The Best College Football Coaches of All Time

30k votes 4.3k voters 100k views 82 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only college football coaches. No high school or NFL coaches, unless they coached in college at some point.

This list of the best college football coaches of all time is full of big names and legendary coaching empires. Ever wondered who was is the greatest college football coach of all time? Now is your opportunity to have a say in the matter. Granted, picking who this should be won't be easy, as you have to consider different eras of NCAA football along with a number of other factors, like bowl game wins, national titles, who was on their team, and who got the most bang for their buck out of their players. But it's on you to pick whatever criteria you want in determining who is the best college football coach ever. As long as they coached college play at some point, they can be listed here, but be sure to vote based on each coach's storied college career only.

There are some pretty big names on this list, titans of the coaching world. If you're an Alabama fan, you'll have a tough time picking between Bear Bryant and Nick Saban. The same goes for any Notre Dame fan and for USC supporters, who do you think is a better coach: John McKay or Pete Carroll? Who's the best of these famous college football coaches?

It shouldn't be easy for you to decide who the greatest college football coaches are. There are simply too many all time greats. Just remember though, where would each coaches' team be without them steering the ship and keeping the players in line? Not an easy question to answer.

So who is the best college football coach of all time? It's up to you to decide. If you notice someone isn't on this list and should be, feel free to add him. This is the crowdranked list of what coach deserves to called the greatest ever, so choose wisely!
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    the people's #1 & most listed
    Died at 70 (1913-1983) Paul William "Bear" Bryant was an American college football player and coach. He was best known as the longtime head coach of the University of Alabama football team. During his 25-year

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    age 78 Thomas William "Tom" Osborne is a former American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and politician from Nebraska. He served as the head football coach at the

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    age 64 Nicholas Lou "Nick" Saban, Jr. is an American college football coach, and the current head football coach of the University of Alabama, a position he has held since the 2007 season. Saban

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    Died at 43 (1888-1931) Knute Kenneth Rockne was a Norwegian-American football player and coach, both at the University of Notre Dame. He is regarded as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. His biography

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    age 86 Robert Cleckler "Bobby" Bowden is a retired American football coach. He coached the Florida State Seminoles football team from the 1976 to 2009 seasons. During his time at Florida State,

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    Died at 86 (1926-2012) Joseph Vincent "Joe" Paterno, sometimes referred to as "JoePa", was an American college football player and coach who was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966

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    Died at 74 (1913-1987) Wayne Woodrow "Woody" Hayes was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Denison University, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Ohio State University,

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    age 51 Urban Frank Meyer, III is an American college football coach and former player, currently the head football coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Meyer served as the head coach of the Bowling Green

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    Died at 77 (1929-2006) Glenn Edward "Bo" Schembechler, Jr. was an American football player, coach, and athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Miami University from 1963 to 1968 and at the

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    age 78 Barry Layne Switzer He spent sixteen years as head coach of the University of Oklahoma and four years as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He has one of the highest winning percentages of any college

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    Died at 78 (1916-1994) Charles Burnham "Bud" Wilkinson was an American football player, coach, broadcaster, and politician. He served as the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1947 to 1963,

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    Pop Warner is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best College Football Coaches of All Time


    Pop Warner

  13. 13
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    age 70 Stephen Orr "Steve" Spurrier is an American college football coach and former player. Spurrier is the current head football coach of the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. He is also a

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    age 78 Louis Leo "Lou" Holtz is a former college football analyst for ESPN as well as a former football coach. He served as the head football coach at The College of William & Mary, North

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    age 72 James William "Jimmy" Johnson is an American football broadcaster and former player, coach, and executive. He served as the head football coach at Oklahoma State University–Stillwater from

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    ranked low on reranks & added by DerekBurton
    age 76 Bill Snyder is an American football coach and former player. He currently serves as the head football coach at Kansas State University. He served as head football coach at the school from 1989 to

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    age 80 Eugene Clifton Stallings, Jr. is a retired American football player and coach. He played college football at Texas A&M University, where he was one of the "Junction Boys", and later

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    Died at 88 (1919-2007) Edward Gay Robinson was an American football coach. He is the second winningest coach in NCAA Division I history and third winningest coach overall. For 57 years from 1941 to 1997, he was the head

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    age 92 Ara Raoul Parseghian is a former American football player and coach who guided the University of Notre Dame to national championships in 1966 and 1973. He is noted for bringing Notre Dame's football

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    Died at 67 (1869-1936) John William Heisman was an American player and coach of football, basketball, and baseball. He served as the head football coach at Oberlin College, Buchtel College—now known as the University of

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    Died at 65 (1908-1973) Francis William Leahy was an American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and professional sports executive. He served as the head football coach at Boston College from 1939 to

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    Died at 82 (1915-1997) Robert S. "Bob" Devaney was a college football coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Wyoming from 1957 to 1961 and at the University of Nebraska from 1962 to 1972,

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  23. 23
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    Died at 70 (1892-1962) Robert Reese Neyland, MBE, was an American football player and coach and officer in the United States Army, reaching the rank of brigadier general. He served three stints as the head football coach at

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    Died at 103 (1862-1965) Amos Alonzo Stagg was an American athlete and pioneering college coach in multiple sports, primarily American football. He served as the head football coach at the International Young Men's Christian

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    Died at 75 (1871-1946) Fielding Harris Yost was an American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at Ohio Wesleyan University, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln,

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    Died at 88 (1924-2012) Darrell K Royal was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Mississippi State University, the University of Washington, and the University of Texas at Austin, compiling a

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    Died at 78 (1923-2001) John Harvey McKay was an American football coach. He was the head coach at the University of Southern California from 1960 to 1975 and of the National Football League's Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 1976

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    age 69 Frank Beamer is an American college football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at Virginia Tech, a position he has held since 1987. From 1981 to 1986, Beamer served as

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    added by MattWeisbecker
    age 83 Vincent Joseph Dooley was the head football coach and athletic director at the University of Georgia. During his 25 year coaching career at UGA, Dooley compiled a 201–77–10 record. His teams won six

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    age 64 Peter Clay "Pete" Carroll is the head coach and executive vice president of the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League. He is a former head coach of the New York Jets, the New

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    age 85 Reuben LaVell Edwards is a former American football coach of Brigham Young University. With 257 career victories, he ranks as one of the most successful college football coaches of all time. Among his

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    Died at 94 (1892-1986) William Wallace Wade was an American football player and coach of football, basketball and baseball. He served as the head football coach at the University of Alabama from 1923 to 1930 and at Duke

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    age 55 Robert Anthony "Bob" Stoops is the head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners football team of the University of Oklahoma. During the 2000 season, Stoops led the Sooners to an Orange Bowl victory

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    age 81 Howard Schnellenberger is a retired American football coach with long service at both the professional and college levels. He was most recently the head coach at Florida Atlantic, having announced his

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    added by IssacClark
    age 62 Leslie Edwin "Les" Miles is an American college football coach and the current head coach of the LSU Tigers football team. He is nicknamed "The Hat" for his signature white cap, as

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    age 63 James Patrick "Jim" Tressel is an American college administrator and former college football coach who served as head coach of the Youngstown State Penguins from 1986 to 2000 and the Ohio

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    added by hcalkins
    Died at 81 (1932-2013) Donald Earl "Don" James was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Kent State University from 1971 to 1974 and at the University of Washington from 1975 to

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    Died at 56 (1898-1954) Frank W. Thomas was an American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Chattanooga from 1925 to 1928 and at the University of Alabama from 1931 to 1946,

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    age 64 William Mack Brown is a former American college football coach. He was most recently head football coach of the Texas Longhorns football team of the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to his head

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    age 52 Charles "Chip" Kelly is an American football coach. He is the head coach for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League, a position he has held since 2013. Kelly served as the

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    Died at 78 (1924-2002) Daniel John Devine was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach football coach at Arizona State University from 1955 to 1957, the University of Missouri from 1958 to 1970,

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    age 91 John Franklin Broyles is a former American football player and coach, athletics administrator, and broadcaster. He served as the head football coach at the University of Missouri in 1957 and at the

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    Died at 83 (1871-1954) Glenn Scobey "Pop" Warner, most commonly known as Pop Warner, was an American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at the University of Georgia, Cornell University, the

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    Died at 83 (1899-1982) Herbert Orin "Fritz" Crisler was an American college football coach who is best known as "the father of two-platoon football," an innovation in which separate units of players were

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    age 76 Patrick Fain Dye is a former American football player, coach, and college athletics administrator. He served as the head football coach at East Carolina University, the University of Wyoming, and

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    age 70 Lloyd Henry Carr, Jr. is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head football coach at the University of Michigan from 1995 through the 2007 season. Under Carr, the Michigan

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    age 51 Christopher Scott "Chris" Petersen is a college football coach, currently the head coach at the University of Washington, hired on December 6, 2013. Previously the head coach for eight

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    age 68 Danny Lee Ford is a former American football player and coach. He played college football at the University of Alabama from 1967 to 1969. He served as the head football coach at Clemson University in

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    Died at 92 (1897-1989) Earl Henry "Red" Blaik was an American football player, coach, college athletics administrator, and United States Army officer. He served as the head football coach at Dartmouth College from

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    age 47 Lyle Allen "Butch" Jones, Jr. is the current head football coach of the University of Tennessee. He previously coached at Cincinnati from 2010 to 2012 and Central Michigan University from

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