College Sports The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time  

Pedro Cerrano
12.8k votes 1.8k voters 29.7k views 57 items

The worst college football coaches of all time are those select few men who were given the chance to coach a major NCAA Football team and failed miserably. These bad college football coaches may have seen some success at one point in their coaching careers but also gave the world some of the worst college football coaching performances in history.

Though it was not for anything he did on the field, an argument could be made that Jerry Sandusky, a former assistant coach for the Penn State Nittany Lions, is perhaps the worst person to ever join the college football coaching ranks following his child sex abuse scandal that rocked the world of college football in 2012.

As far as on the field reasons, there are plenty of college football coaches who earned spots on this list for their poor performance. No one will forget how Rich Rodriguez brought college football's winningest program, the Michigan Wolverines, to its knees during his brief period as head coach from 2008 to 2010 or the disappointment that Charlie Weis brought to the acclaimed Notre Dame Fighting Irish during his five-year coaching experiment from 2005 to 2009.

Going even deeper into the record books, we can also include those who tallied the worst win-loss records as NCAA Football coaches ever. Rick Venturi is a great example of that when he won only one game over three seasons when he coached the Northwestern Wildcats in the late 1970s.

So for however you choose to select the worst college football coaches ever, be it the disappointment they brought to your program or the complete shame they brought to the sport by their off-field actions, there is no shortage of names that can be added to this list of worst college football coaches. Want more coaching fails? Check out the worst NFL coaches of all time too!
list ordered by

1
713 156
Jerry Sandusky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 74 Gerald Arthur "Jerry" Sandusky is a retired American football coach and convicted serial child molester. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his entire career, mostly at ...more

2
498 162
Charlie Weis is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 62 Charles Joseph "Charlie" Weis is an American football coach who most recently was the head coach for the Kansas Jayhawks. For five years, from 2005 through 2009, Weis was the head ...more

3
670 252
Lane Kiffin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 43 Lane Monte Kiffin is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the offensive coordinator at the University of Alabama. He formerly served as the offensive coordinator for the ...more

4
300 154
Bill Callahan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 62 William E. Callahan is the offensive line coach for the Washington Redskins. He was formerly the head coach of the Oakland Raiders for the 2002–2003 seasons and for the University of Nebraska ...more

5
202 99
John Blake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 57 John Patrick Blake is an American football coach and former player. He owns three championship rings, including one in college and two in the NFL; and is considered by many to be the nation's ...more

6
140 58
Brady Hoke is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
_1443311062050 added age 60 Brady Patrick Hoke is an American football coach. He is the former head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines. He grew up in Ohio and attended Ball State University where he played ...more

7
251 147
John L. Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 70 John L. Smith is an American college football coach, currently the head coach at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He was the head coach at Arkansas during the 2012 season. Smith had been ...more

8
165 95
Ron Prince is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 49 Ron Prince is an American football coach, currently the assistant head coach and tight ends coach for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League.

9
252 171
Mike Shula is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 53 Mike Shula is an American football coach who is currently the offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League. Shula has been with the Panthers since 2011, when ...more

10
173 108
Greg Robinson is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 67 Gregory McIntosh "Greg" Robinson is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the defensive coordinator at San Jose State University, having assumed that role in ...more

11
136 80
Mike Locksley is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 49 Mike Locksley is an American football coach. He is the offensive coordinator for the University of Maryland. After serving as an assistant coach for several college football squads, he became ...more

12
48 8
Derek Dooley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
1511910488243 added age 50 Derek Dooley is an American football coach and former player. He currently serves as the wide receivers coach for the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. He served as the head ...more

13
144 90
Paul Hackett is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 71 Paul Hackett is a former American football coach. He served as head football coach of University of Pittsburgh from 1989 to 1992 and at the University of Southern California from 1998 to 2000. ...more

14
50 11
Butch Jones is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
1511910488243 added age 50

Termed the phrases "Champions for Life" & "5-Star Hearts" to describe his football team.

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 ...more

15
215 163
Ron Zook is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 64 Ronald Andrew "Ron" Zook is an American football coach and former player. He served as the head football coach at the University of Florida from 2002 to 2004 and the University of ...more

16
167 121
Dan Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 58 Danny Clarence "Dan" Hawkins is the former head coach of the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League. He was a sportscaster for ESPN and former American football player and ...more

17
279 234
Rich Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 55 Richard Alan "Rich" Rodriguez is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at the University of Arizona. Rodriguez previously served as the ...more

18
102 69
Rick Venturi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 72 Rick Venturi is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Northwestern University and as longtime National Football League assistant coach known for his ...more

19
56 27
Joker Phillips is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
JoshMers added age 55 Joseph "Joker" Phillips, Jr. is a wide receivers coach for the Cleveland Browns and a former player. He served as head football coach for the University of Kentucky Wildcats football ...more

20
122 90
Karl Dorrell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 55 Karl Dorrell is an American football coach, former player and the current Wide Receiver coach for the New York Jets. He most recently served as the offensive coordinator at Vanderbilt ...more

21
160 129
Gerry DiNardo is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 66 Gerard DiNardo is a former American football player and coach. He played college football as a guard for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish where he was selected as an All-American in 1974. DiNardo ...more

22
57 31
Mike DuBose is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
PamelaShows added Mike DuBose age 65 Mike DuBose is an American football coach, currently serving as head coach for Luverne High School in Luverne, Alabama. His most recent college coaching experience was serving as defensive line ...more

23
234 201
Tyrone Willingham is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 65 Lionel Tyrone "Ty" Willingham is a retired American football player and coach. He was the head coach at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of ...more

24
96 70
Will Muschamp is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
gatorphil83 added age 47 William Larry Muschamp is a college football coach. He is currently the defensive coordinator for the Auburn Tigers football team of Auburn University. Prior to that, Muschamp was the head coach ...more

25
132 106
Gary Crowton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 61 Gary Crowton is an American football coach, most recently the offensive coordinator for the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds. Crowton has also served as offensive coordinator at the ...more

26
236 212
Gene Chizik is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 57 Eugene C. "Gene" Chizik Jr. is an American football coach and former player. He was named defensive coordinator at North Carolina in January 2015. He was the head coach of the Auburn ...more

27
59 39
Mike Price is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
PamelaShows added Mike Price age 72 Michael Bruce "Mike" Price is a retired college football coach, who was most recently the head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso. He was previously the head coach at Weber ...more

28
34 16
Mike London is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added age 58 Michael Wilson "Mike" London, Sr. is the head coach of the Virginia Cavaliers football program of the University of Virginia. A native of the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, London ...more

29
104 88
Kevin Steele is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 60 Kevin Steele is an American football coach and former player. He is the current defensive coordinator for LSU. Prior to that, he coached inside linebackers for the football team at Alabama. ...more

30
88 73
Paul Wulff is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 51 Paul Louis Wulff is an American football coach and former player, currently the offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at the University of South Florida, a position he has held since ...more

31
57 42
Dennis Franchione is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
PamelaShows added age 67 Dennis Wayne Franchione, also known as Coach Fran, is an American football coach. He is currently the head football coach at Texas State University, a position he held from 1990 to 1991, when ...more

32
115 102
John Mackovic is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 75 John Mackovic is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of Italy national American football team, which was formed to compete in the EFAF European ...more

33
85 74
Frank Spaziani is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
WiskyDude added age 71 Frank Spaziani is an American football coach and former player. He served as the head football coach at Boston College from 2009 to 2012, compiling a record of 22 wins and 29 losses. Prior to ...more

34
102 94
Ron Cooper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
KingCarythe1st added age 56 Ron Cooper is an American football coach and former player. He presently is the defensive backs coach for the University of South Florida. Cooper served as the head football coach at Eastern ...more

35
31 20
Dave Wannstedt is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Clay Glenny added age 66 Dave Wannstedt is an American football coach. He has been the head coach of the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He was also the head coach of the University of ...more

36
31 21
Sparky Woods is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
icoachfb added Sparky Woods age 65 Phillip "Sparky" Woods is an American football coach and former player. On February 20, 2015, he was named Running Backs Coach, and Associate Head Coach, at the University of Richmond. ...more

37
60 53
Bo Pelini is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tim Wilcox added age 51 Mark Anthony "Bo" Pelini is the American football head coach for the Youngstown State Penguins football team at Youngstown State University. He served as head coach of the Nebraska ...more

38
119 117
Hal Mumme is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 66 Hal Clay Mumme is an American college football coach and former player. He currently serves as the head coach at Belhaven University. Previously, Mumme served as the head football coach at Iowa ...more

39
22 14
Tommy West is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Tommy West age 64 Thomas Cleveland "Tommy" West is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the defensive line coach at Middle Tennessee State University. West served as head ...more

40
23 16
Lovie Smith is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added age 60 Lovie Lee Smith is the current head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League. He was previously the head coach of the Chicago Bears from 2004 to 2012. Smith has been to ...more

41
11 3
Tim Brewster is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added age 58 Tim Brewster is an American football player and coach. He most recently served as the head coach of the University of Minnesota from 2007 until he was fired midway through the Golden Gophers' ...more

42
26 21
Red Parker is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
icoachfb added Red Parker age 85 Jimmy "Red" Parker is an American football coach. From 1961 to 1965, he served as the head football coach at Arkansas A&M, where he compiled a 29–19–2 record. From 1966 to 1972, he ...more

43
107 113
Steve Kragthorpe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 53 Steve Kragthorpe is an American football coach and former player. He is currently an administrative assistant for the Louisiana State University football program after previously serving as ...more

44
76 80
Lee Corso is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
craig_bullis added age 83 Leland "Lee" Corso is an American sports broadcaster and football analyst for ESPN and former long-time college football coach. He has been a featured analyst on ESPN's College GameDay ...more

45
9 5
Mike Sanford is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Mike Sanford age 63 Mike Sanford is an American college football coach and former player. He is currently the head football coach at Indiana State University, a position he assumed in December 2012. Sanford served ...more

46
46 47
Urban Meyer is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
swag added age 54 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 ...more

47
66 70
Terry Shea is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
age 69 Terence "Terry" Shea is an American football coach and former player. Currently, Shea is the head coach of the Fall Experimental Football League's Boston Brawlers. He also does ...more

48
112 130
Bret Bielema is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
GaryShayne added age 48 Bret Arnold Bielema is an American college football coach and current head coach at Arkansas. Bielema previously served as head coach at Wisconsin, a position he held from 2006 to 2012, ...more

49
6 6
Bobby Hue Wallace is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Mark Hunter added Bobby Hue Wallace

50
65 81
Jennings B. Whitworth is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Died at 52 (1908-1960) Jennings Bryan "Ears" Whitworth was an American football player and coach of football and baseball. He served as the head football coach at Oklahoma A&M College, now known as ...more