The 10 oldest college football coaches today, including Alabama’s Nick Saban and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz who make the list.
As fast as the college football turnover rate is, so is the college football coaching turnover rate. Exposed to millions of people every year, coaches face immense pressure to create a sustainable, winning culture that lasts, hoping they will too.
For teams stuck in a constant cycle of incongruous coaches, candidates often only survive a few years or so. The Big 12, the Pac-12 and the SEC are full of examples of the fleetingness of the title of big boss.
Fortunately, there are a few anomalies: Coaches who have lasted more than a decade maintain top-notch programs that attract talented recruits every year. For these tenured coaches, they have the security of relying on their footballing instincts while building dynamic new teams each season.
There is a certain level of respect given to those who have held their position the longest, which is why the coaches on this list deserve the respect of players and fans alike.
10 oldest coaches in college football
10. David Cutliffe, Duke: Joined December 14, 2007 (13 seasons)
Upon his arrival, David Cutliffe brought the Blue Devils back into shape – literally. After challenging the team to collectively lose 1,000 pounds, Cutliffe built a strong program that saw a historic 2012 season. That year, they beat rival UNC for the first time in nine years, which led to their first bowl appearance in 18 years and an ACC Coach of the Year award for Cutliffe. .
9. Ken Niumatalolo, Navy: Joined December 8, 2007 (13 seasons)
Ken Niumatalolo has been the Midshipmen’s leader for 13 years for a reason: He’s only had a losing season in three of those 13 years. Although Navy has only won three games in 2020, Niumatalolo has enjoyed his share of success over the years, including two AP Top 25 finishes, two 11-win seasons and at least eight winning seasons during his career. first nine years as head coach.
8. Nick Saban, Alabama: Joined January 3, 2007 (14 seasons)
If Nick Saban hadn’t bounced around the NFL and NCAA, he might be higher on this list: He got his first head coaching gig at the University of Toledo in 1989. But luckily , Saban blessed LSU with a national championship, then built a veritable dynasty in Alabama in 2007. Since rolling with the Crimson Tide, Saban has won six national championships and seven SEC championships.
7. Troy Calhoun, Air Force: Joined December 22, 2006 (14 seasons)
After a brief stint coaching in the NFL alongside Gary Kubiak, Calhoun returned to the college team he quarterbacked for in the mid-1980s. He took the team to 9-3 in his first season as head coach, then was named Mountain West’s Coach of the Year the following season. The longest-serving active head coach at a service school, he has 102 career wins, including an 11-2 season in 2019.
6. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern: Joined July 7, 2006 (15 seasons)
Since taking over the program in 2006, Fitzgerald has led the Wildcats to 106 career wins, including three 10-win seasons and Big Ten West division titles in 2018 and 2020. It appears Fitzgerald is currently on a hot streak: His teams have had five AP Top 25 finishes, including three in the past four seasons.
5. Rick Stockhill, Middle Tennessee: Joined December 12, 2005 (15 seasons)
While he doesn’t have the same record or reputation as the others on this list, there’s a reason Rick Stockhill has stayed at Murfreesboro for the past 16 years: he’s given the team mediocre stability. His best year was a 10-3 in 2009, but he barely has a winning career record. Yet 16 is a feat that few others have achieved.
4. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State: Joined Jan. 3, 2005 (16 seasons)
Although hired in 2005, the Cowboys didn’t find success under Gundy until 2008 – and then enjoyed eight seasons with nine or more wins between that date and 2014. As the most successful coach in the In school history, Gundy had his best year in 2011 when he won the team a Big 12 title and an AP No. 3 ranking.
3. Kyle Whittingham, Utah: Joined Dec. 9, 2004 (16 seasons)
The Pac-12’s longest-serving coach, Kyle Whittingham took the Utes to unforeseen heights, turning a Mountain West team into a Power 5 contender. Whittingham began his Utah career with a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2004 , continuing with a 33 win streak from 2008 to 2010. Since being invited to the Pac-12 in 2011, Whittingham has placed four times and has 135 career wins.
2. Gary Patterson, TCU: Joined Dec. 8, 2000 (20 seasons)
In two decades as head coach of the Horned Frogs, Patterson led the Texas school to qualify for the Big 12 conference, post a perfect 13-0 season in 2010, then defeat Wisconsin at the Rose Bowl of that year. With seven Top 10 Ap finishes and just four losing seasons, Patterson’s long tenure is indicative of a coach who transformed TCU football.
1. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: Joined Dec. 2, 1998 (22 seasons)
Entering his 23rd season with the Hawkeyes, Ferentz’s career spans exactly half of Penn State legend Joe Paterno’s 46-year tenure and comes in as the seventh-longest CFB tenure of all time. The former NFL offensive line coach who served under Bill Belichick brought the Hawkeyes 181 wins and 9 AP Top 25 rankings, including three consecutive top-10 finishes from 2002-04.
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