One of the biggest choices that a young person will make is where to go to college. For an athlete, this decision can sometimes be even bigger, as its results could have a lasting impact on his or her life.
For parents, this is also a stressful time. Seeing your child being recruited by teams all over the nation has you pulled in all different directions and probably leaves you at a loss for words when advice may be needed.
When looking at colleges and the men who lead those programs, here are 20 football coaches that a parent would not be going wrong with.
One dark-horse candidate to consider when looking at coaches is James Franklin. Any coach who can take Vanderbilt through a SEC schedule and put the Commodores into a bowl game is a coach that you want to give serious consideration to.
Derek Dooley is doing his best to try and bring Tennessee back to its glory days. Dooley has a very calm demeanor and could be a calming influence on a set of parents as they try to help their child make one of the more important choices of his young life.
As fired up as Larry Fedora can get, Dabo Swinney can match his intensity rolling out of bed. At Clemson, Swinney has done a great job and is trying to push the Tigers to an elite level. By sending your child to Clemson, you are getting a hard-working coach who is in love with the game of football.
Georgia coach Mark Richt is a coach who has let his actions speak for himself. Richt is not only generous with his time but has opened up his home to adopting children. On the field, Richt is often scrutinized but is coming off an outstanding season.
Back now at Washington State, Mike Leach makes his return to college football. Leach is an interesting character who certainly coaches in a very different way. With his forward way of thinking, Leach is extremely creative and will certainly get the most out of your child.
If your son is being coached by Troy Calhoun, you as a parent are very happy and proud. With Calhoun as a head coach, it means that your son is in the Air Force and that he is being held to the highest standard.
Much like Chris Petersen, Gary Patterson does an outstanding job at a school like TCU that doesn't attract a lot of top recruits. Sending your child to TCU is even better for defensive-minded kids because Patterson has done a great job with defensive talent while with the program.
Back for his second tour of duty with the Kansas State Wildcats is Bill Snyder. Snyder had some success in the '90s with Kansas State, and after last year's performance, he has proved his team is back. Snyder has the experience that some parents would love to see passed on to their child.
Frank Beamer helped build Virginia Tech into what it is today. One thing that a parent would like is the stability that Beamer has brought to the Hokies' program. He has done a great job of keeping them competitive, and Beamer has also done a good job keeping the program clean.
If you get into a living room with Larry Fedora, be prepared to be wowed, as the new North Carolina coach is just the kind of person who has a genuine love for the game. With his passion and hard work, Fedora could sweep any set of parents off their feet and have them ready to send their kid to North Carolina.
Brady Hoke has only been at Michigan for one year but has Michigan already looking like, well, Michigan. Hoke has turned the program around, and parents can see that he is not only a good coach but appears to be the type of man who holds up the Michigan values that the program holds dearly.
If you are the parent of a Texas football player, then odds are you have already heard from coach Mack Brown. Like Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Brown is an icon in his state and has shared the same type of collegiate success and success with graduating players to the NFL.
While many may overlook the Oregon State head coach, Mike Riley does a fantastic job with the talent he has on his roster. While the Beavers may not house the nation's top recruits, parents can rest easy knowing that Riley will do whatever it takes to get the best performance out of their son.
Bob Stoops is Oklahoma football. As the head coach of one of the most history-rich programs in the nation, Stoops has kept the program clean and in contention on a yearly basis. Along with collegiate success, Stoops does a great job of moving players on to the NFL.
Regardless of the schedule his team plays, Chris Petersen has Boise State in the national title discussion every year. Along with national success, Petersen seems to find a way to get the most out of his players, and as parents you can also experience the blue turf.
Not only does new Ohio State coach Urban Meyer have the typical all-American look, but he has had success wherever he has gone. Meyer is well-spoken, handles himself well on the field and gives you the feeling that with his medical conditions, he has his priorities straight now.
While some parents may be a bit uneasy to send their child to Penn State right now, Bill O'Brien and the entire Nittany Lion program is on high alert, and nothing short of the highest standard will be acceptable. Parents would have the peace of mind of knowing that as a former professional, O'Brien will not be afraid to stand up and speak his mind.
If you have a child who is considering either offense or defense, then Oregon's Chip Kelly could be your coach. On offense, Kelly is a master of putting players in a position to be successful. On defense, you know your child will get plenty of game action with how long Oregon's defense has to play.
Also out of the SEC, Les Miles has done a great job producing pros and keeping the Tigers in the hunt for a national title. While Miles may be a bit quirky, he has a track record of success that would make any parent happy to see.
When you send your child to college, you want him to play for the best. In today's game, Nick Saban is the best coach in the nation, and now with three national titles, he gives your child the best opportunity to win and also to succeed at the professional level.