Ohio State Football: Top Five Coaches

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Ohio State Football: Top Five Coaches

Ohio State has a long list of successful coaches.  However, there are a few that stick out.  The top five coaches in Ohio State history with a minimum of 50 games coached are as follows:

 

5. Francis A. Schmidt  1934-1940

  • Record: 39-16-1
  • Winning Percentage: .696
  • Big Ten Titles: 2
  • National Championships: 0
  • Record Versus Rival (Michigan): 4-3
  • Bowl Game Record: 0-0

Francis A. Schmidt coached two Big Ten championship teams in 1935 and 1939.  He also won his first four meetings against arch rival Michigan.  His teams, however, failed to make a bowl game.  He was known for his "wide open" style of offense.

 

4. John Cooper  1988-2001

  • Record: 111-43-4
  • Winning Percentage: .703
  • Big Ten Titles: 3
  • National Championships: 0
  • Record Versus Rival: 2-10-1
  • Bowl Game Record: 3-8

John Cooper led Ohio State to three Big Ten championships in 1993, 1996, and 1998.  Although with a high winning percentage, Cooper had losing records against Michigan and in bowl games.  His three bowl wins came in the 1993 Holiday Bowl against BYU, 1997 Rose Bowl against Arizona State, and 1998 Sugar Bowl against Texas A&M.  John coached Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George in 1995.

 

3. Earle Bruce  1979-1987

  • Record: 81-26-1
  • Winning Percentage: .750
  • Big Ten Titles: 4
  • National Championships: 0
  • Record Versus Rival: 5-4
  • Bowl Game Record: 5-3

Earle Bruce had four Big Ten championships while coaching at Ohio State.  He had a winning record against Michigan and in bowl games.  He won the 1981 Liberty Bowl against Navy, 1982 Holiday Bowl against BYU, 1983 Fiesta Bowl against Pittsburgh, 1985 Citrus Bowl against BYU, and 1986 Cotton Bowl against Texas A&M.

 

2. Jim Tressel  2001-Present

  • Record: 62-14-0
  • Winning Percentage: .816
  • Big Ten Titles: 4
  • National Championships: 1
  • Record Versus Rival: 6-1
  • Bowl Game Record: 4-3

Jim Tressel, Ohio State's current head coach has already claimed four Big Ten titles and the 2002 National Championship.  He has dominated against rival Michigan and has a winning record in bowl games despite losing the last two National Championship games. 

His four bowl game wins came in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl (National Championship) against Miami (FL), 2003 Fiesta Bowl against Kansas State, 2004 Alamo Bowl against Oklahoma State, and 2005 Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame.  Tressel coached Heisman winner Troy Smith in 2006.

 

1. Woody Hayes 1951-1978

  • Record: 205-61-10
  • Winning Percentage: .743
  • Big Ten Titles: 13
  • National Championships: 5
  • Record Versus Rival: 16-11-1
  • Bowl Game Record: 5-6

Woody Hayes is the greatest coach in Ohio State history.  His career included an astounding 13 Big Ten Titles and five National Championships.  He also had a winning record against the "team up North." 

Hayes coached the 1954, 1955, 1957, 1961, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, and 1977 Big Ten Championship teams.  He also coached the 1954, 1957, 1961, 1968, and 1970 National Championship teams. 

His five bowl wins came in the 1954 Rose Bowl (National Championship) against USC, 1957 Rose Bowl (National Championship) against Oregon, 1968 Rose Bowl (National Championship) against USC, 1973 Rose Bowl against USC, and 1976 Orange Bowl against Colorado.  Woody coached Heisman winner Howard Cassady in 1955 and two-time winner Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.

 

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