The top 10 winningest active college football coaches


Everyone sees the fame and money that comes with being a college football head coach, but nobody sees the countless hours and dedication that goes into it. From building the right staff around you, recruiting the right players, and then actually winning the games it is much easier said than done. Even with all of the work, there is no promise that you will build a winning program or have a successful career.

In a profession that is filled with constant turnover and new hires, very few coaches can ever achieve that level of winning, let alone sustain it. This is what makes all of the guys who have made this list so impressive is that they’ve never dropped the intensity and never settled for mediocrity. The SEC is as strong as it has ever been in terms of coaching, and in 2023, there will be two new faces.

Below are the 10 college football coaches with the most active wins.

Tedford has spent the majority of his career out West winning games as a head coach at both California Berkley and Fresno State. He won the Pac-10 one time and the Mountain West twice compiling an all-time record of 118-75.

Troy Calhoun – Air Force – 121

Calhoun is entering his 17th season as a college football head coach, all with the Falcons. He has led the program to a remarkable 12 bowl games during his tenure and compiled an all-time record of 121-78.

Jimbo Fisher – Texas A&M – 122

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The bulk of Fisher’s work came when he was the head coach at Florida State where he won his only national title and had nine wins in each of his seasons except his last. In 2018, he departed for Texas A&M and had one of the biggest paydays in college football history. He’s yet to find the same success in College Station that he did in Tallahassee, but nonetheless, he is only one of five active head coaches to have won a national title and has posted an all-time record of 122-44.

Kyle Whittingham – Utah Utes -154

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whittingham started with the Utah program as a DL coach in 1994 before finally earning the head coaching role in 2005 and never looked back. He is a three-time Pac-10/Pac-12 champion and in 2008 won the Paul “Bear” Bryant Award for the NCAA Coach of the Year. He is easily the greatest coach in program history with an all-time record of 154-74.

Mike Gundy – Oklahoma State Cowboys – 156

Despite having to share a state with a historic program like Oklahoma, the things Mike Gundy has done for the Oklahoma State program will never be replicated. Gundy has had plenty of opportunities to go to other schools, but he was once a quarterback for the Cowboys, and not many jobs are better than your alma mater. Since taking over in 2005, he has had seven seasons of at least 10 wins and compiled an all-time record of 156-75.

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

Swinney is one of only three active head coaches to have multiple national titles and has guided the Tigers to an insane 12 straight 10-win seasons. He has won the ACC seven of the last eight years and completely dominated the conference since taking over going 89-18 against ACC foes. He has posted an all-time record of 161-39.

Brian Kelly – LSU Tigers – 176

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

From Central Michigan to Cincinnati to Notre Dame to LSU, all Brian Kelly has done is won. The only thing that is missing from Kelly’s resume at this point in time is a national championship. He led the Tigers to 10 wins and SEC championship game appearance in his first year to bring his all-time record to 176-66.

Kirk Ferentz – Iowa Hawkeyes – 186

Ferentz and Kelly are the only two coaches in the top five to have never won a national title, but the things he has done for the Iowa program are unbelievable. He has produced outstanding NFL talent despite not having the same high end recruiting that all of the guys in the top five have had. He took over the Hawkeye program in 1999 and has gone 186-115 with seven 10-win seasons.

Brown started his career with Tulane before eventually moving up to North Carolina and Texas. He led the Longhorns to two national title appearances before retiring in 2013. He came out of retirement to return the Tar Heels in 2019 where he has had a winning season each year but one bringing his all-time record to 268-139.

Nick Saban – Alabama Crimson Tide – 285

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Coach Saban still has more years left in the tank, he has already earned the title as the greatest coach of all-time. He is a 10-time SEC champion and seven-time National champion with more accolades than could be listed. Between Toledo, Michigan State, LSU and Alabama coach Saban has posted an all-time record of 285-69-1.

Story originally appeared on Roll Tide Wire



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