The Best Coach in the History of Every College Football Team
There are now 125 FBS programs in college football and while some of them have had much more storied traditions than others, some hardly have any history worth talking about.
With so many teams, there have been thousands of college football coaches over the years. Some teams have even had more than one excellent coach.
Narrowing it down to the best coach from each team is no easy task, especially with the history and tradition of some teams.
But, that does not mean it is not fun to try and pick the best in the history of each program.
Air Force: Fisher DeBerry
By far the winningest coach in the history of Air Force football, Fisher DeBerry is at the top of the list.
DeBerry coached from 1984-2006 and finished with a record of 169-109-1 with 12 bowl game appearances and 17 winning seasons during his 23 years. He also led the team to three WAC Championships.
He has the highest winning percentage of any Air Force coach (.608) and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Akron: Gordon K. Larson
Gordon K. Larson was the head coach at Akron from 1961-1972 and had the best winning percentage (.683) of any coach with more than 100 games coached.
He finished with a record of 74-33-5. He is second all-time in wins, only seven behind his successor Jim Dennison.
While he never won a conference title, he did make his only bowl game in 1968, losing in the Grantland Rice Bowl.
Alabama: Paul 'Bear' Bryant
Alabama has had some amazing college football coaches over the years, and Paul 'Bear' Bryant is the best of them all.
He ran the Alabama program for 25 years and during that time had a record of 232-46-9, while leading the Crimson Tide to six national championships and 13 conference titles. When he retired was the winningest head coach in college football history.
Many people consider Bryant the greatest college football coach of all time and the numbers certainly don't lie.
Arizona: Pop McKale
Arizona has had a fair amount of successful college football coaches over the years, and even though he coached nearly 100 years ago, Pop McKale ranks at the top.
During his 16 seasons at Arizona, he compiled an 81-32-6 record from 1914-1930. He only had one losing season during that time. Even though the seasons were shorter, he only lost more than three games one time.
The Wildcats were independent at this time and joined the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association the year after he left.
Arizona State: Frank Kush
Frank Kush does not have the best winning percentage in Sun Devils history, but over his 22 seasons he won 176 games against only 54 losses and a tie.
Even though things did not end well for Kush, he only had two losing seasons at Arizona State and finished first or second in the conference seven times during his first 11 seasons.
From 1969-1973, the team won five straight Western Conference Championships going 50-6 over those years. In 1975 his Sun Devils finished second in the country, winning the Fiesta Bowl.
Arkansas: Frank Broyles
Frank Broyles brought Arkansas their highest-ever ranking in 1964, finishing No. 2 in the polls. During his 23 seasons, he compiled a 144-58-5 record.
The Razorbacks won seven of their 14 conference championships during that time and Broyles won a national Coach of the Year award in 1964 as well.
He led Arkansas to 10 bowl games during his tenure. After coaching, Broyles became athletic director until his retirement in 2007.
Arkansas State: Bennie Ellender
Arkansas State is not known for a great football tradition, but former head coach Bennie Ellender had fans believing otherwise when he ran the program.
From 1963-1970, Arkansas State went 52-20-4 and made three straight Pecan Bowls, finishing first in the Southland Conference every year.
They were the College Division National Champs in 1970, finishing No. 1 in the polls.
Army: Earl Blaik
Army has had one of the most storied traditions of any college football program and Earl Blaik is the best coach over their long history.
He ran the program from 1941-1958 and finished with a career record of 121-33-10. He led Army to consecutive national championships in 1944 and 1945.
Blaik and Army only had one season with more than four losses during his tenure and he was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1964.
Auburn: Ralph Jordan
Ralph Jordan led Auburn to a 10-0 record and the 1957 national championship. During his 25 years at Auburn, the Tigers compiled a 175-83-7 record.
Auburn went to 12 bowl games during that time, winning five of them.
He only had three losing seasons during that time, and before Gene Chizik was the only Auburn coach to lead them to a national championship.
Ball State: Dave McClain
Ball State has not had a lot of head coaches with long tenures, but the best coach in the history of the program is Dave McClain.
McClain spent eight seasons at Ball State from 1971-1977. He went 46-25-3, including one MAC Championship.
He only had one losing season and helped lead the Cardinals to Division I.
Baylor: Grant Teaff
Baylor has not had a lot of success over the years, but one coach who has stood out is Grant Teaff.
Teaff ran the program from 1972-1992 and during that time the Bears went 128-105-6. He led them to eight bowl games and finished in the top 25 six times.
He won two conference championships in 1974 and 1980, and also he finished second in five of his last eight years running the program.
Boise State: Chris Petersen
Boise State has had some excellent head coaches over the short history of the team. None have been better than Chris Petersen.
He took Boise State to six bowl games during his first six seasons and has compiled a record of 73-6 over that span.
The Broncos have gone undefeated two times and have been one of the best programs in college football over the last few years.
Boston College: Joe Yukica
Boston College has had a lot of head coaches with similar resumes and topping the list is Joe Yukica.
Yukica has an all-time record of 68-37 during his 10 seasons at Boston College from 1968-1977.
Even though Boston College did not reach a bowl game during his 10 seasons, he still posted one of the best winning percentages the school has ever seen.
Bowling Green: Doyt Perry
Doyt Perry put up win totals at Bowling Green that are some of the best in the history of college football.
He spent 10 seasons at Bowling Green and never lost more than two games in a season, finishing 77-11-5 over that span.
Perry made a bowl appearance in 1961 and had two undefeated seasons as well. He had a 46-8-5 record in conference games.
Buffalo: Dick Offenhamer
Buffalo is not a university known for its football. They have had a few successful head coaches in their time, but none more so than Dick Offenhamer.
He spent 11 seasons at Buffalo and had a record of 58-37-5. He only had two losing seasons during this time and went 16-2 from 1958-1959.
At a program where winning is not easy, Offenhamer made it look that way.
BYU: LaVell Edwards
LaVell Edwards spent an eternity at BYU and is easily their best coach of all time. During his 39 seasons, Edwards posted a 257-101-3 record and won a national championship in 1984.
BYU won 10 straight WAC Championships from 1976-1985. He also led the Cougars to 22 bowl games, including 17 straight from 1978-1994.
Perhaps what is most amazing is the fact that he never won less than five games in a season and only had one losing season over that span.
California: Andy Smith
The best coach of all time for California was the first in the history of their program, Andy Smith.
Smith coached from 1916-1925 and had five straight undefeated seasons from 1920-1924. During that time, the team made two straight Rose Bowl appearances.
Over his 10 seasons, Smith went 74-16-7 and never had a losing season.
Central Michigan: Bill Kelly
Bill Kelly spent 16 seasons at Central Michigan from 1951-1966. Over that span, the Chippewas went 91-58-2, including 70-24-1 in conference play.
He led Central Michigan to five straight conference titles from 1952-1956 and won seven of the 16 conference titles the school has accumulated.
While Central Michigan has produced talented coaches over the years, including Brian Kelly and Butch Jones, none of them have had the sustained success of Bill Kelly.
Cincinnati: Sid Gillman
Sid Gillman only spent six seasons at Cincinnati, but they were six of the best in the history of the school.
During those years, his Bearcats compiled a record of 50-13-1 and only lost four games over his final four seasons.
He won three MAC titles in the four years they were in the league, going 13-1 overall in conference play. They reached the Sun Bowl in 1950.
Clemson: Danny Ford
Danny Ford led Clemson to their only national championship in 1981 and during his 12 seasons at Clemson, he produced an outstanding 96-29-4 record.
He went 56-16-1 in the ACC and won five conference titles. The Tigers finished in the top 12 of the AP poll in half of his seasons and reached eight bowl games in 12 years.
They never had a losing season and the best years in the programs history were during this era.
Colorado: Fred Folsom
To find the best Colorado football coach of all time, it is necessary to go all the way back to the 19th century.
Fred Folsom coached Colorado in three different stints, from 1895-1899, 1901-1902 and from 1908-1915. During those years, the Buffaloes won 10 conference titles and only had one losing season.
He had a record of 77-23-2 during his 15 seasons. While Bill McCartney is certainly a viable candidate, Fred Folsom is slightly better.
Colorado State: Sonny Lubick
Sonny Lubick spent 16 seasons at Colorado State. During that time, the Rams went to nine bowl games.
They won the WAC three of his six seasons and also were champions of the Mountain West three times in nine years.
They finished in the top 20 three different times. Overall he had a record of 108-74 during his tenure, including four seasons with 10 or more wins.
Connecticut: Randy Edsall
Randy Edsall only went 74-70 during his 12 seasons at Connecticut, but he helped to completely turn around the football program.
When he took over in 1999, Connecticut was a member of the Atlantic 10 conference. Five years later, they went from a I-AA to a member of the Big East Conference.
He won eight or more games each of his final four seasons and went to a bowl game every year, culminating with a Big East Championship and a berth in the Fiesta Bowl during his final season.
Duke: Wallace Wade
At one point, Duke was a national football powerhouse. During that time, they were led by Wallace Wade.
He coached the Blue Devils from 1931-1950, and during his 20 seasons Duke went a combined 110-36-7.
They won six conference championships and made two Rose Bowl appearances, twice finishing in the top three in the country.
East Carolina: Pat Dye
Pat Dye was the head coach of East Carolina from 1974-1979 and had an astounding 48-18-1 record during that time.
He won one Southern Conference championship and took the Pirates to the Independence Bowl in 1978.
Dye never finished a season with more than four losses and never won less than seven games.
Eastern Michigan: Elton Rynearson
When Elton Rynearson was the head coach at Eastern Michigan, the school was then known as Michigan State Normal.
He had three stays at Eastern Michigan: 1917, 1919-1920 and 1925-1948. During his time at Eastern Michigan, the team posted an impressive 114-58-15 record and won five of their 10 total conference championships.
He led them to multiple undefeated seasons and if they had not become an independent in 1931, there certainly would have been more conference crowns.
Florida: Steve Spurrier
This is a complete toss up between Steve Spurrier and Urban Meyer with the slight edge going to Spurrier based on tenure.
He won a national championship in 1996 and posted a 122-27-1 record at Florida, the highest winning percentage of any coach in the history of the school.
The Gators went to a bowl game every season they were eligible under Spurrier from 1991-2001 and finished in the top 13 of the AP poll in all of his 12 seasons in Gainesville.
Florida Atlantic: Howard Schnellenberger
Florida Atlantic has only had a football team since 2001. Howard Schnellenberger has been the only head coach, making this the biggest no-brainer of them all.
He only finished with a 58-74 career record, but did take the Owls to two bowl games.
New head coach Carl Pelini has a good shot to pass Schnellenberger in the coming years.
Florida International: Mario Cristobal
Like Florida Atlantic, Florida International has not been playing football very long. Since 2002, to be exact. They have only had two head coaches and Mario Cristobal is the best of those two.
He only has a 24-38 career record, but has put together two straight winning seasons each with a bowl game and has the program on the rise.
Had it not been for a 1-11 record in his first season with the program, his numbers would be much more respectable. He also has a conference title on his resume.
Florida State: Bobby Bowden
Bobby Bowden is one of the best coaches in the history of college football and spent 34 seasons at Florida State.
He had a career record at Florida State of 304-97-3, including 31 bowl games and an amazing 28 straight bowl appearances from 1982-2009.
Bowden won a pair of national championships along with nine straight ACC Championships from 1992-2000.
Fresno State: Jimmy Bradshaw
Jimmy Bradshaw coached Fresno State during the beginning of their football days. He ran the show from 1936-1946.
Over that 11-year span he posted a record of 59-18-2. His winning percentage of .750 is the best in the history of the school with the exception of Cecil Coleman, who only coached five seasons.
While not very much is known about Bradshaw, he did win at a unprecedented clip while in Fresno.
Georgia: Vince Dooley
Georgia has won one outright national championship, courtesy of Vince Dooley in 1980.
He ran the Georgia football program for 25 years, from 1964-1988, and during that time posted a record of 201-77-10.
The Bulldogs finished in the top five for four straight seasons, 1980-1983, and reached 20 bowl games in his 25 seasons, including nine in a row to end his career.
Georgia Tech: Bobby Dodd
Bobby Dodd was the head man at Georgia Tech from 1945-1966. During the 1951-1953 seasons, his teams posted a 31-game winning streak and his Yellow Jackets squads finished in the AP top 11 eight different times.
He had an overall record of 165-64-8 during that time and appeared in 13 bowl games.
Dodd only had two losing seasons in his 22 running the program.
Georgia State: Bill Curry
Another easy selection is Bill Curry from Georgia State. The Panthers have only had a football team for two years and Curry has coached both of them en route to a 9-13 record.
For the first two seasons of their existence they were an FCS independent. In 2012 they will be joining the Sun Belt Conference at the FBS level.
Curry will certainly have his work cut out for him next season.
Hawai'i: June Jones
There have been a few talented coaches at Hawai'i, but none of them quite like June Jones. He coached the Warriors from 1999-2007.
During his nine seasons he won 76 games with only 41 losses, including two conference championships and six bowl appearances.
The bowl appearances were capped with an appearance in the Sugar Bowl in 2007 after an undefeated regular season.
Houston: Bill Yeoman
Bill Yeoman coached Houston for 25 years, from 1962-1986. Under him, Houston had some of the best seasons they have ever had.
He compiled an overall record of 160-108-8 and the Cougars made 11 bowl games during his tenure.
From 1966-1979, the Cougars finished in the top 20 of the Coaches poll 11 times. No other coach in the school's history has come close.
Idaho: John L. Smith
John L. Smith is perhaps best known for his coaching stints at Louisville and Michigan State, but his head coaching career all began at Idaho.
He led the Vandals from 1989-1994 and won 53 games with only 20 losses during that time.
Idaho was a Division 1-AA team in those years and made the playoffs five of the six seasons, including a semifinal appearance in 1993.
Illinois: Bob Zuppke
Illinois has not won many B1G Championships, but former head coach Bob Zuppke won or shared seven titles during his tenure from 1913-1941.
He won those seven over a span of 15 years from 1914-1928 and finished with a career record of 131-81-12.
Most amazing of all are the four national championships he won during his time, making him one of the most under-appreciated coaches in all of college football history.
Indiana: Bo McMillin
Indiana has only won two conference championships in their history and Bo McMillin helped orchestrate one of them.
He coached the Hoosiers from 1934-1947 and compiled a 63-48-11 record.
His best season came in 1945 when his Indiana squad went 9-0-1, won the B1G title and finished fourth in the country. They followed that up with a 6-3 record and a No. 20 national ranking the next season.
Iowa: Hayden Fry
Hayden Fry coached the Iowa Hawkeyes from 1979-1998. Over his 20 seasons, Iowa had a record of 143-89-6.
They won three B1G titles and went to 14 bowl games during that time. They also finished the season in the top 25 during 10 of his years.
Even though Fry does not have a national title under his belt, he is the most complete coach in Hawkeye history.
Iowa State: Clyde Williams
Iowa State does not have much to talk about when it comes to football tradition, but one of the bright spots is former head coach Clyde Williams
Williams coached the Cyclones from 1907-1912 and posted a 32-15-2 record.
During this time, they won the only two conference championships in the history of the school, going back-to-back in 1911 and 1912. Williams also never had a losing season at Iowa State.
Kansas: A.R. Kennedy
A.R. Kennedy coached Kansas from 1904-1910 and had an amazing 53-9-4 record over that time. He never lost more than three games in a season and only twice did he lose more than one.
The Jayhawks have only won five conference championships in the history of their program and he was responsible for one of them.
Kansas State: Billy Snyder
Bill Snyder has had two stints at Kansas State and almost all of the program's success was during that time.
He has coached the Wildcats since 1989 with a break from 2006-2008. Over that span he has a 159-83-1 record and appeared in 13 bowl games.
They have five top 10 AP poll finishes during that time.
Kent State: Trevor Rees
Kent State may have the worst program in the history of college football.
Former head coach Trevor Rees was one of the few who had some success. He went 92-63-5 from 1946-1963 and even though he did not win a conference crown, he did bring some sustained success to the program.
He had 13 winning season out of his 18 with the program.
Kentucky: Paul 'Bear' Bryant
This name sounds all too familiar. Before he ran the show at Alabama, Paul 'Bear' Bryant spent eight seasons at Kentucky.
He led the Wildcats to some of the best seasons in school history, posting a record of 60-23-6 over that time.
His best season came in 1950 when the Wildcats won the SEC title, went 11-1 and played in the Sugar Bowl. They finished that year with a No. 7 national ranking.
Louisiana Tech: Joe Aillet
This is another easy selection, as Joe Ailett has done so much for the Louisiana Tech football program.
He coached from 1940-1966 and despite tailing off a bit at the end record-wise, he still finished his career with a 151-86-8 record.
Ailett won 12 conference championships and was a model of consistency for the Louisiana Tech program.
Louisiana-Lafayette: Mark Hudspeth
Even though he has only been the head coach for one season, why not give it to Mark Hudspeth.
He appears to be one of the rising young head coaches in college football. Last year he went 9-4 en route to victory in the New Orleans bowl.
Though there is not much history at this school, Hudspeth appears ready to turn that around.
Louisiana-Monroe: Pat Collins
From 1981-1988 Pat Collins ran the ULM program with more success than they have ever had.
He was 57-35 during those eight seasons and is second all-time in winning percentage but first in wins.
Collins won two conference championships during his tenure and also led the Warhawks to an FCS National Championship in 1987.
Louisville: Bobby Petrino
Not many coaches did as much in a short period of time as Bobby Petrino did at Louisville.
During his four years with the program, the Cardinals went 41-9, won two Conference USA titles, played in a four bowl including an Orange Bowl and finished in the top 20 three times.
They never lost more than four games and never won less than nine in his four years.
LSU: Les Miles
Les Miles has won over 80% of his games at LSU, better than anybody who has coached more than 20 games.
He won a national championship in 2007 and has won two SEC titles since he arrived in 2005. His 75-18 overall record is remarkable and he has won 11 or more games in five of his seven seasons, finishing in the top eight each of those years.
Having been to two national championships and posting a 41-15 SEC record, it is hard to argue against Miles.
Marshall: Bob Pruett
Bob Pruett went 94-23 during his nine seasons at Marshall and coached perhaps the best Division I-AA team in college football history when they went 15-0 in his first season in 1996 en route to the national championship.
After moving to Division I, Marshall made six straight bowl games and won multiple MAC Championships under Pruett.
In 1999, they went 13-0 and finished in the top 10 in the country.
Maryland: Jim Tatum
Jim Tatum had an outstanding 73-15-4 record at Maryland and from 1947-1955, Maryland football had its best years.
They won the national championship in 1951, on their way to a 10-1 campaign. While at Maryland he never lost more than four games in a season and never won less than six.
Tatum led the Terrapins to three top-three rankings over a five-year span and from 1951-1955 the team only lost five games.
Massachusetts: Don Brown
Massachusetts does not really have a coach that stands out, so Don Brown will take the award.
He coached the Minutemen from 2004-2008 and posted a 43-19 record during that time.
Brown led UMass to two Colonial Athletic Association titles and in 2006, the Minutemen made it to the FCS national championship before losing.
All five of his seasons were winning ones.
Memphis: Billy J. Murphy
Known as 'Spook,' Billy Murphy was the Memphis Tigers' head coach from 1958-1971. He had a record of 91-44-1. In 196, the Tigers went undefeated for the first time in 25 years and he won national coach of the year.
His .673 winning percentage is the best in the history of the school. Murphy led Memphis to the Pasadena Bowl against San Jose State—the Tigers won that game 28-9.
Miami (Fl.): Dennis Erickson
Miami has had some really good teams over the years and leading the way on several of those was Dennis Erickson.
He went 63-9 in his six seasons at Miami, putting up win totals that were some of the best in college football history.
The Hurricanes finished No. 1 twice in the AP Poll and No. 3 two more times. Erickson's Miami teams were some of the best college football has ever seen. None of his teams ever finished with less than nine wins or lower than No. 15 in the final poll.
Miami (Oh.): Ara Parseghian
Ara Parseghian is known for a lot of things, but coaching at Miami (OH) may not be on the top of the list.
He is one of many famous coaches to call Oxford home. Parseghian posted a 39-6-1 record in five seasons at Miami. He finished first in the MAC twice and second three times.
During his final season in 1955, Miami went 9-0 and finished No. 15 in the AP Poll.
Michigan: Fielding H. Yost
Not many coaches have had the success that Fielding H. Yost did at Michigan. From 1901-1926, he led Michigan to six national championships while compiling a 165-29-10 record.
He won 10 B1G Championships in the 15 years he was in the league.
Few coaches in college football history boast the resume of Yost.
Michigan State: Clarence Munn
This could have also gone to Duffy Daugherty, who won four national titles, but the 54-9-2 record and two national titles in six seasons from 1947-1953 gives Clarence Munn the title.
Under his reign, the Spartans went undefeated in both 1951 and 1952 and could stake claim to at least part of those national championships.
Over his final four seasons, the Spartans went a combined 35-2, winning the Rose Bowl in their 1953 inaugural season in the B1G and finishing No. 3 in the country that season.
Middle Tennesse: Charles M. Murphy
Charles M. Murphy coached the Middle Tennessee football program from 1947-1968. He posted a record of 155-63-8 and won nine conference championships.
Murphy also helped lead Middle Tennessee to three bowl games and three undefeated seasons.
The Blue Raiders have never been better than when Murphy was running the show.
Minnesota: Henry L. Williams
From 1900-1921, Henry L. Williams led the Minnesota Golden Gophers to a 136-33-11 record and eight B1G Championships.
He went undefeated in both 1903 and 1904, posting a 27-0-1 record during that time.
From 1900-1919, the Gophers never lost more than three games in a season, one of the most amazing stats in coaching history.
Mississippi: Johnny Vaught
Johnny Vaught coached Ole Miss football for the better part of a quarter century. He was the head coach from 1947-1970 and then again in 1973.
His overall record of 190-61-12 is worthy of note and he can stake claim to three national championships.
From 1957-1970, the Rebels made 14 straight bowl games and also claimed six SEC titles during his time there.
Mississippi State: Allyn McKeen
Allyn McKeen served as the head coach of Mississippi State from 1939-1948. Over that 10-year span, the Bulldogs posted a record of 65-19-3.
They won the Orange Bowl in 1940 on their way to a 10-0-1 record.
The next season they went 8-0-1 and won the SEC title. McKeen never had a losing record as head coach at Mississippi State.
Missouri: Dan Devine
Dan Devine was the head coach of Missouri from 1958-1970. He compiled a record of 93-37-7 over that span and also won two Big Eight Conference titles.
He led the Tigers to six bowl games and nine national rankings at the end of the season.
Devine and Missouri had their best year in 1960, going 11-0 and winning the Orange Bowl on their way to a No. 4 AP ranking in the final poll.
Navy: Eddie Erdelatz
With a record of 50-26-8, Eddie Erdelatz has the second most wins in the storied history of the Navy football program.
He had seven straight winning seasons from 1952-1958 after only going 5-12-1 in his first two seasons at Navy.
Most important was his 5-3-1 overall record against Army during his nine seasons at Navy.
Nebraska: Tom Osborne
Tom Osbore may be one of the greatest coaches in college football history. He spent 25 seasons at Nebraska from 1973-1997.
Over that span, he went 255-49-3 and won three national championships.
Osborne never won less than nine games in a season and never lost more than three. He made a bowl game in each of his 25 seasons and won 13 conference championships.
Nevada: Chris Ault
Chris Ault has been the head coach at Nevada since 1976 and has accomplished so much more at the school than anybody else.
He has a career record of 226-103-1. Ault has seen the Wolf Pack grow from a Division II team to a I-AA independent to the Big Sky Conference to the Big West Conference, and finally to the WAC.
He has had three 13-win seasons and been the I-AA runner-up. Ault also led the Wolf Pack to nine bowl games over their 11 FBS seasons.
New Mexico: Bill Weeks
Even though he only had a 40-41-1 record, Bill Weeks took a New Mexico program with virtually no tradition and turned them into winners.
From 1960-1967 he was the man in charge, and during a three-year stretch from 1962-1964 the Lobos won three of the four conference crowns in their school's history.
Their best season came in 1964 when they went 9-2 and finished No. 16 in the Coaches Poll. He also took them to a victory in the 1960 Aviation Bowl.
New Mexico State: Warren Woodson
Similar to New Mexico, New Mexico State does not have much of a college football tradition. One man, however, did bring some success to the program.
Warren Woodson went 63-36-3 from 1958-1967, including an undefeated 11-0 season in 1960. During this campaign, the Aggies finished the year with a Sun Bowl victory and ended up No. 17 in the country in the final AP Poll.
That would be the only season Woodson would record double-digit win totals.
North Carolina: Dick Crum
North Carolina has not had a lot of extremely successful college football head coaches, but topping the list is Dick Crum.
Crum coached the Tar Heels from 1978-1987, where he posted a 72-41-3 record and finished in the top 20 nationally four straight seasons from 1979-1982.
He took North Carolina to six bowl games, including five straight, won an ACC title and had an 11-1 season in 1980.
North Carolina State: Dick Sheridan
Nobody has been able to win at NC State quite like Dick Sheridan. From 1986-1992, he compiled a 52-29-3 record, including 31-18-1 in ACC play.
He made bowl games in all but one season and finished second in the ACC four different times.
Sheridan helped lead NC State to a final national ranking in three of his seven seasons.
North Texas: Odus Mitchell
Odus Mitchell coached at North Texas back when it was called North Texas State. From 1946-1966, he posted a combined 122-85-9 record.
Mitchell won 11 conference championships and qualified for three bowl games over that time.
No Mean Green head coach has more wins than he does.
Northern Illinois: George Evans
Known as 'Red,' George Evans was the best coach the Northern Illinois program has ever seen.
He coached the team from 1929-1954 and put together a record of 131-70-20. He was also the head basketball coach from 1929-1940.
His 131 wins are the most of any coach in the history of the program. He led the Huskies to back-to-back bowl games in 1946 and 1947, while playing in the Atlantic Conference.
Northwestern: Richard Hanley
Northwestern has not had a lot of success on the football field, but one coach who brought winning ways to the program from 1927-1934 was Richard Hanley.
Hanley went 36-26-4 over his eight seasons with the Wildcats and won the B1G conference back-to-back seasons in 1930-1931.
He has the highest winning percentage of any coach in Northwestern history with more than five seasons coached.
Notre Dame-Knute Rockne
With the exception of 'Bear' Bryant, not many coaches have the resume of Knute Rockne. He ran the Notre Dame program for 13 seasons from 1918-1930 and in addition to popularizing the forward pass, he also one three national championships.
Over that 13-year span Rockne posted a record of 105-12-5, losing less than one game a season on average.
He went undefeated five times and had only one loss six more years.
Don Peden is far and away the greatest head coach in Ohio Bobcats football history. He ran the program from 1924-1946 and compiled an impressive 121-46-11 record during that time.
He won six league championships and his .711 winning percentage is the highest of any coach in the history of the school.
Like many other coaches on the list, Peden had a stadium named after him.
Ohio State-Woody Hayes
Woody Hayes is one of the most well known coaches in the history of college football and coached the Buckeyes from 1951-1978.
Over that span he posted a 205-61-10 record and won an astounding five national championships along with 13 B1G titles.
Hayes took Ohio State to eight Rose Bowls along with three other bowl games during his 28-year coaching career at Ohio State.
Oklahoma has three coaches who could hold this honor, but the slight edge goes to Barry Switzer.
He coached the Sooners from 1973-1988 and posted a 157-29-4 record over those 16 seasons. He won 12 Big Eight Championships and three national titles as well.
Switzer never lost more than four games in a season and qualified for 13 bowl games while posting 10 seasons of double-digit wins.
Oklahoma State-Mike Gundy
There is no real standout here, so Mike Gundy takes the honor for completely turning around the Oklahoma State program since he arrived in 2005.
He had a record of 59-30, but has gone 23-3 over the past two seasons and won the Big 12 Championship last season.
Gundy has made six straight bowl games and has posted nine or more wins in each of the last four seasons.
Even though he has only been at Oregon for three seasons, nobody else has stood out at Oregon over their history like Chip Kelly.
His .846 winning percentage is remarkable and he has gone 34-6 since he arrived in 2009. Throw in two Rose Bowls and a BCS National Championship game appearance and Kelly has been one of the best college football coaches over that span.
He has won 12 games each of the last two seasons and appears headed for that again in 2012.
Oregon State-Tommy Prothro
Oregon State has had a fair balance of decent coaches and Tommy Prothro stands out among that group.
He coached the Beavers from 1955-1964 and guided them to a 63-37-2 record over that span. They won three conference championships and made a Rose Bowl appearance in 1964 while finishing No. 8 in the country in both major polls.
The 1956 Oregon State team also appeared in the Rose Bowl, finishing the season No. 10 in the AP Poll.
Penn State-Joe Paterno
No man has ever defined a university quite like Joe Paterno. He was the head coach at Penn State from 1966-2011 and during that time, the Nittany Lions went 409-136-3.
They won three B1G titles after joining the conference in 1993 and Paterno can also stake claim to two national championships.
He is the winningest coach in FBS history and without question one of the five greatest of all-time.
From 1924-1938, Jock Sutherland put up some remarkable coaching numbers at Pittsburgh.
He went 111-20-12 during his 15 seasons, went to four Rose Bowls, and won four national championships during that time.
Only once did he lose more than two games in a season and he is far and away the greatest coach in the history of the storied Panthers program.
This one could be up for debate, but Noble Kizer gets the nod because of his multiple conference championships.
Kizer coached Purdue from 1930-1936 and won two B1G titles while going 42-13-3.
He was undefeated in 1932 and had two one-loss seasons as well. Since 1900, he is the only Purdue coach to win multiple conference championships.
Sometimes the first coach is the best and this is the case for the Rice Owls. Phillip Arbuckle coached Rice from 1912-1923 and finished with a 52-31-9 record.
He went undefeated in 1913 and only had one losing season out of the 11 with the program.
While he did not coach a lot of games, he was still more games over .500 than anybody else in the history of the school.
Rutgers-Frank R. Burns
Rutgers has had some decent coaches over the years, but the slight edge goes to Frank R. Burns.
Burns led the Scarlet Knights from 1973-1983 and compiled a record of 78-43-1. He led Rutgers to an 11-0 season in 1976 and a No. 17 national ranking at the end of the season.
They made one bowl appearance under Burns, losing in the Garden State Bowl in 1978.
San Diego State-Don Coryell
Don Coryell coached San Diego State from 1961-1972 and posted an .840 winning percentage. He had a philosophy of recruiting junior college players only.
His record of 104-19-2 is the best in the history of the school. He had undefeated seasons in 1966,1968 and 1969.
He helped take San Diego State from a Division II program to a Division I school in 1969 as well.
San Jose State-Dudley DeGroot
Dudley DeGroot went 60-19-8 from 1932-1939 at San Jose State and led the Spartans to three conference championships.
They went 13-0 in his final season in 1939 and 35-3-1 over his final three years.
He never had a losing season at San Jose State and was undefeated on two occasions.
Despite being there when SMU received the death penalty, Bobby Collins still tops the list of SMU coaches.
He went 43-14-1 during his five seasons at SMU, including an 11-0-1 season ending in a Cotton Bowl victory and a No. 2 national ranking.
From 1982-1984, the Mustangs went a combined 33-4-1 and finished all three seasons with bowl berths and top 11 national rankings.
South Alabama-Joey Jones
South Alabama has only had a football team since 2009 and 2012 will be their first at the FBS level as they have been transitioning the past three years.
During that time head coach Joey Jones has led them to a 23-4 record, including two undefeated seasons.
Next season they will join the Sun Belt Conference and things will get much tougher.
South Carolina-Steve Spurrier
South Carolina has not had a lot of great college football coaches, so Steve Spurrier tops the list.
He is 55-35 over his first seven seasons at South Carolina and has taken the team to six bowl games. They are 29-27 in the SEC and have gone 20-7 overall the past two seasons, including 11-2 a year ago.
In a few more years, Spurrier will become the winningest coach in the history of the South Carolina program.
South Florida-Jim Leavitt
South Florida has only been playing football since 1997 and during that time they have had two coaches. Jim Leavitt ran the program from the day it began in 1997 until 2009.
He posted a 95-57 record during that time and grew the program from a I-AA independent into a member of the Big East.
Leavitt led South Florida to a bowl game in each of his final five seasons with the program.
Southern Mississippi-Thad Vann
Thad Vann can be credited with helping to completely transform the Southern Miss program. He went 139-59-2 over his 20 seasons.
He posted 19 consecutive winning seasons and in 1953 went 9-2 with a major upset victory over powerhouse Alabama.
In 1954 they upset Alabama once again, but only went 6-4 that year. They also made four bowl appearances, losing all four.
Glenn Scobey Warner, came to be known as Pop and coached a number of different universities, having success at all of them.
He went 71-17-8 from 1924-1932 at Stanford, including three Rose Bowl appearances, three Pacific Coast Conference Championships, and a national championship while going 10-0-1 in 1926.
Stanford football or the college football world has never seen anybody like Pop Warner.
Ben Schwartzwalder spent 25 seasons at Syracuse from 1949-1973. During that time span he posted a 153-91-3 record and won a national championship in 1959.
He made seven bowl games during his tenure and finished in the top 20 in 11 different campaigns.
Schwartzwalder only had three losing seasons during his 25 with the program.
While Dutch Meyer did win a pair of national championships in the 1930s at TCU, he has not has nearly the success otherwise as has current head coach Gary Patterson.
Since taking over in 2001, Patterson has compiled a record of 109-30. The Horned Frogs have been to two BCS bowl games and 11 overall.
They have also joined the Big 12 conference and been ranked in the final poll nine of the 11 seasons Patterson has been at TCU.
Temple does not have a storied football history, but one of the coaches who have had some success is Pop Warner.
Warner went 31-18-9 over his seven seasons at Temple and played in the inaugural Sugar Bowl on January 1, 1935. A game they lost 20-14 to Tulane.
Temple had only one losing season during that time and only lost more than three games once.
Robert Neyland was the head coach of Tennessee for 27 years from 1926-1952 and nobody came close to the success he had at the university
He posted a 173-31-12 record during that time, won seven conference titles, four national championships and never had a losing season.
The Volunteers went undefeated six times and during his tenure, they were one of the true college football powerhouses.
While Mack Brown has a better winning percentage, Darrell Royal is the best coach in the history of the school.
From 1957-1976, Royal posted a 167-47-5 record and helped Texas claim three national championships. They made 16 bowl games and never had a losing season.
Royal and the Longhorns won 11 conference titles in his 20 seasons and went to six straight Cotton Bowls from 1968-1973.
Texas A&M-R.C. Slocum
During his 14 seasons at Texas A&M, R.C. Slocum never had a losing season and went 123-47-2 overall.
The Aggies finished in the top 20 of the AP Poll in 10 of his 14 seasons and played in 11 bowl games. From 1989-2002, the Aggies football program was never in better hands.
Perhaps their best season came in 1994 when they went 10-0-1, but were ineligible for the postseason.
Texas State-Jim Wacker
Jim Wacker only spent four seasons at Texas State from 1979-1982. During that time the school was called Southwest Texas State.
They were also a Division II football program and are entering their first year at the FBS level in 2012.
Wacker won three conference titles, went 42-8 and won a national championship in each of his final two seasons with the program, going 27-1 over that span.
Texas Tech-Pete Cawthon
Pete Cawthon coached Texas Tech from 1930-1940. During part of this time, the school was still referred to as Texas Technological College.
He went 76-32-6 over those 11 seasons and won a conference championship. He brought a potent offensive attack to the Red Raiders.
In 1932, they were the No. 1 offense in the country while still being called the Matadors.
Frank Lanterbur and Toledo put together one of the best stretches in the history of college football from 1969-1971 where they won 35 straight games, the second-longest streak in college football history.
He coached Toledo from 1963-1970 and posted a 48-32-2 record. The Rockets went undefeated in both 1969 and 1970, winning the Tangerine Bowl both seasons and finishing No. 12 in the final AP Poll of 1970.
There have been a few big name coaches who have ran the Troy program, but none better than current head coach Larry Blakeney.
Blakeney has been running the show since 1991 and has helped take Troy from a Division II Independent to a I-AA Independent to a member of the FBS Sun Belt Conference.
Over his 21 years, the Trojans have a record of 163-92-1 and have been to five bowl games over the past eight seasons.
Tulane does not have much to write home about as far as college football tradition is concerned. They have not had many great head coaches, but one man who had a lot of success was Tommy Bowden.
Even though Bowden only coached at Tulane for two seasons from 1997-1998, he was markedly better than any of his predecessors.
In 1997 he went 7-4, finishing second in Conference USA and in 1998 he won the league, went 11-0 with a victory in the Liberty Bowl and finished the year No. 7 in the final AP Poll.
Henry Frnka nearly made the list for his resume at Tulane, but is a no-brainer for the job he did at Tulsa.
He went 40-9-1 in his five seasons with the program, won three conference championships, made five bowl games and finished in the top 20 three separate years.
Frnka never lost more than three games in a season during his time at Tulsa from 1941-1945.
There have only been three coaches in UAB history since the inception of the program in 1991. The first of those coaches was Jim Hilyer and he just happens to be the best of them all.
Hilyer coached the team from a Division III Independent to a I-AA Independent from 1991-1994.
During those four years, the Blazers went 27-12-2, including 16-6 over his final two seasons at the I-AA level.
The UCF football program is also relatively new, having only been around since 1979. Over that time, they have had eight different head coaches, but the only one more than six games above .500 is Gene McDowell.
He posted an 87-61 record from 1985-1997 and his best season came in 1990 when the Knights went 10-4.
While he never made a bowl game, there is no question he is the best coach UCF has ever had.
This could have gone to a few different people, but Donahue gets the slight edge due to the length of his tenure.
He coached the Bruins for 20 years from 1976-1995 and UCLA went 151-74-8 over that span. They were 98-50-5 in conference play, including five conference crowns.
They went to 13 bowl games over that time, including three Rose Bowl victories in four appearances. The Bruins also finished the season in the top 20 in 12 different seasons.
The UNLV football program began in 1968 and since that time, they have only had four coaches with winning records. One of those coaches is Ron Meyer.
Meyer only spent three seasons at UNLV, but went 27-8 over those years from 1973-1975. He led the Rebels to a 12-0 regular season in 1974 until an eventual loss in the Grantland Rice Bowl.
His .771 winning percentage is the best in the history of the school and only two coaches have won more games than him.
John McKay coached USC from 1960-1975 and over that span the Trojans posted a 127-40-8 record, won nine conference championships and played in an amazing eight Rose Bowls, winning five of them.
He also led USC to four national championships along the way.
The Trojans went undefeated three times during his tenure and finished the season in the top 20 during each of his final 14 seasons.
Ike Armstrong coached Utah for an eternity, 25 years to be exact. He was the man in charge of the Utes program from 1925-1949 and compiled a 141-55-15 record during that time.
Utah won 13 conference championships and only had two losing seasons.
They appeared in two bowl games during his time and had four undefeated seasons all between 1926-1930.
Utah State-Dick Romney
Utah State is not a school steeped in college football tradition and when Dick Romney was running the program, the school was called the Agricultural College of Utah.
Romney was the head coach from 1918-1949 and over those 32 seasons, Utah State went 128-91-16. He was also the head basketball coach during most of this time.
He has nearly 30% of the wins the Utah State program has had in its history and led the team to four conference championships.
Mack Saxon was the head coach of the UTEP Miners from 1929-1941 back when the school was called Texas State School of Miners and Metallurgy.
He went 66-43-9 during those 13 seasons and had three years when the team went 7-1.
In 1936, the team reached the Sun Bowl, the only bowl game they made under his watch. He also coached the basketball and baseball teams as well.
UTSA is only entering their second season in existence and head coach Larry Coker is the only man ever to lead the program.
Last year in their inaugural season, the Road Runners went 4-6 and this season will be their first at the FBS level.
The University of Texas-San Antonio has a big name head football coach and will begin play in 2012 in the WAC.
Vanderbilt does not have much football history or tradition, but one of the first head coaches they had was Dan McGugin. He ran the program from 1904-1934 and over that 31-year span he went 197-55-19.
The Commodores had four undefeated seasons during his tenure and won 10 conference championships.
McGugin only suffered through one losing season while at Vanderbilt.
George Welsh led Virginia to their first ever bowl game in 1984 and he spent 19 seasons coaching the Cavaliers.
He was in charge of Virginia from 1982-2000 and won two ACC titles, while taking Virginia to 12 bowl games.
Welsh compiled a record of 134-86-3 and finished ranked in the final AP poll in six different seasons. Virginia has not had a storied football history, but Welsh had a lot of success when he was in charge of the program.
Virginia Tech-Frank Beamer
Frank Beamer has been at Virginia Tech for 25 years now and during that time he has compiled a record of 209-98-2, including 110-37 in conference play.
The Hokies have been to 19 straight bowl games and have 19 straight winning seasons. Beamer has won nine conference championships over his 25 seasons.
While he has never won a national championship, he has finished in the top 10 in seven different seasons.
Wake Forest-D.C. Walker
Known as Peahead Walker, he coached Wake Forest from 1937-1950 and is one of the few coaches to have success at Wake Forest.
During his 14 seasons, he went 77-51-6 and led the Demon Deacons to two bowl games. He is the winningest head coach in the history of the school and certainly tops the list at Wake Forest.
Don James coached Washington from 1975-1992 and during that time, the Huskies had more success than they have ever had.
He led them to a 153-57-2 record during that time and won six conference titles. The Huskies went to six Rose Bowls, winning three of them.
In all, Washington went to 14 bowl games and only had one season with less than six wins. In 1991, the Huskies were12-0 and stake claim to a national championship
Washington State-O.E. Hollingbery
Known as Babe, Hollingbery coached Washington State from 1926-1942 and had more success than anybody in the history of the program.
He went 93-53-14 with only two losing seasons during that time. The best season during his tenure was 1930 when the Cougars went 9-1, won the Pacific Coast Conference and lost in the Rose Bowl.
That was the only season they won the conference under Hollingbery, but they also finished second on multiple occasions.
West Virginia-Rich Rodriguez
This was a close call between Rich Rodriguez and Don Nehlen who coached the Mountaineers before him.
Rodriguez gets the slight edge, going 60-26 in his seven seasons at West Virginia. Over that span he won four Big East titles and went to a bowl game in his final six seasons.
West Virginia also finished in the top 10 in each of his final three seasons with the program.
Western Kentucky-Jack Harbaugh
Jack Harbaugh coached Western Kentucky from 1989--2002 and compiled a 91-68 record during that time.
He led them to the Division I-AA National Championship in 2002, during his final season in Bowling Green.
The Hilltoppers are one of the new FBS teams in 2012 and have Harbaugh to thank for playing an integral part in their success over the years.
Western Michigan-Al Molde
Western Michigan has had a lot of solid football coaches over the years, but never really anybody that stood out.
Al Molde is the best of the bunch as he led the Broncos from 1987-1996. Over that 10-year span they went 62-47-2 and won a MAC title.
They made a bowl game in 1988, losing in the California Bowl and finishing the season 9-3.
Despite an up-and-down career at Wisconsin, Barry Alvarez is far and away the best coach in school history.
He finished his career with a 118-73-4 record despite having five losing seasons in his 16 at Wisconsin from 1990-2005.
Alvarez led the Badgers to three B1G titles and three Rose Bowl appearances, all wins, along with 11 bowl games.
This was a close call between Bowden Wyatt and Lloyd Eaton with the slight edge going to Wyatt.
After back-to-back 4-5 seasons to begin his tenure at Wyoming, Wyatt finished by going 31-7-1 during his final four seasons at Wyoming.
From 1947-1952, the Broncos went a combined 39-17-1. From 1949-1950, they were 19-1 and won two conference championships along with a victory in the Gator Bowl in 1950 and a No. 12 AP final ranking.
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