Top 10 best coaches in the history of college football

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Journalists of Sporting News continue their journey through the history of college football, dedicated to the anniversary season. Next in line is one of the most difficult questions - who deserves to be among the top ten coaches?

NCAA | College football


These are not just words. Outside of the rating, as a result, multiple championship winners Walter Camp, Howard Jones, Barry Switzer and Jock Sutherland remained. The winners of more than 200 matches did not include Lou Holtz, Bo Schembechler, Vince Dooley, Frank Beamer and Steve Spurrier.

Some of the representatives of dozens were innovators, others were technical specialists. But they were all winners.

10. Frank Leahy

Programs: Boston College, Notre Dame

Result: 107-13-9 (82.9%)

Titles: 1940 (Boston College, self-proclaimed), 1943, 1946, 1947, 1949 (Notre Dame)

In the program with which Knute Rockne, Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz won, Lou remains the best of the best. Rockne built the first successful team in Notre Dame and brought it to the national level, but it was Leahy who made it perfect. The dominant force in football during his work was the Red Blake Army, but he won enough titles. there are four owners of Heisman Trophy.

9. Glenn 'Pop' Warner

Programs: Iowa State, Georgia, Cornell, Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Stanford, Temple

Result: 311-103—32 (69.7%)

Titles: 1915, 1916, 1918 (Pittsburgh), 1926 (Stanford)

Warner was one of those who created the image of a student football team coach. At the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, he moved from one program to another in search of acceptable earnings. High demand for his services was supported by the results of work. He achieved a lot with Carlisle, a college for Native Americans, where Jim Thorpe became a star. Warner then moved to Pittsburgh, with whom he spent the 30-match winning streak. In 1916, his team beat six of eight rivals dry. Pittsburgh spent another perfect season in 1917, but Georgia Tech John Heisman was recognized as the champion.

8. Urban Meyer

Programs: Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, Ohio State

Result: 187–32 (85.4%)

Titles: 2006, 2008 (Florida), 2014 (Ohio State)

Perhaps he would have done better if he had not interrupted his coaching career twice. The first pause, due to health problems, followed after six years in Florida. The second is after seven beautiful years at the Ohio State. Meyer never had a season with a result worse than 8-5. In twelve of the seventeen seasons, his teams won a double-digit number of victories. Two seasons were passed without defeats and, interestingly, in those year

7. Eddie Robinson

Programs: Grambling State

Result: 408-165-15 (69.4%)

Titles: 1955, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1992 (championship among colleges for blacks)

Robinson became the head coach of the Grambling State in 1941 when he was 22. He held his post for six decades. He is a recognized innovator and an excellent coach, educating four members of the Professional Football Hall of Fame and more than 200 players who then played in the NFL, AFL and Canadian League. He prepared the first black quarterback to start at the NFL club (James Harris), as well as the first black quarterback to win Super Bowl as a starter (Doug Williams). With his efforts, by 1970 the Grambling State had become such a well-known brand that they could afford a weekly television program at a time when broadcasts were still a rarity.

6. Joe Paterno

Programs: Penn State

Result: 409-136-3 (74.6%)

Titles: 1982, 1986

Joe Paterno's legacy is overshadowed by the scandal that caused his dismissal in 2011. But one cannot dispute the fact that he was an outstanding specialist. Penn State spent five seasons with him without defeat. In addition, he won more victories than any other student football top-level coach.

5. Bud Wilkinson

Programs: Oklahoma

Result: 145-29-4 (81.5%)

Titles: 1950, 1955, 1956

Wilkinson was only 31 when he was appointed head coach in Oklahoma. His career can be described in one word - brilliant. The team finished the first season under the supervision of a young coach with a score of 7–2–1 and entered the top 20. He spent eight seasons with a double-digit number of victories. Oklahoma had two outstanding winning streaks with him: 31 games in 1948-1950 and 47 games in 1953-1957. Wilkinson himself said that 99% of his knowledge is the merit of his former coach Bernie Bierman. However, the remaining 1% made him outstanding.

4. Woody Hayes

Programs: Denison, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State

Result: 238–72–10 (74.4%)

Titles: 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1970 (Ohio State)

It is hard to imagine how glad Hayes would have been if he knew that there were only three people ahead of him in the ranking and there was no Michigan coach Bo Schembechler among them. He had such a burning hatred of Michigan that he called him "This command from the north." In 1968, the Ohio State confidently went to the championship. In the game with Michigan, the team led with a difference of 34 points in the last minutes and after the touchdown Hayes appointed a two-point implementation. When after the match he was asked a question about this decision, Hayes replied: “Because the rules do not have a three-point implementation.” His teams almost always avoided forward gears and the coach also had an explanation: “When you give a pass forward, three things can happen. Two of them are bad. ” The end of a career also matches his image. In 1978, the Ohio State played against Clemson in the Gator Bowl and lost 15-17. Two minutes before the end of the match, Charlie Baumann made an interception that put an end to it. After that, Hayes jumped out onto the field, grabbed him by the jersey and hit him in the neck. The next day, the coach was fired and his career ended.

3. Tom Osborne

Programs: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Result: 255—49—3 (83.1%)

Titles: 1994, 1995, 1997

Osborne's best team was 1983 Nebraska, led by Heisman Trophy owner Mike Rozier. For the championship, that team did not have a draw in the Orange Bowl against Miami, lost 30-31, when in the last seconds, instead of an extra point, he decided to play a two-point implementation. Victory in the championship was postponed for a decade. At the same time, each season led by Osborne ended with a go-out or at least nine victories. The last five years of his work in Nebraska, the team won a double-digit number of matches, and its total result was 60-3.

2. Paul “Bear” Bryant

Programs: Maryland, Kentucky, Texas A&M, Alabama

Result: 323–85–17 (76.0%)

Titles: 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978, 1979 (Alabama)

Bryant was such a gifted coach that only a representative of another sport can compare with him - the mentor of the Kentucky basketball team Adolph Rupp. Bryant himself believed that his Alabama was in the shadow of these basketball players and is unlikely to become as great. But before that there was a great job at Texas A&M, which went from 1–9 in the 1954 season to 9–0–1 in just two years. Paul then returned to his alma mater and ushered in the most powerful and stable student football program. At the time of his retirement in 1982, more than half of all Crimson Tide titles were his merit. The merits of Bryant are also invaluable in overcoming racial segregation in the state. With him, black Ozzie Newsome, Woodrow Lowe, Dwight Stephenson and others appeared on the team.

1. Nick Saban

Programs: Toledo Rockets, Michigan State, LSU, Alabama

Result: 245—63—1 (79.3%)

Titles: 2003 (LSU), 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 (Alabama)



It is curious, but having won seven championship titles, Saban only once spent the perfect season. It was in 2009, when Alabama won almost all games with a difference of three touchdowns. However, he has never had any unsuccessful seasons and for eleven years in a row his teams have won a double-digit number of victories (the twelfth season is already on the way). Saban is the leader of a new generation of trainers: more business (he earned a degree in business from Kent State University), less eccentric (with the exception of filming the movie “Blind Side” or commercials). His ability to attract the best recruits led the program to tremendous success. In the first round of the NFL draft, 29 players who completed Saban's school were selected.
Jimmy
American Football Writer

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