather than the organisation.
That the former Connacht prop's hiring saw him become the side's third head man of that calendar year spoke volumes.
Then, in the middle of what has been dubbed the province's 'annus horribilis', there were many that questioned why McFarland would have left the Scotland set-up so close to the unforgettable experience of a World Cup in Japan for a job that appeared, at best, not one for the long-term and, at worst, a poisoned chalice.
The fact that if McFarland had walked away this summer at the end of his initial three-year deal there would have been plenty more interest in the role this time around is a testament to the work he has done in Belfast.
Blending astute signings with the integration of Academy products to the senior set-up, McFarland has rebuilt the squad that had been in decline since 2014 and done so in his own image.
As Ulster know all too well, the particular alchemy required to match a coach, cub and scenario is no exact science but, in hindsight, the introduction of this keen student of psychology with his oft-repeated 'fight for every inch' mantra to a panel who were seemingly drifting into the PRO14's mid-table has been a perfect fit.
There will be plenty of challenges ahead for the northern province - McFarland will go into next season without his best player, Marcell Coetzee, and his attack-minded assistant, the Cardiff-bound Dwayne Peel - but the transformation of results under the 48-year-old ensured that tidying up this piece of outstanding business was CEO Jonny Petrie's No.1 priority in 2021.
While Europe is out of their hands for this year, back-to-back Champions Cup knockout ties the past two seasons is a clear mark of progress while winning a domestic quarter-final in his first year, and a semi-final in the most dramatic of circumstances last season, have garnered experience of winning the big ones.
The next step, of course, is obvious.
The much-talked-about trophy drought at the province now stretches back almost 15 years. A healthy percentage of the supporters currently locked out of Kingspan have no memory of seeing their side lift a piece of silverware.
Leo Cullen, Pat Lam, Gregor Townsend and Wayne Pivac - the PRO14's most successful coaches of recent times - all managed to secure the league title in their third year at the helm, a time when a coach's methodology has firmly bedded in while two summers have given the opportunity to reshape the playing staff.
In his own third year in charge, McFarland has a great chance to add his name to the list. The alteration to the format of the PRO14 this season is far from ideal, less so given it was announced only in the middle of the competition, but with Ulster top of their Conference they know that maintaining that position would put them in another final at the end of March.
While Leinster's games in hand - against Munster and Scarlets - will have a huge bearing on the standings, Ulster will hang their hopes on getting Cullen's men in Belfast before the regular season is out knowing that should they make the final, their most persistent of foes would already have been removed from the equation.
The much-admired Belichick already has six Championships with the New England Patriots. What success-starved Ulster fans would give for McFarland to deliver them just one.
After a wait of so many long years, that would ensure it's far more than longevity setting McFarland apart from his predecessors.