Leaders of Men: The Top Five Active College Football Coaches

Ashley Swafford@ashleyswaffordContributor IOctober 1, 2010

Leaders of Men: The Top Five Active College Football Coaches

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    College football is filled with legendary coaches of all calibers: some with a few bowl titles, a few with a couple division titles, and a small group with a national championship or two.

    However, what makes a coach legendary is not just what can be seen on paper. Legendary coaches are coaches of character, of loyalty, and of tradition.

    Five coaches will be brought into any college football discussion. The legacies of these men will live on far after their coaching years are over. 

5. Jim Tressel, Ohio State Buckeyes

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    Jim Tressel is 233-78 as a college football coach and ,currently, is in his tenth season with the Ohio State Buckeyes.

    One of the best coaches of all time, Tressel transformed Ohio State into a powerhouse.

    Although Tressel has always generated winning seasons with the Buckeyes, he only has one national championship to show for it. Ohio State leads the Big Ten conference nearly every year, but cannot seem to finish a season with a national title since 2002. Tressel has been known as “the coach who can’t win the big one anymore.”

    Still, this year looks like another good year for Tressel.

4. Mack Brown, Texas Longhorns

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    The character of this man alone constitutes him to be a top ten coach.

    Texas head coach Mack Brown is loyal, honest, and dedicated. He expects a standard of excellence from his players and follows through himself. When Brown loses a game, he is more disappointed in himself than his team.

    He transformed his previous team, North Carolina, from a losing team to a winning one. His first season with the Tar Heels went 1-10, but by the time Brown left nine years later the Tar Heels were 10-1. Brown has the power to transform teams into championship contenders.

    With Texas, Brown has finished in the top two every year. Mack Brown is the face of Texas football and a legend that will be remembered there long after he retires. 

3. Steve Spurrier, South Carolina Gamecocks

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    Steve Spurrier may not be having the best of seasons recently, but he has proven himself as a great in previous seasons.

    Spurrier has dabbled in all levels of football, making appearances in the NFL, NCAA, and the previous USFL.

    He is 180-69 as a college football coach with his best seasons behind him at the University of Florida. Spurrier won one national championship, five SEC championships, and seven SEC Eastern Division championships with the Gators.

    Today, Spurrier is in his sixth season with South Carolina. Though South Carolina always seems to have shaky seasons, Spurrier is on his way to gaining a bigger title for the Gamecocks. He has made USC a bowl contender every season since he started. Hopefully this great will regain his legacy as a top-notch football coach once again.

2. Nick Saban, Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Topping all the polls this season is the Alabama Crimson Tide led by head coach Nick Saban.

    Saban is 128-50 overall as a college football head coach. He has two national titles under his belt and is looking to gain the third one this year. Entering his fourth season with the Tide, Saban has only lost eight games.

    Saban’s teams always excel in their defensive schemes. Before his head-coaching debut, he assistant coached all over the nation working primarily with defense. It’s no wonder that Alabama is the defensive powerhouse that it has become. 

1. Joe Paterno, Penn State Nittany Lions

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    The most loyal coach in all of college football, Penn State’s head coach Joe Paterno, tops the list.

    “Joe Pa” has led the Nittany Lions to 397 wins, dropping only 130 games.

    Starting his career as an assistant coach at Penn State,  Paterno remained with the Nittany Lions until called up to head coach. He has remained the head coach for 45 seasons and, although he’s 83, he continues the winning tradition that he has instilled within the Penn State football program.

Other Notables

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    10. Mark Richt, Georgia

    9. Gary Patterson, TCU 

    8. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma

    7. Chris Petersen, Boise State

    6. Urban Meyer, Florida