Greatest College Football Coaches of All Time

The Top Ten
1 Bear Bryant

Yes, he was one of the best. He expected the best from his players, worked them hard, and they came out on top because of that. He is truly one of the best college coaches of all time.

Perhaps the greatest coach at three schools: Kentucky, Texas A&M, and Alabama.

Record after record... Best ever.

2 Knute Rockne

The gold standard for coaching, now and forever.

3 Dr. Tom Osborne

The man brought talent to Nebraska, where there is no nightlife and corn is everywhere. His teams won nine or more games every year he was there, including seven or eight trips to the national title game. Now, Nebraska is struggling just to get to .500.

He was scrutinized for years for bowl choking, but the length of his tenure and the consistent finishes of the Huskers in the upper echelon of college football make him worthy of inclusion.

4 Bobby Bowden

He won only two titles, but the consistency of FSU from the late 1980s to the early 2000s is unmatched.

5 Woody Hayes

The embodiment of Buckeye football, he can lay claim to many successful years.

6 Pop Warner

He built exceptional teams at several schools, most notably Carlisle, Pittsburgh, Cornell, and Stanford.

7 Nick Saban

Six national titles (more than any other coach except maybe Bryant), two Heisman winners coached (Bryant never had any), four consecutive national championship appearances (2015-2018), and the only coach to make the playoffs every year until 2019.

He is definitely a great college coach, especially with Alabama.

8 Joe Paterno

His legacy is now in question, but he made Penn State consistent winners from the Nixon to the Obama administrations.

Joe is Penn State! He ate, slept, and lived Penn State!

9 Fielding Yost

He built Michigan into the football factory it is today and won several national titles.

10 Frank Leahy

All he did was win, both at Notre Dame (four titles) and Boston College.

The Contenders
11 Bo Schembechler

Michigan and Bo - today it means a lot, but in 1969, it was a far different story. He arrived at the Big M determined to change the culture of football, so he put up the slogan, "Those Who Stay Will Become Champions."

His team workouts were the most grueling ever, and as preseason camp ended, 75 of the 140 players who started were different from the 1968 team. This was the beginning of the Bo Schembechler era.

Thirteen Big Ten football championships followed, but in my mind, the 1980 Michigan team was the best of all time under Bo. They had a 10-2 record, ranked No. 4 in the polls, and secured a Rose Bowl victory over Washington. That's truly Michigan football.

Its Joeysworld

12 Howard Jones Howard Jones (Born July 20th, 1970) is an American Heavy Metal vocalist. He currently fronts the band Light the Torch (Formerly Devil You Know), but is best known for his tenure in the band Killswitch Engage from 2002 to 2012 and was a vocalist for the now defunct Blood Had Been Shed.
13 Bill Snyder

Barry Switzer said he was the greatest college coach ever. Nobody did more with less and turned walk-ons into NFL stars (like Jordy Nelson) than Bill Snyder.

14 Don James

Six Rose Bowl appearances, four of which were victories. He also beat Barry Switzer and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. He was the coach of one of the best teams of all time, the 1991 national championship Washington Huskies.

He was a mentor to many coaches who went on to have lots of success as head coaches later, most notably Nick Saban. The Dawgfather is criminally underrated and is definitely one of the best coaches of all time.

15 LaVell Edwards
16 Eddie Robinson
17 Bob Stoops
18 Kirby Smart
19 Steve Spurrier Stephen Orr "Steve" Spurrier is an American football player and coach. Spurrier was a Heisman Trophy winning college football quarterback at the University of Florida and spent a decade playing professionally in the National Football League.
20 Barry Switzer
21 Jim McElwain

He won the SEC East and made it to the SEC championship in his first year.

In his second year, he again won the SEC East and made it to the SEC championship.

An amazing football coach, he is going to make Florida great again!

22 Mark Dantonio
23 John Heisman
24 Urban Meyer
25 James Franklin
8Load More
PSearch List