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The Most High Strung Coaches in College Sports

Updated 23 Sep 2019 3.3k votes 403 voters 22.6k views49 items

List RulesCan include all college coaches from any period and any sport, as long as they're primarily college coaches

The most high strung coaches in college sports include those leaders who, for whatever reason, are simply vibrating on an entirely different plane when they're coaching. The coaches on this list represent some of the most controlling, temperamental and passionate in all of college sports. Whether it's the crazy, downright combustible rantings of college football coaches like Nebraska's Bo Pelini and Florida's Will Muschamp or the fiery anger exhibited by college hoops coaches like Michigan State's Tom Izzo or Kentucky's John Calipari, it's hard not to be captivated by these coaches' enthusiasm. Just one piercing look or crazy face by Alabama's Nick Saban or Mike Krzyzewski of Duke can make a so-so game that much better. And even though he's retired now, yes, Bob Knight, The General, makes the list (so does the now-retired Gary Williams, Maryland's former head basketball coach).

Some college basketball and football coaches are known for being hot-headed and/or slightly crazy on the court or on the field, but one thing that's notable about this list: Many of those on it are also incredibly successful. Does being high strung necessarily ensure success? No, but it can help to fire up a team that might be sagging a bit. Players who see their coaches being so passionate might be a bit more motivated to push just that much harder in games (particularly if the coach's 'passion' is directed at them). Fans, in turn, might also yell louder and clamp or stomp harder when they see the coach of their favorite team getting all kinds of worked up. Love it or hate it, there's no denying that a high strung college coach can make games all the more exciting!
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