Top 10: Coaches I Wish Had Won a Natty
It’s National Championship Monday y’all! Normally, this just means that we’re getting Nick Saban vs. Dabo Swinney one more again before having to wait 235 days (thanks Poppa Bear) for another glorious season of college football to kick off. Yes all of this is true BUT just as important is our list of coaches to never win one of those Nattys. No preface needed. LFG.
1. Frank Beamer: I grew up a Notre Dame fan but I always, always, always rooted for Beamer’s squad. The guy was a great coach whose teams loved playing for him and it didn’t hurt that he won a lot of games. He’s been retired for a few years now but you can’t watch a Virginia Tech game without hearing about “Beamer Ball” which speaks volumes about the beloved former head coach.
2. Bill Snyder- Another legend that helped completely turn around a program though he may not receive the praise deserved. From 1989-2005 then again from 2009-2018 Coach Snyder led the Kansas State Wildcats to over 200 wins. Hell, the stadium in Manhattan, KS is named after the guy leading to him being only the fifth person to coach in a stadium that bears his name in NCAA D-1 Football history.
3. Hayden Fry- He won conference titles at SMU, North Texas and Iowa. Super impressive stuff. But maybe more importantly is the fact that we wouldn’t have the amazing TV show ‘Coach’ without Hayden Fry.
4. Pat Hill- Hill coached Fresno St from 1997-2011 with only one conference title. Unlike a couple of other guys on this list, he never got close to the Natty but I would have loved to have seen the fu man chu win a Natty. Bonus points if it could have been the 2005 team that went into The Coliseum and for a split second made me believe they could upset the evil empire at USC. Sadly, Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush did what he used to do leading the Trojans to a 50-42 win. Stupid USC.
5. Ty Willingham- This one is definitely biased on my part, but I’m writing this – so fuck it. I wish Ty would have won a Natty at ND. The 2002 Irish football team was the team that made me fall in love with college football. The team didn’t score an offensive touchdown in weeks 1 or 2 but won both leading to an 8-0 start before losing two of their last four. Ty didn’t last long in South Bend, but I’ll always have a soft spot for this team.
6. Mike Leach- This NEEDS to happen just so we can see the Leach post-game press conference. I imagine he may smile but at the same time I wouldn’t be shocked if even bringing a Natty home couldn’t bring a smile to ole Mike Leach’s face.
7. Rick Stockstill- He’s been at MTSU since 2006 leading the Blue Raiders to bowl games in eight of those seasons. The 2009 team was THE team for Rick as they finished the season 10-3 (the three losses coming to Clemson, Troy and Mississippi St) and a win in the New Orleans Bowl. Yo, does anyone else remember Dwight Dasher? (Editor’s note: Fuck yeah, I remember Dwight Dasher – it was a lot of fun being on campus at the same time as his run)
8. Kirk Ferentz- Another really good Iowa coach, y’all. He’s led the Hawkeyes since 1999 with some really good teams along the way. The 2002 team sticks out to me mainly because I loved Brad Banks at QB. But, the 2015 team was as close as he got as the #3 ranked Hawkeyes lost in the Big 10 title game leading to a Rose Bowl appearance. Close, but no cigar.
9. Frank Solich- Frank has been the man leading the Ohio Bobcats to consistent nine win seasons since 2005 but before that he spent six seasons at Nebraska. He went 58-19 in Cornhusker country before being fired after a 9-3 year in 2003. Yeah, that happened. The guy is a rock and at 74 years old he’s still stacking up wins.
10. Derek Dooley- COULD YOU IMAGINE? I mean those teams were not very good (insert Tyler Bray choke sign) but if he could have played Eric Berry at all twenty two positions on offense/defense plus return kicks, then he may have had something brewing.
John Mosley is the independent wrestling and TV aficionado of the SoBros Network. He graduated from ETSU with a degree in Radio, TV and Film along with a minor in Film Studies. Since graduating he’s done pretty much nothing but watch, film, edit or commentate for local wrestling promotions and is the current color commentator for Resolute Wrestling. #Preds #Titans #DefendOrVacateConor