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15 Craziest Coach Stories in College Football History

Alex CallosCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2017

15 Craziest Coach Stories in College Football History

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    When it comes to crazy coaches in sports, college football might be at the top of the list. Every sport has its fair share of interesting coaches, but topping the list are the men of college football.

    As it turns out, most of the quirkiest coaches that have graced the college football landscape had very good resumes as head coaches.

    These coaches range from Woody Hayes to Bear Bryant and many present-day names. Some of the stories go back to the boyhood years of the coaches, while others happened during their tenure at their current university. 

    These stories are not necessarily bad, but just show the more unique side of the coach.

    Here are the 15 craziest coach stories in college football history, both on and off the field.

    How true they are might still be up for debate.

No. 15. Woody Hayes Snapping Turtle

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    Starting off the list is one of the most hard-nosed coaches in college football history, Woody Hayes.

    The comments made earlier in the week by Urban Meyer concerning Hayes bring up a perfect topic to start off the list.

    Meyer claimed that a secret motivational tactic for Hayes was letting a snapping turtle latch on to his penis.

    While a statement later came out from Ohio State that Meyer was just exaggerating, most people would not put anything past Hayes. 

    Fitting that the comments came right around the time of what would have been the 100th birthday of Hayes.

    He certainly would not have wanted it any other way.

No. 14 Rich Rodriguez Shreds Papers

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    Rich Rodriguez might seem like a slimy guy to some, and the West Virginia faithful would almost certainly agree.

    After Rodriguez left for Michigan, it was discovered that almost all of the paperwork and files dealing with every player on West Virginia had been destroyed.

    These files included all the activities that the players took part in during the past seven years.

    Many would have to wonder why Rodriguez would do something like this.

    The files went missing between the time of his resignation and when the coaching staff returned from the Fiesta Bowl just over two weeks later.

    Seems kind of crazy to me.

No. 13 Tommy Tuberville Leaving Recruits at Dinner

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    Tommy Tuberville is another coach who is certainly not squeaky clean.

    He showed his true colors once again just a few months ago, days before being hired by Cincinnati.

    Tuberville was at dinner with a recruit and got up to go to the bathroom, or so the recruit thought. Only, to the surprise of everyone, Tuberville did not return.

    The next day he became the head coach at Cincinnati and that was that.

    Not a way to make friends, if you ask me.

No. 12 Lane Kiffin Deflating Footballs

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    Lane Kiffin has always been under scrutiny during his years as a head coach at Tennessee and with Oakland in the NFL.

    He has done some pretty shady stuff, but perhaps none more so than this past season when it was reported that he told a student manager before the Oregon game to deflate the balls.

    This would make it easier for the quarterback to throw and would certainly benefit USC, who was more of a passing team than the run-happy Oregon Ducks.

    Whether or not this was true, it is not known for sure, but with the way Kiffin has operated over the years, it is certainly possible.

No. 11 Jim Tressel and Tattoo Gate

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    It is one thing for players to make wrong decisions while in college, but it is a completely different story for a coach to know about it and the university turn a blind eye.

    The tattoo scandal struck Ohio State in December 2011 before its bowl game against Arkansas.

    Tressel was eventually ousted from the university and replaced by Urban Meyer.

    What was even more bizarre about this story is the fact that the players were allowed to play in the upcoming bowl game before being suspended for the first five games the following season.

No. 10 Joe Paterno Saga

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    The Penn State saga is hard to rank because of how unique and disturbing it was.

    It was voted the AP sports story of the year and is something that nobody in the world could see coming.

    While it might not necessarily fit the category of crazy, it is certainly worthy of making the list, as Joe Paterno allegedly knew about what was going on at the university with the child abuse scandal well before news broke years later.

    This is certainly a story worth noting and something that will never be forgotten.

No. 9. Steve Spurrier and His Comments

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    Steve Spurrier is no stranger to interesting comments, and he does not have one single story that stands out, but a few different ones that make him one of the more unique personalities in college football right now.

    Just this past year, Spurrier said Alabama could beat some NFL teams. While some may consider that logical, most realize how far of a stretch that comment is. 

    More recently, Spurrier said that star defensive end Jadeveon Clowney could have gone straight from high school to the NFL.

    It is hard to imagine a player having the talent to compete in the NFL as an 18-year-old, even Clowney.

    Among other interesting comments by Spurrier over the years include nicknaming Florida State "Free Shoes University" when they were under investigation in 1994 for recruiting violations.

    One thing is certain, this guy is never short on words.

No. 8. Gary Pinkel's Helicopter

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    There is no question that Gary Pinkel was ready for the SEC, at least recruiting-wise, even before the Missouri Tigers officially joined the conference.

    He was not afraid to take recruiting to another level like the rest of the SEC has no problem doing.

    Pinkel was in the midst of recruiting the top player in the country in Dorial Green-Beckham in 2012, and he arrived in thrilling fashion.

    Instead of the conventional mode of transportation, Pinkel touched down on the high school field of Green-Beckham and emerged out of a helicopter.

    Quite a way to make an impression. Apparently it worked, as Green-Beckham signed with the Tigers less than a month later.

No. 7. Rick Neuheisel Flying over Los Angeles

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    Before Gary Pinkel even thought up the idea, it was Rick Neuheisel who made recruiting via a helicopter very popular.

    Most coaches will go to one game to see a recruit, but Neuheisel took it to a whole different level as he went from one game to another via helicopter to check out recruits at various schools.

    The recruits were not only stunned, but certainly impressed. It obviously did not turn out well for Neuheisel as he was fired from UCLA a few years later.

    Gotta give him a 10 for the thought though.

No. 6. Nick Saban Does Not Flinch

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    Even though it happened at the NFL level and nearly eight years ago, the story did not surface until 2011 when it was brought up by former player Heath Evans. 

    According to the story, while Saban was running the show for the Miami Dolphins, the team was having two-a-days. After the later practice, offensive lineman Jeno James collapsed and was carried to the locker room.

    He was set down between the locker room and the training room, only to have his head coach step right over him like nothing was wrong.

    Saban went upstairs, and the player was eventually rushed to the hospital.

    Kind of an amazing story, as Saban showed no compassion for James.

No. 5. Les Miles Teaching His Daughter to Drive

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    We all know just how quirky Les Miles is on a football field, but apparently he is just the same way with his family.

    Miles was teaching his daughter to drive, and while crossing the Mississippi River bridge in Baton Rouge, Miles dumped an open bottle of water on his daughter while she drove.

    I guess he felt this was the way to prepare her in case she had to drive in a rainstorm with no top on the car.

    Miles claimed he was "coaching" her. Others might consider it a little crazy.

No. 4 Bobby Petrino Fiasco

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    The saga of Bobby Petrino is another that has been well documented, but is certainly list-worthy, as it is one of the craziest college football has ever seen.

    Petrino has made headlines before, with the way he walked out on the Atlanta Falcons in the middle of the season and took the Arkansas job.

    He was involved in a serious motorcycle accident, but details later came out that he had a 25-year-old female passenger in the vehicle. 

    Petrino was then fired from Arkansas as details continued to emerge.

    Good thing for Petrino is it did not take him long to find another job, as he is now the head coach at Western Kentucky.

No. 3 Bear Bryant Wrestling a Bear

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    Bear Bryant is a coaching legend, but his nickname and story date all the way back to his early teen years.

    Bryant was given the opportunity to wrestle a bear at a carnival for $1. The exact story remains foggy, but Bryant did have his ear bitten and was never paid the $1 he was promised.

    For a 13-year-old boy, this is something that would definitely not happen in this day and age. But, back in 1926, it was not out of the question.

    From that day forward, he was given the nickname "Bear." It has stuck ever since.

No. 2 Woody Hayes Punches a Player

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    Woody Hayes was no stranger to controversy during his time at Ohio State, and that eventually cost him in the end.

    Near the conclusion of the Gator Bowl in 1978, Hayes punched Charlie Bauman, of Clemson, after he intercepted a pass near the end of the game and ended up on the Ohio State sideline.

    There is little doubt that this is one of the most bizarre stories in college football history and is what Hayes will forever be remembered for.

    Hayes was fired the next day and never apologized for the incident.

No. 1 Mike Leach and the Electrical Closet

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    Topping the list is Texas Tech and former head coach Mike Leach. Leach had plenty of success at Texas Tech, but he will always be remembered for the way it ended.

    Leach was eventually fired from the program for allegedly locking wide receiver Adam James in an electrical closet when James could not practice because of concussion symptoms.

    This story was nothing short of bizarre, and a month later, Leach spoke out saying the story was completely false.

    While the exact truth may never be known, there is no question that this is as crazy a story a college football coach has ever experienced.


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