college sports The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time  

Pedro Cerrano
11.5k votes 1.7k voters 28.4k 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
654 145
Jerry Sandusky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Jerry Sandusky 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
645 208
Lane Kiffin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Lane Kiffin 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

3
456 155
Charlie Weis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Charlie Weis 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

4
277 144
Bill Callahan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Bill Callahan 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
188 92
John Blake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
John Blake 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
111 45
Brady Hoke is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
_1443311062050 added Brady Hoke 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
230 140
John L. Smith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
John L. Smith 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
154 87
Ron Prince is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Ron Prince 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
136 81
Paul Hackett is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Paul Hackett 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

10
227 160
Mike Shula is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Mike Shula 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

11
159 103
Greg Robinson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Greg Robinson 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

12
120 76
Mike Locksley is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Mike Locksley 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

The Best College Football Coaches of All Time

13
159 111
Dan Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Dan Hawkins 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

14
226 186
Tyrone Willingham is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tyrone Willingham 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

15
258 218
Rich Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Rich Rodriguez 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

16
114 84
Karl Dorrell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Karl Dorrell 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

17
189 156
Ron Zook is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Ron Zook 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

The Greatest Defenders in NFL History

18
127 98
Gary Crowton is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Gary Crowton 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

19
76 50
Will Muschamp is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
gatorphil83 added Will Muschamp 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

20
47 23
Mike DuBose is listed (or ranked) 20 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

21
91 66
Rick Venturi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Rick Venturi 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

22
147 122
Gerry DiNardo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Gerry DiNardo 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

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23
43 23
Joker Phillips is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
JoshMers added Joker Phillips 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

24
220 200
Gene Chizik is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Gene Chizik 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

25
111 94
John Mackovic is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
John Mackovic 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

26
97 81
Kevin Steele is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Kevin Steele 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

27
20 3
Butch Jones is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
1511910488243 added Butch Jones 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

The Creepiest Sports Mascots

28
49 33
Mike Price is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
25 9
Mike London is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Mike London 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

30
116 106
Hal Mumme is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Hal Mumme 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

31
81 70
Paul Wulff is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Paul Wulff 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

32
15 2
Derek Dooley is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
1511910488243 added Derek Dooley 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

The Best Alabama Crimson Tide Football Players of All Time

33
44 33
Dennis Franchione is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
PamelaShows added Dennis Franchione 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

34
79 71
Frank Spaziani is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
WiskyDude added Frank Spaziani 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

35
48 38
Bo Pelini is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tim Wilcox added Bo Pelini 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

36
27 16
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
96 92
Ron Cooper is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
KingCarythe1st added Ron Cooper 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

Things That Only the Youngest Child Will Understand

38
20 12
Dave Wannstedt is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Clay Glenny added Dave Wannstedt 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

39
23 17
Red Parker is listed (or ranked) 39 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

40
62 61
Lee Corso is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
craig_bullis added Lee Corso 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

41
15 11
Tommy West is listed (or ranked) 41 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

42
6 1
Tim Brewster is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Tim Brewster 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

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43
101 110
Steve Kragthorpe is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Steve Kragthorpe 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
62 67
Terry Shea is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Terry Shea 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

45
4 2
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
3 2
Bobby Hue Wallace is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Mark Hunter added Bobby Hue Wallace

47
8 8
Lovie Smith is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Tom Derr added Lovie Smith 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

48
36 42
John Cooper is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
jschro1861 added John Cooper age 81 John Harold Cooper is a former American football coach. Cooper was an assistant coach at Iowa State, Oregon State, UCLA, Kansas, and Kentucky. Then, he embarked on a head coaching career, as he ...more

49
141 174
Ed Orgeron is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Ed Orgeron age 57 Edward Orgeron, Jr. is an American college football coach. Orgeron served as the head football coach of the Ole Miss Rebels from 2005 to 2007 and was the interim head coach for the USC Trojans ...more

50
61 78
Jennings B. Whitworth is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Jennings B. Whitworth 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