College Football: The 10 Most Enjoyable Coaching Personalities

In college football, winning is everything.  Soft, easy coaches may relate with their players, but if victories don’t follow then a coach will soon be unemployed.

All successful head coaches, Nick Saban, Rich Rodriguez, Bob Stoops and countless others are not considered media darlings. Under my own personal criteria, here are the ten most charismatic, and enjoyable college football coaches in the game today.

Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern

A star linebacker in the middle nineties, the former Wildcat player was thrust into a head coaching position after the unexpected death of Randy Walker in 2006.  Fitzgerald is a young, charismatic players coach who has been semi-successful in rebuilding the program to respectability.

Remembering him lead the Wildcats to a Cinderella Rose Bowl season makes watching him coach even more enjoyable.

Chris Peterson, Boise State

The California native is a perfect fit for the city of Boise.  With little else to support, Bronco fans are border line rabid in their following of the program.

Peterson is calm, disciplined, and at ease with the current level of his career. He recruits personalities and potential, and has been very successful in continuing the tradition set by previous coach Dan Hawkins.

Joe Paterno, Penn State

Entering his 44th season at Penn State, Paterno is stubborn, experienced, and confident.  At this point, how can you not find him enjoyable?  His words are slurred, sarcastic, and blunt.

Nicknamed “JoPa”, the Brooklyn, New York native has won two national championships as the Nittany Lion head coach.

Dave Wannstedt, Pittsburgh

Coaching since 1975, the Panther alum holds a great amount of respect in both college and NFL coaching circles.  Wannstedt and his trademark mustache was successful with the Chicago Bears and Miami Dolphins, and has been slowly building a very strong program at Pittsburgh.

Roaming the sidelines, it looks like he should be leading a NASCAR pit crew.

Mack Brown, Texas

With his deep accent, and wise facial features, it’s hard not to respect the Longhorns head coach. Prior to Texas, Brown made his mark in coaching gigs with North Carolina, Appalachian State, and Tulane.

As one of the most successful coaches over the past decade, the Tennessee native is currently the highest paid college coach in the nation.  The personality, and demeanor of Brown reminds me of an experienced United States Senator.

Chip Kelly, Oregon

A New Hampshire native, the fast-thinking, fast-talking, creative mind of Kelly is hard to not enjoy. The second-year Oregon coach carries high expectations, and is seemingly calm while speaking lightning quick.

He is the figurehead for a flashy offense, and program that has provided his first opportunity as a head coach after thirteen years as the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire.

Doc Holiday, Marshall

I’m sorry, but anybody named Doc Holiday who grew up in Hurricane, West Virginia is a must on this list. Holiday began coaching in 1979 as a graduate assistant with West Virginia, and has since carved his niche as a great recruiter.

He is entering his first year as a college head coach after he accepted the position at Marshall late last year.

Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech

After six years leading Murray State, Beamer took the head coaching position at Virginia Tech in 1987 and has never strayed. The Hokie alum has built a strong national program from scraps, and “Beamer Ball” has made him the second-winningest active head coach.

Beamer is enjoyable to watch because he is consistent and loyal.

Pat Hill, Fresno State

Hill began coaching in 1974, and didn’t land as a head coach until arriving in Fresno in 1997.  He has only suffered two losing seasons with the Bulldogs, and consistently pleads with the nations biggest programs to play his team.

With a scowl and mustache resembling the stereotype biker, his teams have never backed down.

Mike Riley, Oregon State

Growing up in Corvallis, the Oregon State head coach was the catalyst in bringing the program out of decades of defeat in the late nineties.

Riley is calm, calculated, and has consistently developed underrated recruits into NFL players. A son of a coach, he played under Paul “Bear” Bryant at Alabama from 1971 until 1974.

~ by philip d. on August 30, 2010.

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