Sports

The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time 

Aaron Hager
Updated September 21, 2019 14.9k votes 2k voters 33k views 59 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
Jerry Sandusky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 75

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Washington, Pennsylvania

Teams: Penn State Nittany Lions football

Gerald Arthur Sandusky (born January 26, 1944) is an American retired college football coach who was convicted of rape and child sexual abuse. Sandusky served as an assistant coach for his ...more
2
Lane Kiffin is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 44

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Minnesota

Teams Managed: Oakland Raiders, USC Trojans football

Lane Monte Kiffin (born May 9, 1975) is an American football coach who is currently the head football coach at Florida Atlantic University. Kiffin formerly served as the offensive coordinator ...more
3
Charlie Weis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 63

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, USA

Charles Joseph Weis (born March 30, 1956) is a former American football coach. He was the head coach for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish from 2005 to 2009 and the Kansas Jayhawks from 2012 to ...more
4
Bill Callahan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 63

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Teams Managed: Oakland Raiders

William E. Callahan (born July 31, 1956) is an American football coach who is currently the assistant head coach and offensive line coach for the Washington Redskins of the National Football ...more
5
John Blake is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 58

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Rockford, Illinois

Teams: Oklahoma Sooners football

John Patrick Blake (born March 6, 1961) is an American football coach and former player. He served as the head football coach at the University of Oklahoma from 1996 to 1998. Blake was also the ...more
6
John L. Smith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 71

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Idaho Falls, Idaho

Teams Managed: Arkansas Razorbacks football

John Lawrence Smith (born November 15, 1948) is an American college football coach. He was the head football coach at Kentucky State University in Frankfort, Kentucky, a position he held from ...more
7
Mike Shula is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 54

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

Mike Shula (born June 3, 1965) is an American football coach who is currently the quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He ...more
8
Brady Hoke is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
_1443311062050 added Age: 61

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Dayton, Ohio

Teams Managed: Michigan Wolverines football

Teams: Ball State Cardinals football

Brady Patrick Hoke (born November 3, 1958) is an American football coach for San Diego State. He was the head football coach of the Michigan Wolverines from 2011 to 2014. He grew up in Ohio and ...more
9
Ron Prince is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 50

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Omaha, Nebraska

Ron Prince (born September 18, 1969) is an American football coach, currently serving as the football head coach for the Howard Bison. He was previously the assistant head coach and offensive ...more
10
Rich Rodriguez is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 56

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

Teams Managed: Michigan Wolverines football, Arizona Wildcats football

Teams: West Virginia Mountaineers football

Richard Alan Rodriguez (born May 24, 1963) is an American football coach and former player. He is the offensive coordinator at Ole Miss. Rodriguez previously served as the head football coach at ...more
11
Ron Zook is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 65

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Ashland, Ohio

Teams: Miami RedHawks football

Ronald Andrew Zook (; born April 28, 1954) is an American football coach and former player who currently serves as a senior analyst for the University of Maryland. He was the head football coach ...more
12
Greg Robinson is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 68

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

Greg Robinson may refer to: Greg Robinson (offensive tackle), American football offensive tackle Greg Robinson (American football coach), American football coach Greg Robinson (running back), ...more
13
Mike Locksley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 50

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

Michael Anthony Locksley (born December 25, 1969) is an American football coach. He is currently the head coach for the University of Maryland football team and former offensive coordinator for ...more
14
Tyrone Willingham is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 66

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Kinston, North Carolina

Teams: Michigan State Spartans football

Lionel Tyrone Willingham (born December 30, 1953) is a retired American football player and coach. He was the head coach at Stanford University (1995–2001), the University of Notre Dame ...more
15
Dan Hawkins is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 59

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Fall River Mills, California

Teams: UC Davis Aggies football

Danny Clarence Hawkins (born November 10, 1960) is an American former football player, coach, and sportscaster. He served as the head football coach at Willamette University (1993–1997), Boise ...more
16
Paul Hackett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 72

Birthplace: Burlington, Vermont

Paul Roger Hackett (born July 5, 1947) 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 ...more
17
Gerry DiNardo is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 67

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Gerard Paul DiNardo (born November 10, 1952) 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 ...more
18
Derek Dooley is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
buyclark added Age: 51

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Athens, Georgia

Teams Managed: Tennessee Volunteers football

Teams: Virginia Cavaliers football

Derek Dooley (born June 10, 1968) is an American football coach and former player. He currently serves as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at the University of Missouri. In his ...more
19
Gene Chizik is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 58

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Tarpon Springs, Florida

Teams Managed: Auburn Tigers football

Teams: Florida Gators football

Eugene T. Chizik (born December 28, 1961) is a former American football coach and former player. He was most recently the defensive coordinator at North Carolina from 2015–2016. He served as the ...more
20
Butch Jones is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
buyclark added Age: 51

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Saugatuck, Michigan

Teams Managed: Tennessee Volunteers football, Cincinnati Bearcats football

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

Lyle Allen "Butch" Jones Jr. (born January 17, 1968) is an American football coach. He is currently an offensive analyst for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football program. ...more
21
Karl Dorrell is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 56

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Alameda, California

Karl James Dorrell (born December 18, 1963) is an American football coach, former player and the current wide receiver coach for the Miami Dolphins. He most recently served as the wide receivers ...more
22
Will Muschamp is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
gatorphil83 added Age: 48

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Rome, Georgia

Teams Managed: Miami Dolphins, LSU Tigers football, Auburn Tigers football, Florida Gators football, Valdosta State Blazers football, + more

Teams: Georgia Bulldogs football team

William Lawrence Muschamp (born August 3, 1971) is an American football coach and former player. He currently is the head coach at the University of South Carolina. He was the head coach at the ...more
23
Rick Venturi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 73

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Taylorville, Illinois

Teams Managed: New Orleans Saints

Rick Venturi (born February 23, 1946) is a former American football player and coach. He served as the head coach at Northwestern University and as longtime National Football League assistant ...more
24
Gary Crowton is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 62

Nationality: United States of America

Birthplace: Orem, Utah

David Gary Crowton (born June 14, 1957) is an American football coach, most recently the offensive coordinator at Southern Utah University.Crowton has also served as offensive coordinator at the ...more
25
John Mackovic is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst College Football Coaches of All Time
Age: 76

Birthplace: Barberton, Ohio

John Mackovic (born October 1, 1943) is an American football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of the Italy national American football team, which was formed to compete in ...more