The 10 Nicest Guys in College Football
At first glance, it seems hard to find nice guys anymore in college football. With scandals going on, players and coaches getting arrested for numerous reasons, we often aren't sure who we can trust in this sport we have all grown to love.
That's why I thought putting together a list like this would be so difficult. But the more I searched, believe it or not, the more nice guys I found.
These guys are considered nice because of their demeanor, what they do for their program or the time they take away from their lives to help with different charities.
So often we hear about the negative side of college football, well, here is something positive: 10 nice guys.
We know what Mack Brown has done on the football field: 227 victories, two Big 12 titles, two Big 12 Coach of the Year awards and a BCS national title.
But it is what Brown does off the field that makes him seem like a nice person. Brown and his wife are constantly doing charity work; including creating a license plate that helps increase awareness for child abuse.
In 1999, Brown and his wife initiated a blood drive that helped the victims of the Aggie Bonfire tragedy. They also helped raise $165,000 for charity by starting a poker tournament in 2010.
Brown just seems like a good guy on and off the field. Maybe that has something to do with why he was named the third-vice president of the American Football Coaches Association this year.
Phil Knight is the co-founder and chairman of Nike, so he may not actually be a college football guy, but he plays a huge role in college football. Knight is a graduate of the University of Oregon and he hasn't forgotten where he has come from.
He has donated tens of millions of dollars to that program and has helped make it what it is today.
I know it is hard to remember with us being so caught up in the moment, but the Oregon Ducks weren't always the national powerhouse they are today. You can thank Knight for helping to get this program where it is today. (You can read this article for more about his involvement with the university.)
Knight also stopped by to pay respects to legendary Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and gave a wonderful speech.
Bill Snyder is a living legend at Kansas State and has done so much for this program. He has won 159 games, including six bowl wins. and has had the football stadium named after him.
He has also helped raised a ton of money for the library on campus, along with being the honorary chairman for the Kansas State Changing Lives Campaign. (A campaign that has helped raise nearly $530 million.)
You may have mixed feeling about Tim Tebow, but you can't deny that this guy is a leader on and off the football field. He seems too perfect as he has never bad-mouthed anyone, never been in trouble with the law or given you any reason to believe that he isn't one of the nicest guys around.
Tebow has done tons of charity work in the Philippines throughout his life, including getting a hospital built in his hometown. He preaches, gives motivational speeches and has created a foundation that helps several different charities in several different parts of the world.
The former Florida Gator may no longer play college football, but his impact on the sport and what he continues to do was too great to leave off this list.
Mike Gundy will never live down that video when he ripped the media for writing about one of his players in a negative light. But while he may have come of a little crazy, I liked it.
Coaches who are not afraid to stand up for what they believe is right are okay in my book. Coaches are not just out there to produce wins, they are expected to be a second father to the young men who play for them, and Gundy was sticking up for one of his children.
Then you have this video that shows that the 44-year-old can have a good time and isn't wrapped as tightly as some of these other coaches. Gundy is now looking to stay at Oklahoma State for a long time and will start by beginning to improve its facilities.
Chris Petersen is a coach who any player would like to play for. He never gets too high and never seems to get too low. He has a lot of confidence in his craft and he should, considering he is 73-6 in the last seven years coaching Boise State.
Petersen doesn't land the top talent in the country, but has helped build this program into arguably the best non-BCS school.
While Petersen has a reputation around college football as a fabulous head coach, it's the fact that he hasn't left yet for a more prestigious program that makes him a nice person. So many other coaches would have jumped at the first opportunity. Instead, it looks like Petersen is looking to continue to build Boise State, recently signing a five-year contract.
You don't see coaches like this come around very often.
Even at the age of 76, Corso just seems like one of those guys who you would like to sit down and have a beer with. You'd talk about college football, of course, and just enjoy a wonderful Saturday of gridiron action.
Besides that, the former head coach is an honorary chairman of Coaches Curing Kids' Cancer, which is an organization that helps raise money through youth sports for cancer research.
Colorado had one of the worst defenses in the country last season, but one of their bright spots was safety Ray Polk. He led the team with 69 tackles, and broke up two passes and had an interception in a 31-27 loss to Washington State.
But it is not what he does on the field that matters, it is the fact that he's dedicated more than 70 hours to the Upward Foundation, an organization that helps mentally challenged kids. If that is not kindness, I don't know what is.
Lou Holtz is a guy who wouldn't hurt a fly and has had a very successful career for himself. He has coached at the college level and the NFL, won 249 games, a national championship and several different individual awards.
On the side, he is a motivational speaker, has written several books and helps run a non-profit organization with his wife.
I had the privilege of meeting Holtz in a hotel lobby the night before the BCS Orange Bowl last season. He was as likable as he is when watching him on ESPN with Mark May.
A head coach never wants to see a recruit leave his program, and if they decide to leave, most coaches make things as difficult as possible for that player. Most will put a restriction on where they can go and likely block them from attending a school in the same conference.
Not Georgia head coach Mark Richt. He's all for seeing kids succeed, whether it's at Georgia or not:
First of all, I think life is too short. I want every young man to have a successful time in his four- or five-year window to be able to go to college. So I don’t want to impede a guy from realizing his goals and his dreams, wherever it is.
Not only is he perfectly fine with watching his players leave his program, but he'll also help that player find another school to attend:
If, for whatever reason, it doesn’t work out, wherever the guy goes, I want him to have the same ability to have the same success he was hoping to have when he came to Georgia. So I don’t want to keep a guy from doing that.
What a nice guy.